Are you looking for a job environment where you’re provided on the job training?
Do you prefer a ‘scrappy’ business setting?
Does working for your city or town interest you?
Job seekers have many decisions to make. Along with overthinking if you should update your social profiles again or if you should wear a suit, your preference and adaptability regarding different job sectors will inevitably be another decision. The public, private and non-profit sectors all have their own rewards, opportunities, and challenges and it’s up to you to decide what best represents your style of work.
“I enjoy stability, an unambiguous pay-scale, and good benefits”
The public sector constitutes public goods and government services such as public education or law enforcement. Employees who work within this sector enjoy a level of job security that is not offered in private or non-profit organizations. For instance, you wouldn’t have to worry about a possible merger or being sold off to a private company. If you’re interested in making a difference, there are many types of public sector jobs you can explore.
Although a government job offers steady raises and good health benefits/retirement plans there are of course challenges such as slow growth and lack of control. Bureaucracy frustrates both citizens and governmental workers where formal processes are the name of the game.
“I’m looking for significant advancement opportunities, cutting-edge projects, and a high earning potential”
Private sector jobs in the US offer an incredible opportunity for personal and professional advancement with a nice salary to match. According to the National Treasury Employees Union, employees working the private sector received up to a 26% higher salary than federal employees with similar roles. Private sector companies, or ‘for profit’ organizations, offer less bureaucratic protocols which equates to new project approvals and faster iteration in general.
Private sector opportunities also have its challenges. More job instability and less of a guarantee that you’ll be provided with a good healthcare package is a reality that some jobseekers can’t afford to face.
“I’m seeking meaningful work, flexibility, and a highly motivated group of coworkers”
Non-profit organizations consist of both public charities and private foundations and in many ways represents a hybrid of both sectors (i.e.: non-profits/NGOs receive better treatment by the government and are viewed charitably by citizens).
A non-profit organization allows for a great deal of opportunity, as the average employee may find themselves wearing many hats given that their workforce is often understaffed. You will have opportunities to learn what every level of management does (including your boss’ boss) and quickly grow far beyond “your” role. For example, you could be a financial analyst helping to organize the annual gala or the office administrator doing grant research. If you want experience working across various departments and a way to change careers easily, the non-profit sector represents a great way for ambitious people to find on the job training.
Cons? The nonprofit sector faces unique stresses and daily challenges. For one, working environments may consist of antiquated technology and fewer resources. Many well-intentioned people get easily burned out being stretched too thin especially when the stakes are higher.
Whether you decide to start applying to a city job, local start-up or charity there are varying pros and cons you must weigh. Depending on your individual career goals you may find something that either frustrates you or takes your career to new heights.
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