Do You Wonder If You Should Work For The Government As An Assistant? Learn Some Pros And Cons!
There was a time not too many years ago that people were happy to have any job they could land.
That was especially true during the Great Recession and the immediate years of aftermath. Job growth has been relatively consistent and steady since then, and the unemployment rate, while debated in its interpretations, has fallen low enough that finding work itself is not all that hard anymore. What is perhaps a bit more difficult is finding work that you enjoy or find worthwhile for a long time. Some professionals looking for good pay, robust benefits, and job security wonder if they should work for the government as an assistant. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of this decision.
Pro-Personal connections can help: Even in the age where most job listings are in the form of online web pages, where resumes are taken by email or submission form, and candidates are screened by keyword scanning and automated testing, finding a job often still comes down to knowing someone. If you have scoured your professional and even personal contact lists for a position in the corporate or private sector and come up empty or short-handed, then that might be what makes you start considering those you know in the government. If someone you know can hire you directly as an assistant, then you have an inside track at getting that job!
Con-Personal associations can backfire: Most government employees are dedicated professionals that love their country and just want to serve. However, sometimes things can get cutthroat. There might be different schools of thought on how to do things within a department, and every department wants its slice of the pie when it comes time to the annual budget, creating competition. The director or supervisor you work as an assistant to might makes a few enemies along the way. Your association with them might mean you earn these enemies too.
Pro-Job security: Once someone lands in the government workforce, they tend to stay there. Many positions turn into career work. Also, while the annual budget varies from one year to the next, it never swings too fast or hard in most cases, so your job is recession-proof most of the time.
Pro-Promotion potential: One of the best things about being an assistant to anyone is that if you stick with them long enough, you learn how to do their job in addition to your own. Should someone get fired, retire, transfer, quit, or move up the ladder, you’re a natural contender to take over their position, so being an assistant puts you in prime position to get promoted in the future.
Con-Politics might be unavoidable: If you get promoted high enough, you’ll be subject to the politics of government, which stretches further and deeper than just the divisions between the two dominant parties and their talking heads whining at each other on cable television. This might be just the sort of rancor that you want to get away from by leaving the private sector in the first place.
Con-Weak resume: The longer you spend working for the government, the harder it might be to move back to the private sector if you ever want to do that. You’ll still have relevant experience on your resume and background, but your capitalistic skills and value are going to diminish a bit.
As you can see, being a government assistant has some advantages to it, regardless of which branch or department of the government you go into. However, some potential drawbacks also exist, so use what you have learned here to make an informed decision.