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To ask which is best; working for private sector or public sector?

(40 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Sat 14-Jun-14 00:24:13

Experience from those who have worked in both. I currently work as a teacher and I must admit I am in it mostly because the holidays are convenient with a small child. I am fed up with the ever changing goal posts, constant criticism and general crazy work load.
What other jobs could I do with an English degree and pgce which involve my skills being appreciated.
In teaching the students get the last word nowadays...even though I have a degree and they haven't even got their gcses yet. hmm I'd love to go into more detail but I don't feel quite safe yet.

MamaMumra Sat 14-Jun-14 00:55:53

Hmm. I've worked in both sectors (healthcare) and I would say on balance, public sector. Better pay and conditions and just felt more relevant.
However private sector has been less bureaucratic and given me more flexibility.
I do miss working for the public sector and it sits better with my ideals.

MamaMumra Sat 14-Jun-14 00:57:17

Do you have colleagues teaching in private schools? What about adult education?

BlameItOnTheMoonlight Sat 14-Jun-14 01:12:10

Teaching? Definitely private in my experience.

Smaller classes
Longer holidays
Less behavioural issues
Better support
More, better resources
More flexibility in curriculum
Less stupid bureaucratic hoops


less personal sense of achievement (IMO)
More demanding parents
Greater sense of everything being the teacher's fault (pressure to achieve, pressure to Do The Right Thing, lack of accountability for parents)
Less of a sense from leadership that the kids' wellbeing comes first (often results, money, bums on seats etc.)

Just my experience

wobblyweebles Sat 14-Jun-14 03:51:00

ever changing goal posts, constant criticism and general crazy work load

I work in the private sector (not teaching) and I'd say this about sums it up...

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 14-Jun-14 05:54:46

I've worked in both although it was a long time ago in the public sector. The hours and conditions were better in public sector for those at a junior level in my profession but the scope for career advancement was very limited.

The area I eventually ended up specialising in, which I enjoy , doesn't exist within the public sector.

superstarheartbreaker Sat 14-Jun-14 05:55:16

Private schools are very tough tbh. I just resigned from one as teachers are little more than servants for spoilt children's' parents.
I also felt pressure to inflate assessment grades to please parents and bolster school reputation.

superstarheartbreaker Sat 14-Jun-14 05:56:47

I now work in state and I much prefer it... Much more 'normal.'

dementedma Sat 14-Jun-14 06:35:19

Private every time, not just education but other areas. Public is better pay and condition but much more red tape and endless meetings with nothing getting done.

VashtaNerada Sat 14-Jun-14 06:42:35

I'm in the public sector but the perks we had a decade ago (good pay, decent pension, work/life balance) have all gone now. Sadly I think the answer might be that both are a bit crap!

Auntimatter Sat 14-Jun-14 06:49:03

In my field pay in the public sector is significantly worse. There is loads of obsession with process and it can be utterly maddening when the default answer to any suggestion is "no". The political interference and bad-mouthing is probably the worst thing. Positives include better pension (not as good as it was!), interesting work you can't do in the private sector and a feeling of there being a real purpose to what you do: it's not just about making profit for the owners.

Private sector is far less bureaucratic, much more get-up-and go. And significantly better paid. But time sheets, people breathing down your neck and massively stressing (not always necessary), plus what you do has no lasting impact.

I moved from private to public and am still here. All jobs have their down-sides, it's just a question of choosing what fits best with your lifestyle, values, priorities, etc.

shockinglybadteacher Sat 14-Jun-14 07:41:24

Private sector to public sector here (despite my username I haven't taught for a long time though, so don't know about teaching). Definitely prefer the public sector by a mile.

The pay is shit and there's constant attacks on you in the media. There's also strong unions and a real sense of achievement. Where I work I see real things happen that I know I have had a hand in, things that change people's lives. I can look at stuff and say "I helped do that". In the private sector, my achievements were all for someone else - the boss, the "team", the company - and were sometimes actively harmful to society. In the public sectorI feel like what I do is for everyone.

Bit idealistic perhaps and doesn't always get you through the day, but it's a good feeling smile

soverylucky Sat 14-Jun-14 07:55:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HPparent Sat 14-Jun-14 07:59:32

I have worked in both. Money and perks a lot better in the private sector - lunches in Paris, presents, free wine etc. I switched to the public sector because of flexi time. I really like working for the public benefit and found people who genuinely teamwork; hardworking pleasant colleagues. I found much more backbiting and laziness in the private sector. The money is rubbish though, effective paycuts every year.

HPparent Sat 14-Jun-14 08:01:20

soverylucky, I hope your post is ironic, or I take it you don't work in the public sector.

LadyCybilCrawley Sat 14-Jun-14 08:02:17

There is no "better"
There is only different
The key is to know yourself and work out which you need

ballinacup Sat 14-Jun-14 08:02:27

I worked in the NHS and then switched to private legal practice when I qualified. In the NHS I got:

- guaranteed incremental payrise each year
- seven weeks annual leave each year
- the option to work flexi time
- job security

In the private sector I have had:

- generally lower wages
- two significant paycuts
- three restructures in as many years and all the panic that brings
- bullying management/hr
- statutory minimum everything including leave, smp and ssp
- no pension and wages so low I can't afford to contribute to a private one

However, I accept I work for a thoroughly shit company and many private sector workers will have had a very different experience to me.

Semolinafortea Sat 14-Jun-14 08:02:57

Public sector for many years, but before that always private companies. Pay is very much better here, as are hours, working conditions, pension etc. I have found the culture of blaming bankers and the Conservative party for every problem really difficult to swallow. I've been to training and conferences that have sounded like rallies for the labour party before now, which have deeply pissed me off.

SecretSpy Sat 14-Jun-14 08:07:01

I worked in nhs for a long time and now private sector for health care.
Pay is worse but more flexible, more training, surprisingly organised in some ways. eg I have been paid on time with p60 on time shock and uniform didn't need lots of forms and a long wait.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how much more I get treated like a human in my current post.

RuddyDuck Sat 14-Jun-14 08:15:44

I haven't ever worked in the privatecsector but have shuffled between voluntary sector and public sector.

When working for charities I have had:
● More creativity in the work ( you have an idea, you can explore it without having to go through 4 managers and 2 vommittees)
● More flexibility with working hours
● More holiday (28 days per annum in last job)
● Crap pension arrangements
● Lower pay

In public sector I have had
● very little flexibility in hours despite promises of flexible working
● ridiculous work loads
● crap holiday allowance (22 days per annum)
● Better pay ( but still way below equivalent job in the private sector, so not great)
● Better pension arrangements, although again not as good as private sector -career average rather than final salary, and pension date has just been moved to 67 (was 65 previously)

I think there are pros and cons to any job.

Trills Sat 14-Jun-14 08:36:58

I agree with LadyCybil.

YABU to think we can answer this for you.

It will depend on the type of work, the particular company in the private sector, and your personal preferences.

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 14-Jun-14 09:28:18

superstar I have to say your description of teaching in a private school doesn't ring a single bell for me in relation to the committed and professional teaching staff I met at my son's school.

As for "spoilt children" according to my son the school stamped heavily on any notion the children were better than their state peers

Auntimatter Sat 14-Jun-14 09:33:39

RuddyDuck, it may have been a typo but "vomittees" is excellent.

Jelliebabe2 Sat 14-Jun-14 09:48:01

Wowie! Can't believe that so many of you have better pay in public sector!

I'm private, hubby public, he does have a good pension but I earn better money, he has more holidays but he works with idiots that that can't get rid of, they'd be sacked in 2 minutes in my place as everyone HAS to pull there own weight!

I love my job, oh loves his - we both would swap so its up to you! Suck it and see as they say

Jelliebabe2 Sat 14-Jun-14 09:49:34

Sorry - we both wouldn't swap! Blimmin phone!

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