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After 12 years in public sector employment, how much of a risk is it to work in private industry?

(9 Posts)
Ceebee74 Tue 10-Jul-07 08:41:48

I have worked in public sector jobs all my working life (12 years). I have been back in my current job for 6 months after maternity leave, working 3 days a week, and I am not happy there anymore (no reduction in workload, my manager seems to have had a personality change and lots of other little things).

Have seen a job advertised for part-time - I meet all the criteria, it is 5 minutes drive away (I currently drive 20 minutes on a good day), same money - but it is for a (international) private company.

Part-time jobs in my line of work are very few and far between - so it does seem too good an opportunity to pass up but I am scared about taking the leap into the uncertainty of the private sector after being 'protected and secure' so to speak for so long.

Please reassure me that working for a private company isn't as bad as I have made out in my head!

slug Tue 10-Jul-07 09:05:45

Could it be any worse than it is now? Remember just how hard it is in the public sector to get rid of all those idiots who have gotten themselves a secure job then battened down the hatches and barely do any work. In the private sector there is the opportunity for pay rises on merit and bonuses.

There's no harm in applying. You can always change your mind after the interview.

Ceebee74 Tue 10-Jul-07 09:15:12

I know exactly what you mean - whilst I was on maternity leave, my organisation merged with 3 others and we all hoped that those 'idiot's that have done exactly what you described would be made redundant - ha, no chance, instead jobs were literally created for them - and I wonder why I am so disillusioned.

I am talking myself into it - I am definitely going to apply but just trying to get my head round the decision should I be lucky enough to get offered the job.

HandbagAddiction Tue 10-Jul-07 09:17:32

I agree with Slug - you have absolutely nothing to lose by applying for it and then, if you get the opportunity, going for an interview. You could then use the interview to ask any questions about the longevity of the role, further development possibilities, type of company, culture, people you'll be working with, etc. etc.

Mossy Tue 10-Jul-07 09:20:55

Ceebee, I used to get lots of people from public sector coming to see me because they wanted a job in the private sector (I was a recruitment consultant).

Go for it, but bear in mind the following:

Few private sector jobs have anything near the number of "perks" as public sector. Lots of my candidates were shocked to find they didn't have the same pension, or didn't get a pension at all, didn't get flexi-time, didn't get even nearly the same amount of holidays and didn't get structured pay grades.

And then they would fall down on the interview because they would make it their job to ask about the holidays, pensions, sick leave (no, really, people actually asked about this at interview) etc.

Good luck, it can't hurt to apply, just make sure you're prepared you may get better pay but get fewer benefits.

flowerybeanbag Tue 10-Jul-07 10:39:49

Agree with Mossy, people migrating from public to private sector often have a rude awakening in terms of benefits!

But working in the private sector may be a breath of fresh air in many ways. Go for it, but be prepared to convince a potential employer that so many years in the public sector are not a bad thing, some private sector employers may see it as a disadvantage, as the culture is very different.

Good luck!

Ceebee74 Tue 10-Jul-07 11:25:57

Thanks everyone for your advice. I am aware of the lack of 'benefits' in the private sector - but I am not on flexi-time at the moment so that is not an issue.

The job does have a contributory pension scheme - but that is all I know. I guess I will need to get full information re holidays etc if I get offered it and then make a decision with all the facts.

I am also panicking already about the interview (if I get one) - funny thing is I have done literally hundreds from the other side of the fence but it is SO different the other way round

sallywally27 Tue 10-Jul-07 21:38:59

Hi - just thought I'd say - I moved from public sector to a big corporate 5 yrs ago and have no regrets. Depending on the size of the company, you might find it's not all that different. Also, if it's a reasonable sized company, there may be different benefits that you wouldn't get in public sector. Also, my experience from a flexible work point of view is that the private sector has treated me well - in particular, I was 6 months pregnant with dd when 2 yr old ds was diagnosed with leukaemia. Big corporate immediately put me on paid compassionate leave until my mat leave was due to start then after 52 wks mat leave and 8 wks parental are letting me have another 6 months off (altho now unpaid). And I even got my bonus...! So I say go fo it and good luck

Nightynight Tue 10-Jul-07 22:18:13

It depends on the company and the industry, really.
I worked for a company that was taken over by an american investment house once. There were redundancies every 6 months. But this was during a huge depression in our industry.
You have to try and see these sort of things coming (eg if your skill is going to go out of fashion or become outdated).

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