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Two job offers from Civil Service (EO) - Unsure which one to choose

(25 Posts)
darkclouds001 Sat 26-Sep-20 00:55:48

Hello all,
To give you a bit of a background, I've never been a civil servant and always worked in private sector. I was made redundant due to Covid-19 as my work place shut down. I'm 30 years old and live in London. I've been applying for jobs in Civil Service for months and recently have finally been given two provisional job offers at EO grade. I'm completely torn and unsure which one to choose, as both seem like a great opportunity to break into Civil Service, and the job roles also sound very interesting.

Both roles are at EO grade. One is Business Support Officer (Learning & Development at Capabilities Team) at Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. The other one is Work Coach at Department for Work and Pensions. The role at MHCLG is a permanent contract, with salary of £27,300; whereas the role at DWP is an 18-month contract, with salary of £31,060 (it was initially 12 months but they just confirmed they would be extending it to 18 months). I love the sound of both, as the job descriptions sound very promising, especially for someone breaking into Civil Service.

In MHCLG, I love the fact that I'd be organising learning and development events, managing Fast Streamers and promoting talent, inclusive careers and building Capability strategies. With the DWP role, I'm excited about the fact, as a Work Coach, I'd be making big difference to people's lives, supporting them in getting back to work, building relationships with all sorts of people from different walks of life.

MHCLG would be working from home (depending on Covid situation), DWP is working from an allocated Job Centre (although customers don't go into Job Centres because of the pandemic and all the communication is done digitally or via phone calls). After the pandemic, it would all anyway be from the office.

I'm tempted to go for the 18-month role at DWP as it is paid almost £4,000 more pa and will allow me to save considerably more. However, the comforting fact that the MHCLG role is permanent and performed from home is also tempting, even though it pays less. With DWP, all my pre-employment checks are almost complete and I could start within 3 weeks, whereas MHCLG haven't started my checks yet and I'd need to wait until at least mid November to start. I'm unemployed currently, with some savings left, so it doesn't matter massively, but still.

Can anyone offer any insight into my problem, perhaps any existing Civil Servants with similar positions that could maybe advise on the choice? Which role gives me more transferable skills or more solid background for any future progression in Civil Service? Are there any existing Work Coaches here that give me any insight into "the average day" of the job?

Thank you so much.

OP’s posts: |
RubixMania Sat 26-Sep-20 00:59:31

Personally the salaries are close enough that I would just prioritise the permanent role.

There will be plenty of opportunities to move up or jump sideways within the CS in the coming years where you can choose your favourite role to apply for...but none of those opportunities matter if you’re out on your ear in 18 months!

Evangelinedream Sat 26-Sep-20 01:20:34

Hi, I’m a civil servant. My first reaction was to say go for the permanent role as it’s more secure. However, 18 months is a long time, and gives you a foot in the door to apply for similar roles once you’re done. I think you should go for the one that interests you and your long term career interests most. Even the temporary role gives you access to the civil service jobs site which shows positions which aren’t open to the general public.

Congrats on the offers too!

bethany39 Sat 26-Sep-20 01:34:16

I'd go for the MHCLG one personally (career civil servant). It sounds more interesting and there's always opportunity to progress in the civil service.

Whatdowehaveherethen Sat 26-Sep-20 01:37:08

Hi OP, I'm a civil servant in one of the roles you've mentioned.

There are a huge number of work coaches being recruited at the moment. All on temporary contracts whether that's 12 or 18 months. It's extremely likely these won't be renewed once we're past Covid. Everybody on a temporary contract will be given support to find a permanent one before the contract ends but were in unprecedented times and the competition will be off the scale. There simply won't be enough work. If I was you, I'd go with the permanent contract. It's what I'd do. Good luck and I hope you enjoy your work no matter what you chose grin

upsidedownwavylegs Sat 26-Sep-20 04:58:01

Also a civil servant - take the MHCLG job.

Monty27 Sat 26-Sep-20 05:03:09

The second sounds more interesting to me. 18 months is a longish contract and could open wider doors.
Congratulations OP well done. I wish you well smile

plantfolk Sat 26-Sep-20 05:52:55

I'd go for the first one. Sounds like a job that could lead to progression and it's permanent

darkclouds001 Sat 26-Sep-20 13:54:03

Thank you everyone. Does any of the civil servants know how you move from one department to another? Let's say I take a Work Coach 18month fixed term role, and start looking straight after probation. If I'm successful at interviews, do I just switch the "core" department? What happens to my salary, if I earn £31k but later move to an EO role which pays £28k, do I keep my £31k or do I need to downgrade? I know there are things like 'loans' from other departments, not sure I understand that.

OP’s posts: |
PerpendicularVincent Sun 27-Sep-20 11:01:56

I'd take the MHCLG role every time. It's permanent, sounds like you'd develop some fantastic planning and HR skills and you can move up in the organisation.

I'd avoid the other one as it isn't permanent, from what a PP said may not go permanent, and sounds quite stressful - I'd worry that I'd be subject to abuse, too.

Well done on the 2 offers though, that's amazing!

bethany39 Sun 27-Sep-20 13:18:08

darkclouds001

Thank you everyone. Does any of the civil servants know how you move from one department to another? Let's say I take a Work Coach 18month fixed term role, and start looking straight after probation. If I'm successful at interviews, do I just switch the "core" department? What happens to my salary, if I earn £31k but later move to an EO role which pays £28k, do I keep my £31k or do I need to downgrade? I know there are things like 'loans' from other departments, not sure I understand that.

If you're a permanent civil servant you'll be able to apply for internal jobs in other departments on civil service jobs that will only appear for existing civil servants. Idk if the same would apply on the fixed term contract.

All the moves I've ever done between departments I've been allowed to keep my existing salary if new dept would be lower, but I don't know if that's universal across the whole CS.

Redwrecker Tue 29-Sep-20 13:58:55

First one for me, I hve not heard good things from Work Coach roles and A friend who does the job suggests its a very specific personality type that does not get ground down by it.

Whatdowehaveherethen Tue 29-Sep-20 23:56:50

@darkclouds001 if you find an alternative position after probation you will likely get the pay advertised. Again, and I can't say this enough, thousands of work coaches are being recruited at the moment on a temporary basis. When your contracts come to an end, you will all be applying for the same permanent vacancies. I strongly suggest you take up the permanent one you've been offered. That way, after probation, you can have access to internal CS jobs if you want to move.

friskybivalves Wed 30-Sep-20 00:14:39

Definitely take the permanent role. L&D going to be a huge focus of forthcoming CS reform. MHCLG a nice dept with chilled people and Marsham St not a bad office at all if you end up going back to work. Fixed term contracts are a pain - people on them start getting very jumpy pretty soon. That feeling of the sands of time running out...Mortgage lenders and credit check agencies aren't very confident about them either.

(Have you thought about seeing if MHCLG would come up a bit towards the DWP offer?)

Also - once you're in and in a perm contract you can apply for heaps of jobs. But not so easy from a fixed term contract basis.

Anothernamebitesthedust Wed 30-Sep-20 09:23:31

Definitely the MHCLG. It definitely sounds as far better in terms of career prospects and development. And 18 months sounds like a long time but it flies by and before you know it, you and loads of other work coaches will be competing for the same jobs. Meanwhile if you’re at MHCLG, if you’ve done week and priced yourself you could be looking towardspromotion to HO in 18 months.

Anothernamebitesthedust Wed 30-Sep-20 09:24:25

*done well and proved yourself 🙄

Fightthebear Wed 30-Sep-20 09:30:54

Congratulations.

Definitely the MHCLG role. The civil service invests a lot in learning & development of it’s staff and this could lead you to a long career with significant progression. Also, civil servants are generally a pleasant lot to work with.

The work coach role sounds like it has a lot less long term development opportunities.

unicornpower Thu 01-Oct-20 09:59:24

Go for the permanent role, In my experience in the CS the temporary contracts are rarely renewed.

darkclouds001 Sat 10-Oct-20 23:18:30

Thank you everyone for all your messages! This has been a great advice. I decided to go for the MHCLG job and withdrew from the DWP role. Your advice was really helpful and for sure, job security and permanent contract is a win win! Thanks again all, and have a lovely weekend smile

OP’s posts: |
Lindtnotlint Sat 10-Oct-20 23:35:44

Irrelevant now, but to reassure, you have done the DEFINITELY RIGHT THING. well done, congrats and have a fab time!

darkclouds001 Sun 11-Oct-20 02:36:04

Thanks @Lindtnotlint smile

OP’s posts: |
Carolhh Sun 11-Oct-20 18:49:14

excellent choice made. how are you finding the role? has it started? best wishes

darkclouds001 Sun 11-Oct-20 18:56:01

Carolhh

excellent choice made. how are you finding the role? has it started? best wishes

Thank you! Not yet unfortunately, I've been undergoing the pre-employment checks for some time now, there's a CTC associated with the role so this takes up to 6 weeks to complete! waiting game now...

OP’s posts: |
Smallereveryday Sun 11-Oct-20 20:00:13

Another civil servant here - so glad you chose the permanent role.. so much opportunity across the CS once you are 'in' .. as most CS jobs are offered internally first.. but you need a CS email in order to register .

Hope the new job goes well but If not just get on to www.civilservicejobs.gov.uk and make sure you are registered for internal post.

darkclouds001 Sun 11-Oct-20 21:01:07

Smallereveryday

Another civil servant here - so glad you chose the permanent role.. so much opportunity across the CS once you are 'in' .. as most CS jobs are offered internally first.. but you need a CS email in order to register .

Hope the new job goes well but If not just get on to www.civilservicejobs.gov.uk and make sure you are registered for internal post.

Thank you! I heard about many opportunities, so this is great to hear. I've applied to so many places, and got quite a few interviews... I'm telling you, I was fed up with the CS Behaviours and scenarios, it can really get boring! And to think each recruitment requires Behaviours scenarios and to talk about them... Oh well, I'll have a small break from it now when I got the role smile

OP’s posts: |

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