A choice between two similar enticing job offers from the civilian and federal sectors can make any job-seeker feel confused. The differences between civilian and federal worlds are not so obvious as you may think looking at the list of government job titles for the first time. Here are the four important aspects of employment within the public and private sectors to consider and decide what position is more correlated with your ambitions and goals.
1. Aspect of Benefits
The federal sector tends to have better benefits, if added to the average salaries they can bring good results. The perks of federal employment include solid tuition assistance, attractive retirement plans, paid vacation, sick leave and holidays, steady raises, as well as insurance policies with decent coverage.
As a rule, great work-life balance and compensatory benefits of government jobs outweigh significant bonuses of the private sector. However, large corporations are more generous as to salary than the federal sector is. In addition, private sector employers are willing to offer other perks, such as flexible schedules, remote working options, and coffee and snacks in the office.
2. Job Security Aspect
Though the down economy and budget cuts have caused people to become less optimistic about their security, job opportunities within the federal sector mean a steady income and confidence about the future. Federal employees are eligible to enjoy lifetime retirement benefits and significant pensions that depend on the number of years served and the job responsibilities.
Government jobs provide the most comprehensive retirement savings plan you could ever get. A flexible Spending Account is helpful to save money for daily expenditures, and the Long-Term Care Insurance Plan offers a provision for times when people are no longer able to earn due to an injury or a long-term chronic illness.
3. Wage Aspect
Salary is a common dilemma that should be considered within the context of everything else. Federal wage is a framework set by pay grades that can hardly be negotiated. As workers are awarded across the board, raises and promotions are never encouraged by competition or high performance.
The type of job factors in compensation differences as well. The positions where professional background matters, such as lawyers and accountants, receive higher salaries in the private sector. Another advantage of the private sector jobs is showing off more potential for salary growth and promotions as the companies are not restricted with a set of rules and regulations.
4. Job Satisfaction Aspect
The blue ribbon is that the government focuses on providing services to the community, and private sector employment is aimed at producing a profit by selling products and services to people in the community.
The nature of working for the government makes employees feel good about what they do, helping people and providing valuable services to their communities. Private sector employees are driven more by profit than by a desire to do good, and this fact makes them feel they are doing what the customers want.
Employment in each sector can bring in perks and pitfalls. If you prefer mobility and lack of bureaucracy you should look for private employment opportunities within the Dictionary of Occupational Outlook. Major corporations can afford you similar perks as the federals offer.
On the other hand, government jobs provide stability and security. It’s practically impossible to be fired there. If you visit USAJobs or the US Office of Personnel Management’s site to check job openings, you’ll see that the benefits from the government are generally superb.
Think about what kind of job best fits your talents, skills, education, and experience. Try to find out whether it is time, satisfaction, appreciation, or money that you enjoy more. Do your own research and speak to people in both sectors to get their take on why they prefer one sector over the other.
And whatever your choice, there really isn’t a wrong answer. Both the public and private sectors afford exciting opportunities to adapt and overcome challenges.
Author’s Bio: Daniella Henderson knows all ins and outs of the federal hiring process. She is excellent at job-hunting strategies, starting from federal resume writing to the final stage of interview conduction.