19 August 2018
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Career advice when applying for public sector jobs

If you are currently in employment, unemployed after being made redundant or perhaps a school leaver or university graduate who has just finished their education and are deciding about which career to enter. Then this page can be a career advice guide to help you choose and make the right decision.

What type of job would you enjoy
Firstly when deciding on a new career then apart from the actual job itself there are various other points you should consider and research before making a decision. You should first decide on what salary you want to earn, then research and find specific jobs to see what their average salary is. This is a important point as the wage you are paid will affect your standard of living. Do you want to work in your home town, or are you prepared to migrate to another city of even abroad to get the career you want. How far are you willing to commute on a daily basis, are you prepared to commute long distances every day in the rush hour.

What sort of work do you like doing, for instance do you enjoy building web sites, if so then look for web designer jobs. You may want to work in healthcare, in which case look for public sector jobs in the NHS or other healthcare providers. Do you enjoy working with children, then look into becoming a teacher, working in schools. Do you want a job where you work on your own, or do you prefer to be part of a team, working under a manager or supervisor who tells you what to do.

Research your career choice
After you have decided on one or a list of careers that you think compliment your abilities, now is the time to research them. You need to get as much information about your chosen careers as you can. Read trade journals, job advertisements, internet job boards or go to employment fairs to get careers advice and an idea of the job description, this will give you idea of what the job really involved. It will also show you what the pay is as well as the working hours. In extreme scenarios you may consider doing voluntary work in your chosen field to get a real idea of what the job entails.

Look at the training and specialist qualifications that you may need to apply for any vacancies, then get college advice & look into how long it will take you to get those qualifications. Once again this is information that you can find from job adverts.

Important factors to consider in your career development:-

What are your skills and strengths
Have you been working in a certain field for a long time, and have a particular skills set, for instance suppose you already have a social worker job. Now suppose you want a career change but still want to stay in the social care field then the best jobs advice you could get would be to look for other healthcare jobs but in different fields. The reason for this is obvious, as your relevant background and experience will give you a big advantage over other applicants.

Or are you a graduate and have just completed your studies and are now looking for and graduate career opportunities. You should do a self-audit and evaluate yourself and your skills and make a list of what you think an employer would see in you.

Is salary and wages important or job satisfaction?
What motivates you to get out of bed? Are you more interested in money, pay scales and becoming rich rather than job satisfaction. For instance is a wage of £20,000 per annum acceptable to you, if you want better pay then you may want to consider a career in management where the salaries will be greater.

The best employment advice in relation to you can get would be to research and find those careers that are the highest paid, for instance investment banking, law and find out what their starting salary is.

Do you want to work in an office or outdoors
Would you be happy working in a office, or would you prefer out door work, say driving around or perhaps even in the countryside. Can you work shifts, like nights and early mornings or do you prefer to work a regular 9am to 5pm.
Each of these environments has their own strengths and weaknesses, for instance it may be great working outdoors in the summer, but what about the winter when its cold and windy.

Public sector job or private sector
The public sector covers such a huge field of national government and local authority departments that there are all types of vacancies available in the public sector. However there is a certain difference in the work culture between this and the private sector. Due to its size and management structure in the public sector you are less able to take independent decisions that will make a big difference to the running of your organization. Whereas in the private sector if you were working for a small company or even a multinational and had an idea that could help the company become more efficient you possibly would find that management would implement your ideas much more quickly, without having to put it to committees etc. Public sector jobs are generally considered to be more secure forms of employment than similar positions in say private companies. This may be because private companies are more quickly affected by economic conditions like a recession in the economy.

Starting your own business
If you want to have a go at trying to become a millionaire, why not consider becoming your own boss with a business start up and set up your own Limited company. Be aware though that you are not guaranteed success and your business could just as easily fail, and you go bankrupt. You should have a positive attitude and also be willing to take risks.
To be successful you must develop and produce a good professional business plan based on a idea or a niche you have seen in a particular market. Your business could be based around a service or a product, but they should have a unique selling point to make you stand out from any competitors. Whatever you decide to do make sure you have done your market research before you start spending money on renting out offices.

Becoming self employed
Have you ever considered working for yourself, being freelance can be very attractive to some people. There are many benefits like setting your own hours of work, being able to decide when you want your holidays, etc. If you are seriously considering self employment then you should try to go into a field of work that you enjoy, as motivation can be a big factor in this type of vocation. On the downside you will have to be very self-disciplined, and will have much more paper work to do, like self assessment tax returns. It may also affect your personal life as at times you may have to work weekends. If you are ill and not feeling well then you cannot really hand in a sick note, as you are the boss!


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