The private sector is a very popular choice for government employees looking to switch careers. However, a career change is a big deal, so it’s important to do your research and be well informed before making a decision. Here are some of the things you can expect when transitioning from public to private sector.
Why Leave a Government Job?
There are several reasons why a person may want to leave their government job for the private sector. Some of these include:
- Politics. Government employees’ jobs are often subject to political changes based on the leadership in government. Some people find this element of the job unappealing.
- Pay. The private sector often pays a higher salary, making it an appealing choice.
- Benefits. Private sector jobs may offer higher-quality benefits like company cars or gym memberships.
- Interests. Sometimes people leave government jobs because they find the change of pace or opportunity for career growth more interesting in the private sector.
- Retirement. Sometimes, people who switch from a government job to the private sector can collect retirement benefits from a government pension plan and a retirement plan through the private employer.
Now that you know why people choose to leave a government job, you’re probably wondering what kind of employee benefits you can expect when transitioning from the public to private sector? Let’s take a look.
Benefits of the Public Sector
One of the most well-known benefits of a government job is a good retirement plan and health insurance coverage. Public sector jobs typically offer benefits like financial counseling, gyms, and on-site medical care. Public employers’ are also more likely to provide tuition assistance and guidance for professional development.
Benefits of Private Sector Jobs
Private sector employers typically offer higher salaries, more opportunities for growth and advancement, and better insurance coverage, vacation time, and annual bonuses. Some private sector employment also comes with profit-sharing opportunities, which does not exist in the public sector.
Pay will vary greatly based on the type of job. Lower-paid workers are typically paid less in public sector jobs but professional positions such as lawyers and accountants receive higher salaries in the private sector.
With government employees, there is less opportunity to negotiate wages. Pay is set by grades and raises are awarded across the board to everyone instead of recognizing an individual’s performance. However, jobs in the private sector offer a higher potential for salary growth.
Furthermore, it’s easier for employees in the private sector to move up because the company makes those decisions internally instead of based on a set of rules and regulations. Unlike public jobs, the private sector uses the prospect of a promotion or a raise to encourage high performance and motivate employees to do their best.
Generally, government employees have more job security. After the employee has passed the probationary period, it becomes extremely difficult to lay off or terminate them. Additionally, public sector jobs are not affected by market pressure. In the private sector, adverse economic environments can lead to terminated employees.
Another benefit is that government employees can easily transfer to another department when positions are posted, without the risk of losing their job. However, private sector employees don’t always have that option.
In the private sector, procurement of products, services and materials is much more efficient. While public sector requirements involve special permissions, rigid budgets and standard forms, private sector employment has much more flexibility. For example, a private sector employee may be given a general guideline for spending but have a company credit card and the freedom to make on-the-spot decisions about purchasing materials needed to do the job.
Advice on a Job Transition from Public to Private Sector in Northern Virginia
There are many benefits to transitioning from the public to the private sector. It is important to thoroughly consider the pros and cons of each option and make an informed decision. If you would like to learn more about how this career change would affect you financially, please contact Argent Bridge Advisors today.