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Leaving the civil service

  • 17-08-2022 3:51pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5 oldzak

    Hey there, I know this topic has been discussed ad nauseam here before but often from a different perspective with more established civil servants

    I'm a young (mid 20s) civil service recruited on a technical/professional stream and thinking about jumping ship to the private sector. Have been current role for over two years and have enjoyed my work and felt I've grown, but feel that I've kind of gotten a lot, but I'm not gaining much sticking around. Internally, the opportunities for promotion are patchy and often slow to come around or even get back to candidates. I look around in my department and see people who have been waiting a long time for promotion and not gotten it and don't want to get stuck if a competition doesn't way.

    The area I work in means I can ~relatively~ easily find a job in the private sector at significantly more money than what I'm currently on. I guess I'm worried that im made to even think about it given the security I'd be giving up and that it might be frowned upon if I ever wanted to go back to the CS. Lots of people talk about how their work in the CS has impact and that keeps them their - I don't really feel.that, but I'm not sure if necessarily I'll get that elsewhere.

    Are there any factors I should be considering that I'm not?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,646 ✭✭✭Muppet Man

    Any gains you get in the private sector are often eroded by:

    - contributing to your own private pension fund - which will often put you back to CS levels of pay

    - unrealistic personal performace expectations of some private sector companies leading to low staff morale, high turnover and unpaid overtime. Often resulting in feeling unvalued.

    The benefits of course. Good career progression (to other private sectors), employer contributions to pension, greater working from home for some sectors and impressive bonuses that can be easily earned for the higher end private sector.

    Good luck

    Muppet man

  • Registered Users Posts: 352 ✭✭LegallyAbroad

    Go for it. You can always come back to CS in the future.

  • Registered Users Posts: 123 ✭✭James2020App

    To give solid advice, probably need a bit more information on your current grade & what area of the private sector your skills are in demand for.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,463 ✭✭✭jaffa20

    Career break maybe to see how you get on in the private sector?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 oldzak

    Thanks - career break is definitely an option that makes it safer.

    Without giving too much away, I'm an AO in an analysis/finance role. Private sector gross salaries in that area are easily 50+% more than the equivalent AO salary.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 123 ✭✭James2020App

    Thanks if you were to get AP in the next five years, would this change your mind on moving?

    And how likely do you think it is to get AP? Do you have an accounting qualification, that would definitely increase your likelyhood of being promoted.

    Maybe sit down & list the pros of cons of leaving and weigh it up from there.

    The pros would probably contain

    • better job stability in the case of a recession

    • better holidays

    • flexi leave (Extra 18 days if available)

    • possibly better work life balance

    • better training opportunities

    • various leave down the line like shorter working year or parental leave & career break option.

    • opportunity for interdepartmental moves & moves to different parts of Ireland

    • dependent on department, there is a lot of promotion opportunities due to retirement cliff

    Then on the cons

    • Worse salary by x amount. Remember the tax rate is almost 48% for anything a few years on the AO salary, so tax will eat up any increases very quickly.

    • Maybe or maybe not better promotion opportunities

    You make your own list though...

    There are other things to be taken into account like pensions, to be honest not ofay enough to state which is better. Also I wouldn't take the decision based on x salary vs. y salary, I would try to think of it over a five year time frame. For example if you have kids etc, I think the civil service would be an easier place to be than in the private sector.

  • Registered Users Posts: 472 ✭✭divillybit

    Op just be prepared for a bigger work load upon entering the private sector. But it could be a good chance to earn different work experience and I think that will work in your favour if you decide to return to the Civil service. Im starting into an EO grade job in the Civil Service in two weeks, nearly 2 decades in the private sector and you certainly earn your money there. Im kinda glad to be getting out of the private sector though, never thought I'd enter the Civil service so there was a good few raised eyebrows between my friends, family and work colleagues when the learned of my new employer. I'm happy enough to take the pay cut to enter the Civil service for the better work life balance

  • Just so you're aware, there are strict rules around what employment you can take up while on career break from the Civil Service.

    So you'd need to be careful. For instance, if a company you ended up working for had connections to the Dept you are on break from, it could be an issue.

    Also there can often be a delay in returning to the CS after a career break. Waits of 12 to 18 months to be reassigned are not unusual.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I'd be very reluctant to move out of public sector in current environment. There's probably an economic correction coming in the short term. There's also many opportunities in the public sector that are not available in private particularly when it comes to further education and at your age I'd take advantage of this as much as possible.

  • the likelihood of upcoming bumpy times in the economy is a factor to consider

    pension isnt really, not if you are only a few years in and on the new scheme- its nothing special and would likely be matched well enough by a product any half decent employer would already have available.

    open/interdepartmental ap comes up fairly often but as always at AO will you get the management/operational experience to have a fair go or not- thats maybe the question

    on balance from what i can see in the market for skilled/qualified staff, i can see a better case for quitting than has ever been before tbh

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  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭lucat

    Best of luck oldzak and let us know how you get on. Now there are more vacancies being advertised after the summer lull I'm stepping up my search too.