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Unhappy Private Sector to Civil Service

(17 Posts)
feellikezerobucks Fri 21-Aug-20 13:20:50

I know this has been done to death but I'm interviewing for a CS role next month having previously only ever worked in the private sector (15 years experience).

As with most moves from private to public sector there would be a drop in salary which equates to a £500 per month take home reduction.

The reason I have been looking is that I don't really enjoy my job. I admit I have impostor syndrome and have been thinking that I should look for a career change completely but as I am the higher earner it isn't that simple....

In my current role I WFH as standard (even before covid) but could go to a local office if I wanted. I only ever went about once a week as my team work remotely but now they have got rid of that office so I am 100% WFH, which I have realised it not something I enjoy. I am not motivated and prefer to have people to bounce off with (useful given my profession).

My current employer are owned by a PE firm so I would be looking to move to the CS for more stability (we are looking at being sold by 2022) and a better work/home balance.
My current role offers great flexibility (which I need with 2 kids and a husband working pre allocated shifts) but there is also the expectation that I will be available after my finish time/check emails whilst on leave etc, so I'm finding I don't really switch off.

My husband thinks I don't know how lucky I have it as some days I do tend to chill more than work, but in the same vain by boss is a self proclaimed megalomaniac which means most emails I receive from her fill me with anxiety!

Basically, those currently working in the CS, would you recommend it?
Is there job security, good pensions and flexibility or is is still institutionalised (although my interview is for a newly formed department) and a constant battle against red tape.

Last year I got offered a great job, they offered to match my salary however no WFH due to the nature of the work and I ended it turning down due to pressure from my son as he was saying he likes me collecting him from school etc and after (the small amount) of childcare costs I would be worse off, which was true but I'm still so regretful that I didn't just accept it!

Any insight would be great.
My husband has concerns that I'm never happy at work but I feel my current role has just impounded that....

Sorry, that was long!!!

OP’s posts: |
Grumpsy Sun 23-Aug-20 17:22:38

I’m not in the civil service any more but it’s where I started my career (graduate scheme). After my graduate scheme I made the jump the other way and it’s not been something I’ve regretted.

That being said there are definite benefits to working for the civil service. The pension is the biggest draw, defined benefit so the ultimate level of income protection for retirement, although it is now linked to state retirement age.

Another benefit is flexi time - although I’m not sure if this is the same with all departments it is with most. This basically gives you ultimate flexibility over your time.

The one thing I found frustrating was the red tape and slow progress. At time’s it felt like I was in an episode of yes minister, but then I’ve never been the most patient of people.

My OH still is a civil servant, so if you have any questions let me know.

DrDreReturns Sun 23-Aug-20 17:30:54

I went from civil service to private business about a decade ago. The pension was way better in the civil service but the salary wasn't. I work slightly longer hours now but nothing major (40 instead of 40 hours per week.) I work for a SME and there is very little bureaucracy compared to the civil service. I remember it taking about a day to buy a computer in the CS.) In my experience the internal politics was worse in the CS, but that may just be where I have been working.

DrDreReturns Sun 23-Aug-20 17:36:14

Oh I've thought of something else. The appraisal process in the CS, which is linked to getting a pay rise (or it used to be.) It was a horrendous performance matrix and people spent days getting evidence for it. The MD would go mad if people spent that amount of time on it where I work now. It's a much more efficient process in my current workplace.

Grumpsy Sun 23-Aug-20 17:39:18

@DrDreReturns yes the 9 box grid with a set percentage of numbers needing to fit in each box!

DrDreReturns Sun 23-Aug-20 17:49:20

I meant to say 40 instead of 37 hours early!

mrsbyers Sun 23-Aug-20 18:17:11

I moved last year , never regretted it for a single second - it’s a lot more modern as I expected and there are so many opportunities to learn and progress. Pension Is excellent , flexi at certain grades , decent holidays - those in themselves can more than make up for a drop in pay

feellikezerobucks Sun 23-Aug-20 18:35:10

Thanks all!

I keep wavering between doing the interview and not....I'm over thinking it with the behaviours and technical competencies.

The role is a slightly different specialism to what I'm used to. I only had 1 behaviour and 2 competencies on the application and I had to rack my brains for examples (and maybe slight embellish them!) but the interview will be 3 behaviours and 4 competencies some of which I could link to my application examples, but not sure if I should have 7 different examples...

It just seems such a lot of prep for a role I'm not sure about and a nearly 20% payout!!!

No idea what to do and I'm never a defeatist normally!

OP’s posts: |
DrDreReturns Sun 23-Aug-20 18:48:09

There's nothing to be lost by doing the interview (except time!) so I'd do it and see how you feel afterwards.

feellikezerobucks Tue 25-Aug-20 19:34:38

Just to update...I did the interview today.
I was super nervous prior but it seemed to go well and it finished with us all laughing!

If I got offered it, I think I would accept it due to the development/progression possibilities and stability.

Thanks for all the info and advice grin

OP’s posts: |
CleanandJerk Tue 25-Aug-20 19:50:01

It might depend on the service/dept./organisation. I moved to the CS last year and the area I am in is very bureaucratic, values experience within the organisation only (real culture of serving your time), and the flexi offered with the job cannot be taken by people in our area.
There's also a rotten atmosphere. I can't wait to leave.
I know others working in the CS who have a completely different experience!

Grumpsy Wed 26-Aug-20 09:20:26

CleanandJerk

It might depend on the service/dept./organisation. I moved to the CS last year and the area I am in is very bureaucratic, values experience within the organisation only (real culture of serving your time), and the flexi offered with the job cannot be taken by people in our area.
There's also a rotten atmosphere. I can't wait to leave.
I know others working in the CS who have a completely different experience!

I think it depends on department and your personality and what you want out of your career.

I was not happy there, it’s slow, bureaucratic and I found it tedious. My OH is still there and is excelling in his function, and this was the same organisation in the CS.

On thing that can be said about the CS is that they are great at investing in training for their employees, be it professional qualifications or an MBA.

feellikezerobucks Fri 04-Sep-20 13:43:45

I got the job grin

OP’s posts: |
Grumpsy Fri 04-Sep-20 15:00:45

feellikezerobucks

I got the job grin

Massive congratulations 🥳

feellikezerobucks Fri 04-Sep-20 17:30:47

Thank you @Grumpsy, fingers crossed my experience is more like your husbands rather than yours (no offence!)

OP’s posts: |
Grumpsy Fri 04-Sep-20 17:34:54

feellikezerobucks

Thank you *@Grumpsy*, fingers crossed my experience is more like your husbands rather than yours (no offence!)

None taken 😂 to be fair I was Young when I worked there, overly ambitious and severely lacking in patience. My OH is much more chilled than I am (I also like to think I’ve mellowed with age).

Grumpsy Fri 04-Sep-20 17:37:31

Also - whilst I found it tedious, there is no denying the benefits of working there, with the pension and the work life balance.

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