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Making the Move from Private to Public Sector Working

I currently work for a private sector organisation (in healthcare systems) and I’ve been approached to take a new job in the public sector; I’m unsure about the stability of the market and whether it is wise to consider moving into the public sector at the moment. What advice can you give?– Amanda, London

It seems to me that you have a background in a service area which will be required for some years to come in the healthcare public sector.

I’ll make some assumptions that you are concerned about the longevity of the new role (is any job a job for life anymore?), the pay (will it be affected by cutbacks?), and your professional currency (will it be difficult to get back into the private sector at a later date?). These are all areas that any job seeker should take into account regardless of the situation they are in. A good old-fashioned answer to your question is to draw up a pros and cons list; only you can really start to understand the real concerns you have. Of course it would be great to have a crystal ball and see the future of the UK marketplace to see how this change could impact you, but without that a little decision theory work might help resolve these concerns. Taking the Rumsfeld quote;

There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns; there are things we do not know we don’t know.

With the potential job offer on the table for you, how many “known knowns” are there that can be thought about and how many “known unknowns” can you find answers for? Asking questions at this stage may help you to understand the positives this job move could offer you.

Good luck with the soul-searching!

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About Lindsay Scott

Lindsay Scott
Director of Arras People, the programme and project management recruitment specialists. You can find out more about Arras People and follow me on Twitter and Google I also write the careers column for PMI's Network magazine and other project management organisations too. Recently created the first PMO Conference and currently running the PMO Flashmob

One comment

  1. Amanda
    I had the same situation a few years ago. Think about it as widening your sector experience and how ultimately this can ‘add more strings the your bow’. You will definitely have commercial experience that will be useful in the public sector and how you can drive outcomes balanced with risks and opportunity experience. There is the old saying that if you never try you never know what you may have missed. Even after a few years you could back into the private sector – hope this helps

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