If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello All, This is just a friendly reminder to read the Forum Charter where you wish to post before posting in it. :)
Hi all, The AutoSave Draft feature is now disabled across the site. The decision to disable the feature was made via a poll last year. The delay in putting it in place was due to a bug/update issue. This should serve as a reminder to manually save your drafts if you wish to keep them. Thanks, The Boards Team.

AO in the Civil Service - thinking of quitting



  • Registered Users Posts: 821 ✭✭✭ Liberty_Bear

    Linked in is another option for finding like minded people in other departments I should add :)

    Big lad who likes big lads...:)

  • Registered Users Posts: 23 AvaSatiVaLomu

    I remember seeing something about an AO grad development programme in some of the material before I started, but I'm an AO 4 months now and haven't encountered anything like it. I've simply been slotted in doing the same job as the HEOs around me for 60% of the pay. Is the AO training programme still a thing or has it been binned since COVID? Making contact with AOs in other departments is probably a beneficial networking opportunity.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,000 ✭✭✭ billyhead

    No. The AO programme is still going on. Contact DPER who run it as far as I know.

  • I think im going to answer this in a way that mightnt please you but i think needs saying so please take it constructively:

    i. 4 months is not long.

    ii. There's nothing great about being an AO four months and already looking around you to see how great HEOs have it.

    HEOs will queue up to tell you that they wont get half the opportunity in their roles to develop and that AOs are the favoured role on the fast track to promotion in the service.

    Genuine advice: you have great discretion in where you focus your time and attention, and from there you have great power over how you view your own situation. Do yourself the favour of taking responsibility for that, you'll thank yourself in the long run.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23 AvaSatiVaLomu

    Thanks for the advice. My phrasing was careless, I'm enjoying the responsibility and not taking a swipe at the HEOs, who work hard as hell and have been immensely gracious and helpful. You're quite right, it's early days yet and the opportunities are surely there given sufficient commitment.

  • Advertisement

  • If the AO network isnt started yet (and i think it ran virtually during covid) its quite likely its just waiting for the likelihood of in-person events- this would surely be considered much more beneficial for a networking type stream of events.

    Its streets ahead of other networks from all ive seen, tough and interesting and a lot of work goes in to make it geared towards the participants needs, so fingers crossed for you that it comes around sooner rather than later and you get a boost from it- best of luck

  • Registered Users Posts: 174 ✭✭ headtheball14

    Some great advice in the posts.

    One thing though your boss is bullying you. Exclusion belittling etc this is a great way to destroy anyone's confidence.

    Cseas are good, HR may help, believe me a bully doesn't just start at this point in their career it will have happened before and they will know about it.

    Do contact your union and mention bullying. Most will have hr contacts and know the.policies.

    also see if they have anything you can volunteer with. I once had no work in a role. I ended up volunteering for a union team on a work issue. It took up lots of time..

    Check out springboard courses ,they have a lot recruiting at the moment in a number of areas, some for less than a year would be tricky with a busy job but could keep you busy.

    take sick leave for long enough to get perspective. You sound very down.

    Keep your eye out for other jobs but I wouldnt pick as first option .

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,913 ✭✭✭

    OP I'm in the public service too. It's rampant with bullying and zero job satisfaction. It's far from the job I joined many moons ago. I've five years left only for that I'd leave. I feel your pain it's so soul distroying. It's pure dog eat dog especially since the financial crisis. You would not run a private business the way some of these managers run the place. Plenty of manager but not a leader in sight.

    I honestly can't give you advice but keep the chin up no matter what you decide you are not alone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,000 ✭✭✭ billyhead

    There are a lot of power trip managers in the Civil Service seriously lacking soft skills.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23 AvaSatiVaLomu

    I'd second the suggestion on checking the available Springboard courses OP, if you've a lot of time on your hands then you can use it productively that way, by doing a conversion into a lot of different fields. If nothing looks good to you in the Jan/Feb intake then keep in mind there can be a lot more variety in the courses in the autumn.

    I'll also say that has a lot of free courses that might help to get you feeling focused and purposeful.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 6 TorqueTwist

    OP here again. Some great advice in this thread and really appreciate it - especially from: Camilo Ashy Shelter, Leilani Fat Villager, c4000, gazzer, Liberty_Bear & hardybuck.

    I think on reflection I'll try the AO network and start sounding out the union. The thing is, on the few days I get work to do, it doesn't seem so bad. It's just getting called out on Teams meetings for things outside your control which is tough to take. I wouldn't go so far as to say my manager is a bully, he's exacting, demanding but I don't think I'm being singled out. I've seen him be like this with others. I know what some people think by saying 'I'd love to have an easy job with not much to do' but when you're working from home, constantly monitoring the laptop for that one email that if you miss you're screwed, that's worse I find, than any amount of regular work. I prefer to be kept busy and not kept in the dark!

    I've signed up for courses on Udemy so hopefully they'll keep me sane. It's just a pity, I feel I'm being wasted - and from the sounds of some of the replies, many others are in a similar position. I'll try stick it out but I reckon by the summer I'll jump ship.

    Thanks again for all the comments


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,069 ✭✭✭ caviardreams

    Hi Torque - from what you say here - waiting for emails, teams meetings being tricky, do you think the remote working factor may not be helping here? It's a very different way of working and I know has changed my own way of working significantly e.g. needed to document a lot more, a lot more written communications, relationships are a lot more direct and transactional as a function of MS Teams - maybe this is a factor and it will improve if there is more working in the office?

  • Registered Users Posts: 821 ✭✭✭ Liberty_Bear

    With that in mind, you should look at the mobility scheme, five years is still five years too much if you are finding issues. Its not easy at the best of times.

    Big lad who likes big lads...:)

  • Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭ Avenger2020

    Hi. I’d like to re-open this thread to see how the TorqueTwist, and others are doing.

    I am being bullied in work in the Civil Service and cannot stand my unit anymore. It is affecting my confidence and my sanity. I need to get out. The thing is I’m only 1 year 8 months in the AO grade.

    How do I get out or get a transfer outside of Dublin or even anywhere at this stage. It needs to be outside of Dublin as I am not paying over half my salary for this kind of carry on which is rampant in the Civil Service.

  • Registered Users Posts: 36 dat6

    You may only require 1 years service for internal transfer or secondment. The is also nothing stopping you applying for another role, open competition etc. Life is too short to be miserable!

    My advice, first have a quiet word with Local HR to discuss your options.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,819 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    Post edited by Hotblack Desiato on

    The likes of Alcohol Action Ireland won't be happy until we all have ration cards. Maybe not even then.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,389 ✭✭✭✭ kippy

    Some great advice already here. I'm probably echoing other advice here but in my own opinion, nowadays, there is no excuse for having 'nothing to do', especially when WFH.

    If this lack of work annoys you, you should use the time you are getting paid to do work, to spend some time focusing on what you want to do, map out a plan of what you need to do go get to that position, then execute this plan. If it involves further training, investigate options etc, or indeed undertake the training.

    Be positive..use the time you have to better yourself.

    At worst this will 'speed up' your time to probation as you make work for yourself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 148 ✭✭ mtb_sends

    Hi @Avenger2020 as someone who is actively trying to get into the civil service can you elaborate more on your situation without identifying yourself or your employer. I'm currently looking at getting into the civil service and am trying to gauge what its like. Theres a lot of varying opinions on here, some say its great, others not so much which is to be expected I suppose.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,389 ✭✭✭✭ kippy

    There's varying opinions because there are varying experiences and in greatly different roles and departments.

    The Civil service isn't one work enviroment.

    You're experience will vary between departments and indeed within units within departments. The people around you will have a massive impact on your experience, as in any organisation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 355 ✭✭ AtticusFinch86

    I started with a CS department in early 2021 as an AO. I've never heard of an AO programme. I've just basically been trained on the job. What exactly is the AO programme? How would I go about signing up to it?

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 8,000 ✭✭✭ billyhead

    Its called the AO graduate programme. DPER run it. You should contact the training unit in that Department.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,474 ✭✭✭ floorpie

    The AO grad programme is a 1-3 hour lecture once a month on Zoom, about how to communicate, or how to write reports, with 15 minutes of networking in the middle. It's fine but it's not an answer to the type of issues in this thread.

  • Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭ BhoyRayzor

    Is it the same programme across departments or do departments run it individually for their own staff?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,474 ✭✭✭ floorpie

    The programme mentioned in this thread is attended by staff from all departments. E.g. you'll be in breakout groups with staff from all over. I believe some departments run their own programmes also.