GETTING AHEAD IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR« Back to Questions List

A recent university graduate, I have been working for a mid-size city for almost three years.   I am generally pleased with my job but don’t really see the emphasis on professional development and a clear path to promotion I was hoping for.  How does the public sector rate in these areas compared to the private sector?
Posted by careersingov
Asked on June 10, 2013 9:15 am
0

I might add that it is most crucial to assess your personal and professional goals on a periodic basis. Hopefully you have done this previously and just need to revisit, but if not now is a good time to start. Knowing what things are most important to you regarding your career is the first step. Then evaluate if there are possibilities for those things to be attained where you are. Also take a similar look regarding your personal desires. If you are able to satisfy a larger number of goals than not, it’s probably wise to stay where you are and plan a couple of different routes to maneuver to your next promotion.
If not or you truly hate one or more important components of your current situation, you should seriously consider a change. I would also warn you how crucial it is to figure out the culture of your company (both departmental and executive). Unfortunately, in my public sector experience I have seen people in leadership roles (both depatmental & executive) abuse their authority to build a negative power structure. They secure their positions by surrounding themselves with loyalists who all work to keep that structure in tact, even at the detriment of the department or organization.
Or similarly, leadership that paints everyone with a broad brush and refuses to use common sense and independent judgement in decision making. Instead, they have a ”one size fits all” approach to leadership because they are afraid or incompetent to address the real issues. It’s bad enough when this occurs at the department level, because it might be possible to transfer to a different department, but if this type of behavior is apparent at the executive level you need to plan to move on to something better.
-Roger Doddy, Public Works Project Manager at City of Hurst, TX

Posted by careersingov
Answered On June 14, 2013 9:19 am
0

”Servant Leadership” takes the concept of ”who is my customer?” in the right direction. I may have plenty of applicants with the needed technical skills, but a genuine attitude of willingness to serve is the critical cultural fit for public sector in today’s lean times. -Steve Groom, Chief Financial Officer for Beach Cities Health District

Posted by careersingov
Answered On June 13, 2013 8:03 pm
1

If you are thinking about pursuing a career in the public sector, make certain you are doing it for the right reasons. It is just as hard in the Public Sector as it is in the Private Sector, if not moreso. That said, if you are a person committed to the concept of servant leadership, have an entrepreneurial spirit and want to help others AND get paid for your efforts, now is a great time to seek employment in the public sector. Career opportunities are bright for folks who think outside the box and can bring new solutions to old problems that are complex and challenging. That is what I look for when making a hiring decision. Good luck! -Robert Hanna, City Manager, Denison, TX

Posted by careersingov
Answered On June 13, 2013 4:21 pm
0

3 things here are key, as I see things. Plainly said, how much do you like your zip code?…….in other words, are you open, or NOT open, to ever moving from the region, in which you now live? And….. How much do you like the cost of where your live or rent? And…. How much, at the core, do you like/perhaps dislike, your present job, or line of work…..let’s say, on a scale of 1-10? If you are OK……..Be patient?? Or, if not OK, time to plan to move, to new job? WATCH OUT though…. The job market is TOUGH!! You need to think over the many basics of your current job, FIRST… Are other city or county jobs options, nearby? Done… Michael Nagy

Posted by careersingov
Answered On June 13, 2013 2:14 pm
0

How well an organization develops and promotes its personnel is more unique to its leadership, values, culture, employment and staffing dynamics, and budgetary and other resources, than to which sector it belongs. Having said that, the public sector is typically strong in the areas of personnel classification and job descriptions (creating clear career pathways if done correctly), defined wage schedules, and fair and impartial hiring and promotional processes. However, many private firms have larger budgets to devote to training and professional development.

Posted by careersingov
Answered On June 10, 2013 9:22 am