This week our career series takes us to the door step of the inevitable public sector. Lots of young People today prefer to work in the private sector and they can give you a myriad of reasons. And can you blame them for that? The negative feedback is that getting a job in the public sector is almost as if one has decided to deliberately embark on a fruitless journey. The “whom you Know” or “Who Knows you” syndrome has made it impossible to get a job in the public sector. The closely guarded social class of glorified nepotism, and sometimes the most glaring form of incompetence is just off putting and could very well be responsible for why lots of us shy away from the public sector.
It’s time we saw the positive side of the public sector and channel our talent into helping our nation develop. Perhaps these points might help you decide whether you want to work in Ghana’s public sector or not.
Study Leave With Pay: The Public sector is literally the institution where you can “eat your cake and still have it”. Study leave means whilst you are on break studying, you get paid the same amount that you’d receive if you were working full time. Some of us cannot afford to quit our work completely to pursue educational goals considering the financial obligations that we may have to meet. Or where do you get money to foot your bills if you have to choose between the job and school. In the public sector you have this luxury. Once you get the go ahead, this educational and job freedom will prove to be extremely important. You can keep your job and go school all at the same time. Mostly you need to do two or more years on the job to qualify for a study leave with pay, which is quite reasonable.
No Overambitious Demands: I am a great fan of positive competition and competence because after you pass a test or make a milestone, you come out as a better person. And perhaps this might be one of the strong reasons why people choose the private sector over public service. However when employers set outrageous targets for their workers to achieve, work moves from comfortable to a nightmare and you keep wondering how you can meet those targets before the month ends. I’m not saying you shouldn’t work hard to meet your targets when you actually can. Sometimes you know the resources at your disposal and the environment you are working in just makes it impossible for you to succeed and bring remarkable results. Luckily in the public sector, you are not likely to face such situations. You can have your peace of mind. There are usually no targets but a set of routine task to do every time and this will invariably lead to a “routine specialization”, which is not particularly a bad thing so far as you enjoy your routine.
Specialization: The horizontal career path in the public sector gives you the chance to work and specialise in your line of work. You develop a skill set that is so valuable and sometimes unique to you. Unlike in the private sector where you can be reshuffled and reassigned three times in three years, the government sector is fairly stable. How then do you carve a niche for yourself in your area expertise when you have become and object of constant portfolio experiment? Once you gain employment in the Public sector, you immediately know your path to the “Top”. You only have to keep to Patience, that one day all your superiors retire and you will eventually reach where the “big bucks” are.
Government Sponsorship For Staff Upgrading: The government sponsors workers to further their education Both in Ghana and abroad. Bilateral relations with other countries and international organizations are rife in the government sector, which means that projects that come in through these partnerships normally require skill training or traveling abroad. These are opportunities for your taking. Immediately after you become a permanent staff, there are also opportunities for workshops and training program. Any focused person can make good all these opportunities.
Annual Leave: A Minimum 30 days annual leave minus weekends and holidays and 45 days for senior staff. Every government worker is entitled to this annual leave. If you are wondering what happens in the private sector then it will be half at best. 15 days at best for junior employees. I bet you can do something within that one month period.
Lots Of Time To Attend To Other Matters: Most government agencies do not have time trackers for their workers and this gives you enough room to operate as you don’t stick to a schedule and of a necessity perform a task even when its relevancy is undermined. And the best part is that staff convenience packages may even allow you to do six hours a day instead of the usual eight hours. If you want some time to attend to your personal business or enterprise.
You may also be interesting in reading about Recruitment in Ghana’s Public Sector. What you must know.
Think its time to make a shift to the Public Sector? Let us know in the comments.