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How To Make The Most Out Of A Career In Public Service



Are you a do-gooder? Do you want to make your community a better place? Do you want to help people who are poor or discriminated against, improve people’s lives through education, work in international affairs or protect people’s health and safety? If this is the case, you might be interested in a career in the public sector.

Planning is integral to developing your career, ensuring that you are always moving in the right direction and that your dreams become a reality. Each province or state has a capability framework within its governmental organizations that is designed to aid in individual career planning. Each framework includes level markers that individuals can use to assess their capability levels while determining what lateral moves are required to achieve their desired ‘level’ or career position. The Public Service Commission must create a high-performing culture in which workforce capability and performance are aligned and focused on achieving organizational goals.

As a result, each government organization must adhere to this framework, which outlines the key capabilities required for each department and job category. These abilities are critical for career advancement because they can provide tangible examples or benchmarks to workers and management of the expectations required of a current role. They can also help guide performance reviews and show an individual team member what they should strive for to advance or successfully transition into a new position. With this in mind, let us look at some of the skills required to have a long and successful career within the public service sector.

Skills required

If you desire to help others and volunteer in your community, public service and administration career may be a good fit for you. These professions place you in a position to truly assist those in need. However, passion alone will not make your career a success. To be a successful public servant, you must have specific skills. However, these will vary from role to role. For example, if you are thinking of public safety Canada jobs, you will have to know about the country’s safety laws and study with an organization such as Laurier’s. However, there are some core skills that will be relevant to most positions. Read on to learn more about the skills you’ll need to fill an important role in your local community, from leadership to navigating a complex political landscape.

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Problem-solving – Employers in the public sector require individuals who can investigate the root causes of problems, apply critical thinking skills to comprehend complex phenomena, and offer and implement solutions.

Trust – Trust is reciprocal; you must be trusted and trust others. Only a few problems will come across your desk once you reach the highest levels of government. Trust that others are being resolved and invest your time in solving complex problems.

Communication – Verbal and written communication skills are essential in almost any job. Still, public servants must be able to communicate with a wide range of people, from superiors and coworkers to clients and patients from various backgrounds. In addition, strong communication skills foster strong relationships, which are essential for success in public service.

Collaborative – There is no independent entity in the public sector. Policies, solutions, and services are developed, implemented, and managed collaboratively, so collaboration, diplomacy, and understanding are essential.

Work experience – Work experience is invaluable if you want to work in a competitive, unique, and diverse industry such as public service. With so many roles and areas to choose from, it can help you figure out where your interests lie and pick up transferable skills that will be useful when applying for jobs, whether in the public or private sector.

Public service jobs

So, you want to make a difference in the world and inspire people through your work but aren’t sure where to start? Traditionally, public service has referred to careers in government. However, the definition has expanded over time to include other sectors that work to improve society. Depending on your interests and the impact you want to make, you could work for:

Local government – Local or regional governments are excellent places to make a difference in the lives of people in your community. Working in local government entails handling various issues such as housing, planning, leisure services, and refuse collection.

Local governments collaborate closely with central government departments on critical education and social services issues. A government officer is a popular career path in this field. Contact with members of the public, councilors, administrators, and specialists in other departments or local authorities is likely in this type of role.

Criminal justice – Criminal justice careers range from investigating crimes and tracking down suspects to apprehending and imprisoning felons. Police officers and detectives, for example, respond to emergencies, conduct traffic stops, obtain warrants, make arrests and even testify in court. Correctional officers keep order within detention facilities, search inmates for contraband, and transport inmates within and outside of the facilities. Police officers, correctional officers, and other criminal justice professionals are responsible for making the community a safer place for everyone.

Nonprofit worker – Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are volunteer groups or institutions that promote positive social and economic change. NGOs include Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, and Refugee Councils from various countries. Some NGO workers work in the field, providing life-saving services and educational programs to people in developing countries. Others concentrate on promoting or managing the organization and obtaining additional funding from donors. NGO work is challenging, emotionally draining, and at times dangerous. It is, however, a gratifying career in which you will have the opportunity to assist those in greatest need.

Social services – This involves assisting and caring for the elderly, children, and people with physical disabilities or other special needs. Social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, welfare rights officers, care workers, drug abuse workers, and policy development officers are all professionals working in the field.

Teaching – Teachers help shape the next generation and can significantly impact every child or adult they educate. There are now many different ways to get into teaching, whether you’re a graduate who has always wanted to use your skills to teach or someone looking for a career change.

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Some public sector occupations are not limited to the public sector, with many accountants, human resource and information technology specialists, lawyers, and managers working for public and private services.

The application process for the public sector and administration jobs may differ depending on the organization you are applying to. First, investigate the organization to learn about the skills, competencies, and values they seek. Next, examine the organization’s website, as many provide information on their recruitment and selection processes. A career within the public service sector has many benefits, which we will explore next.

The benefits

Some people are curious about the advantages of working in the public and private sectors. So, here are some of the benefits that employees may receive if they look for work in the public sector.

Job satisfaction – The work you do as a public sector team member will impact society to some extent. Knowing that you are helping to build a better future for others can increase your sense of job satisfaction.

Training – There are numerous opportunities for additional training in the public sector. There is also a strong culture of organizations investing in their employees. This is ideal for those eager to learn and grow in their current position.

Flexibility – People in today’s society place a high value on the ability to work flexibly. Many government organizations cater to these needs and provide flexible working as a standard. This is a massive benefit for those studying while working full-time or with other commitments that they need to work around.

Stability – As it is relatively stable, job stability is frequently mentioned as a significant benefit. While profit-driven businesses are vulnerable to closure, public-sector organizations benefit from the strength of government support.

Packages – When considering a job, it is often best to view the entire package rather than just the salary. While public sector salaries may be lower than those in the private sector, public sector employees frequently receive more and better benefits. For example, employees in the public sector can benefit from better working hours, medical coverage, and retirement benefits. The industry also offers job awards and allows overtime to be accrued and paid back in flexible leave. This enables employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Is it for you?

A career means very different things to a young university graduate entering the workforce today than it did to their parents or grandparents. The World Economic Forum predicts that 65 percent of children entering primary school today will end up working in entirely new jobs that do not exist today. People are changing jobs more frequently, whether by choice, new employer demands, or changing economic circumstances. However, while the average job tenure is decreasing, people live and work longer, increasing the overall length of careers. At the same time, skills have shorter shelf lives, owing primarily to ongoing technological advances. This inevitably means workers must update their knowledge throughout their careers.

There are roles suitable for job applicants with a wide range of skills, strengths, backgrounds, and qualifications in local and central government agencies. Opportunities exist for both high school graduates and those with higher education, with various structured training programs available. There are also positions available for graduates of all majors. However, some specializations require a science, math, or technology background. Whether your strength is language, numeracy, administration, or the ability to use programming skills to solve problems, there is a public service role for you.


What is public service? Public service is meant to benefit everyone in the community. It is frequently provided by the government, either directly through one of its agencies or indirectly through the funding of private business initiatives or voluntary organizations. Law enforcement, military services, healthcare, local government, education, and social care are all examples of public services.

Is it easy to get a job in the public sector? No, not always. Public service programs, like any other job, seek the best and most qualified candidates to fill positions. Apply to several opportunities, emphasizing any relevant experience or future goals that the service can help you achieve. Demonstrate how you will be a standout performer.

What are the working hours like? That is dependent on the job. A nonprofit office position may have consistent 9-5 hours. However, you may be expected to pitch in on evenings and weekends when large projects come up. Night shifts and on-call hours may be required in a public safety position, and you may be needed at any time of day or night. Furthermore, you may not be paid for extra hours worked in a job with a set salary.

What is career progression like? Jobs in the public sector and civil service have set grades that you advance through based on your length of service. There are also opportunities to grow within the government, gaining more responsibilities and a higher salary.

How do I get into the public service sector? The public sector is diverse, with a wide range of careers available, so taking advantage of any work experience opportunities is crucial. A placement would help you to identify your interests and give you an idea of what to expect.

What qualifications do I need? This depends on the type of job you want to do, but keep in mind that there are opportunities for those ranging from high school graduates with no additional qualifications to university graduates with degrees or even postgraduate qualifications.

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