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Civil Service Resignation

  • 23-11-2021 1:23am
    Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

    I can't be the only civil servant thinking of quitting in favour of a private sector job. Who else is?

    Has anyone else resigned from the civil service recently (or in recent years) and would you mind sharing your story?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,167 ✭✭✭BKWDR

    And equally there are plenty of people quitting private sector jobs who are applying for public sector jobs.

    Sometimes the grass isn't always greener. There are people and jobs that are mindless and frustrating in all walks of life. I've had friends move from public to private and regret it and try get back when their family situation changed etc

    Make a list of why you are thinking of leaving and see if you can put anything in place to counter it or change it. But depends on how long are you in the civil service , your age and point in your life, these are the things that make it more daunting i suppose

  • Wouldnt blame a lot of new entrants for looking at things and wondering about their lot

    All I'd say is you've to have a long term view and it's no harm to get proactive about your plans if where you are isn't working, but patience is often required and I know (and remember well!) that it can be hard before you start climbing the ladder

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,149 ✭✭✭Augme

    What traditionally made the civil service an attractive employer has now disappeared. There's no flexi tine and the work life balance has disappeared working remotely.

    If you've been on the PUP for the last few 18 months you've been earning not far off the same amount of month as a new clerical officer in the civil service.

    What the future holds for the civil service seems so uncertain. How will hybrid working go, will flexi only be available if in the office etc etc. What does the wage increase situation look like given the current government finances.

    It's a bleak future ahead for the civil service imo. I wouldn't blame anyone for looking to go out at this juncture.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,011 ✭✭✭salonfire

    Rubbish. Civil and public servants are forever poor mouthing and moaning about their lot. That feeds into a lot of the negativity felt by all staff as well.

    Clerical officers are unskilled and not trained in a profession/trade. Of course they start off low, just like they would in something like retail. They have endless opertunitlies to upskill and progress, not so much available in low paid private sector companies, e.g. study leave. With yearly pay increases plus a promotion or two, a civil servant would have a solid income after a while.

    Working a strict 9-5 gives plenty of work-like balance with generous annual leave, especially as it looks WFH could be a permanent option removes commuting. Exactly how much time off do you people want?

    For those looking for opertunites outside Dublin and major cities, the civil/public service is one of the few viable options. People know this, which is why there is such competition to get in.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 153 ✭✭the explorer

    It can be a difficult decision to make alright. You might look back in 15 years and think 'what if?', but you could also end up been made redundant in the private sector in your 50s with little chance of getting back to where you were ( I have seen this happen a number of times, particularly to men). I suppose if you enjoy the work to an extent and have other interests outside of work its not the worst, not forgetting the possibility to take 40+ days off with flexi (which I know is suspended with WFH).

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,407 ✭✭✭embraer170

    WFH seems to be the equivalent of permanent flexi leave for some people I know both in the public and private sector.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,485 ✭✭✭enricoh

    The grass probably is greener at the minute in the private sector as companies have to outbid each other.

    However Ireland is possibly overdue a recession at this stage, it looks like Ireland will be less attractive to MNCs in the future. It all depends whether u've big mortgage, dependants etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,861 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

    People forget that flexi isn't free time off. Its time in lieu of extra work done.

    But I agree with the rest of the post 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 153 ✭✭the explorer

    Another thought, with inflation hitting 5-6% this year, will public sector worker's incomes devalue in real terms over the next year or 2 with the 1%/€500 annual increases. The government were lucky that they signed the 2 year pay agreement in 2020 rather than this year when inflation started to take off. I certainly couldn't see the government offering higher for 2022 than the 1% next October, I doubt there would be any serious threat of industrial action either. In a sense there is a trade off to having a permanent job, but over a few years of even 3-4% inflation it will start to add up.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

    Reigniting this discussion. Thank you for your responses.

    The reason I want to leave is because I have expertise in a specific sector that I built up before joining the civil service (think accounting or HR or something else generalist civil servants can be assigned to but requires expertise, interest & training for them to be effective in the job). I was hoping to put this to use within the civil service system but I haven't been able to.

    Instead I have been assigned to roles that I simply have no interest in, learning about policies and policy areas I'm not interested in and frankly, don't really care about (at least, not as much as I should to do the policy and the people it serves justice). I have tried to be assigned to areas/roles that would put my expertise to use but HR have shot me down.

    When I joined the civil service I had no intention of sacrificing my career, but that is what I have done. I understand HR have to look after the Department but I don't see how failing to take individual wishes, interests and expertise into account, as a matter of recruitment policy, does this. And it goes both ways: if HR has the needs of the Department to consider, I have to consider the best interests of my own career just as much.

    There is also the fact that I'd be earning more, I'd have the ability to get promoted on merit rather than a time-consuming exam process as clear and transparent as mud, I could negotiate my pay, and my career trajectory would be based on experience rather than my place in a hierarchy. Granted I could be laid off or fired, but a system where employees can't be fired is a system where they can't be managed or disciplined either, and that is a level of passivity that just doesn't suit my personality.

    I'm currently applying for jobs in my 'old' sector but I would like to try one last time to get into the area I have expertise in, in my Dept. I have to think carefully about how to approach this conversation with my manager, the manager of that unit & HR. And if I'm shot down least I tried!

  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

    What motivated you to take the plunge & resign after 20 years, if you don't mind me asking? Had you been thinking about it for long?

  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

    Yes but you can look further afield due to the unprecedented amount of remote or hybrid opportunities.

  • Registered Users Posts: 799 ✭✭✭Everlong1

    You must have been in either Social Welfare or Revenue. Those are the only places I can think of where you could have been a CO for 20 years and not get promoted. And even then I'd love to know how you spent 20 years as a CO if you have any ambition at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

    Mods please be aware that I cannot seem to reply to specific posts nor can I delete my posts. When I flag them (which I shouldn't have to do) nothing happens.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,137 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    I know a few who've gone from Public Sector not Civil for the same reasons.

  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

    That's normal. If you're in one of the lower grades you're unlikely to be promoted internally. This is due to assumptions and unconscious bias in my opinion. There was a WRC case last year on ageism and it came to light that the interview panel had received no training on unconscious bias. This lack of training is the norm.

  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

    Good to hear. Sometimes all the positive impressions and opinions of it being a good place to work can cloud the reality- it is a good place to work but not necessarily a good place to build a career. There's a difference.

  • Registered Users Posts: 260 ✭✭BingCrosbee

    I work part time with the CSO. I retired from a beautiful job 3 years ago. The Civil Service is disgusting and horrible. Thank God I never worked there as a young person. My bosses are yes men and boring. I will be gone by the end of April.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

    What field did you work in before, if you don't mind me asking? What made you leave?

  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

    I just don't have any desire to try to climb the ladder any more. The promotion process is demoralising enough but why do it for a job I might not even be interested in, and where I won't be able to use my expertise meaning it will eventually become outdated? That's a sacrifice I'm not willing to make.

  • Registered Users Posts: 352 ✭✭LegallyAbroad

    That makes no sense. Who is getting promoted to internal EO, if not COs?

    Ive seen (very good) COs go to AP in under 2 years, so if you're good the path is there for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

    When I say lower grades I mean EO and CO.

    I know a CO who got HEO within two years....but not by internal promotion. Plus you always hear the stories of "someone knowing someone" which makes them the exception that proves the rule. The rule being that is not the norm. But this subject is a bit off topic.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,638 ✭✭✭SHOVELLER

    Yes SW and DFA and I was very ambitious but as said here the whole process is demoralising. In fact I gave up a few years from the end as it was a waste of my time.

    An example would be trying to get to be an S.O. Filled out endless forms to get to an interview where there is no feedback. Seriously a Staff Officer? I, and other COs there at the time could have done any job at any grade but the culture is not smart.

    Remarkably they had the mechanism to promote people and it was called advancement which basically meant if one stayed long enough in a grade they would get promoted.

    A smart organisation helps their human capital to be better to get the best out of said organisation. It is offensive that experienced civil servants are exempt from promotion just because they dont have a degree.

    But I breath better air these days!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,638 ✭✭✭SHOVELLER

    And this is another point that matters in all of this. The HR units in Departments are staffed in the main by people who are not qualified to be there. Human Resources is the most important part of any organisation and these units have staff that are just bounced between sections and HR suffers as a result. There is no communication from them and certainly no meaningful help.

    When I moved into the real world I was contacted by HR and asked regularly how they could help me do my job better. I nearly fell off my chair! This is exactly what a competent HR unit does.

    Their current mechanism of promotion is not fit for purpose. Basing an interview on certain metrics without taking into account one's life experience and as you correctly mention one's expertise is ridiculous and again they are excluding possible talent.

    What should be done is finding that talent is right under their noses. Look at the files of COs who have that experience and expertise and help them. Someone who has an impeccable attendance and sick record and has had varied experience across a lot of sections in different departments should be earmarked instead of bypassing them based on outdated modes.

    But there is as more chance of peace in the Middle East than reform and common sense in the civil service.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 799 ✭✭✭Everlong1

    What about open competitions? I spent years as a Clerical Assistant in SW, got the CO on automatic promotion, then got the EO on an outside competition and escaped SW. Spent 3.5 years as an EO and got the HEO. In my current Department there's competitions for all grades every two years. I've seen guys go from HEO to PO in the space of five years.