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Old 07-05-2019, 12:35 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
13,630 posts, read 8,554,879 times
Reputation: 19827

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Quote:
Would you rather be in a 35k government job or a 50k job with a private employer?
Security be damned, I would never have worked for the government. I wanted to make a career on my own merit and wanted to show what I could do.
It was good choice. I made my own career and my own retirement.
Some people gravitate toward opportunity, others move to security. I was the opportunity type and I could not have tolerated a bureaucracy.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:47 PM
 
2,588 posts, read 1,928,685 times
Reputation: 2524
OP, private or public sector all depends on what you are looking for, and what matters to you.

People who are extremely competitive and got the skills to compete in private sectors have every reasons why you should go to private sector.

People who got lay off from private sector so many time and end up filing for bankruptcy would always think government job is probably the best job they ever got in life.

You have to consider all facts and what you are willing to give up.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:52 PM
 
2,029 posts, read 857,321 times
Reputation: 5027
My 401K would have had to have 4x the balance to match my vested pension from a public utility with a cola (they stopped offering them a couple of decades ago but we were grandfathered when the plan was changed for new employees). There's no way I could have put that much in a 401K. Although some people left the utility to work for private companies at higher salaries, I chose not to. I know some who went to work for Enron got royally screwed. I have no idea how others fared. I do know that with my pension and my SS and my RMD from my 401K, my retirement income is now as high as it was when I retired almost 14 years ago at 59. The pension also allowed me to work as a contractor for a couple of years after my first retirement, and for two years before my SS started, I earned a full salary plus my pension. For some reason I knew from the day I started working that I wanted a job with a pension, because if I made it to retirement it would make a big difference in my lifestyle, and it has.
The other issue of a perpetual low salary has me a bit confused. Don't government jobs have opportunities for employees to improve their education and qualifications and apply for better paying positions? I changed my careeer three times in the 27 years I worked at the same public utility, and got a master's degree at their expense through their tuition reimbursement program. Are these opportunities no longer available in government jobs? Sure, in many government jobs, and at the public utility, you could "retire in place" if you wanted to, but many others were able to advance and broaden their careers by moving to different departments and jobs within the organization.

Last edited by bobspez; 07-05-2019 at 01:09 PM..
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:29 PM
 
2,029 posts, read 857,321 times
Reputation: 5027
The choice was between a government job with a pension and a private sector job. Having worked in both I can say all large organizations are bureaucracies. They all have a core of people doing the work and a core of politically oriented people that run the organization. If you are a good employee and seek out opportunities and take them when they appear, you can find opportunity and make your own career in either. It has a lot more to do with you than whether it is a private or government organization.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
Security be damned, I would never have worked for the government. I wanted to make a career on my own merit and wanted to show what I could do.
It was good choice. I made my own career and my own retirement.
Some people gravitate toward opportunity, others move to security. I was the opportunity type and I could not have tolerated a bureaucracy.
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:48 PM
 
Location: In a vehicle.
5,020 posts, read 3,207,482 times
Reputation: 8203
Quote:
Originally Posted by HolyGuacomole View Post
I know this question has been asked a 1,000 times, but I am just curious. I am in my early 30 and have worked for the gov. for about 7 years. I guess I have gotten a bit spoiled with benefits pension etc. although I don't really make that much money. My question is if you were capable, would you rather have a gov. job making the above amount or a 50k job in the private sector. I am a bit scared because I have no clue how to manage 401ks etc and have not heard anything positive about them. Maybe someone else can shed some light on how they work.
Have to say I'd go with govt.....The protections and benefits are too hard to beat.... as much as i like my job. But I'd not sit still and keep improving my positions in the govt...
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:00 PM
 
3,153 posts, read 5,186,437 times
Reputation: 1760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lekrii View Post
Why would I choose a job that pays that much less just because it's a government job?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post
I lost THREE jobs in the private sector to bankrupty or being bought out. I took my last (current) job with a 12K pay cut, in public sector. I have never regretted if for one second. I'd never have been looking at retirement with the comfort level that I have now.
It's not just the retirement plans in the public sector, but the better stability vs. the private sector.


As mentioned, private employers are vulnerable to mergers, buyouts, and bankruptcies. Even small businesses, the owner decides to retire & close up shop. Things may look rosy now, and the company may have a good track record. But five or ten years from now, they could be gone. I've seen it happen so many times. That can be unsettling, unless an employee has skills that are in-demand, with plentiful opportunities at any given time.


For someone who has been through two or three job losses, stable employment may trump other considerations, even if it means a reduced salary. Especially when someone envisions themselves as potentially being 50+ years old, and on the street looking for work.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,633,260 times
Reputation: 3625
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jowel View Post
It's also worth noting that most public sector employees are required to contribute to their own pensions from their salaries.
Yeah this is important. My pension requires a 12% contribution rate, with a 12% employer match. If you make 35k, can you afford losing 12% of your pay (donít forget taxes yíall) to a benefit you may not receive until 40 years from now (depending on your age) in your city? What about a 4% 401k instead with a higher salary to boot?

This is why YOUNG people are not staying in government. Entry level is unsustainable, they pay way too low for col. Especially in red jurisdictions, or with a populace that thinks youíre a communist terrorist organization instead of something that provides a service to benefit the public, not overcharge them for a profit. Iím saying this as a 24 year old. Thatís why some of my colleagues (almost all my age) are leaving. That and a lack of promotion or wage growth.

Start in the private sector, then switch to public is probably best for maximizing your benefits and wage.

One thing I will say here, that no one else has said yet, is what will you be doing in the public sector vs. the private sector? My job currently is enforcing the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act. I could go to the private sector, or some city-owned facilities, and make sure they stay in compliance and the Giardia is effectively killed and things like that. But in my current job, I get to learn new regulations, I get to visit different facilities and travel, meet new people, and problem solve with different systems. In another job I would be responsible to know and maintain only one system. And a lot of the time the private sector position is not on a 9/5 schedule.

You have to remember you are spending most of your life doing this job. Unless you are in some boring admin, security or IT position, chances are what you do in public vs. private sector is radically different. Do you want to provide a service to the public? Do you want to do something good for you and your fellow citizens? If you donít care about the mission, youíll be miserable in the government. Or a lifeless drone counting days until the pension. Do something that will make you happy.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:43 PM
 
Location: California
1,286 posts, read 391,223 times
Reputation: 2255
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
My 401K would have had to have 4x the balance to match my vested pension from a public utility with a cola (they stopped offering them a couple of decades ago but we were grandfathered when the plan was changed for new employees). There's no way I could have put that much in a 401K. Although some people left the utility to work for private companies at higher salaries, I chose not to. I know some who went to work for Enron got royally screwed. I have no idea how others fared. I do know that with my pension and my SS and my RMD from my 401K, my retirement income is now as high as it was when I retired almost 14 years ago at 59. The pension also allowed me to work as a contractor for a couple of years after my first retirement, and for two years before my SS started, I earned a full salary plus my pension. For some reason I knew from the day I started working that I wanted a job with a pension, because if I made it to retirement it would make a big difference in my lifestyle, and it has.
The other issue of a perpetual low salary has me a bit confused. Don't government jobs have opportunities for employees to improve their education and qualifications and apply for better paying positions? I changed my careeer three times in the 27 years I worked at the same public utility, and got a master's degree at their expense through their tuition reimbursement program. Are these opportunities no longer available in government jobs? Sure, in many government jobs, and at the public utility, you could "retire in place" if you wanted to, but many others were able to advance and broaden their careers by moving to different departments and jobs within the organization.
Iíd think so too. Iíd much rather have a government or city job.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:54 PM
 
58 posts, read 9,857 times
Reputation: 157
If you are in a series like contracting or engineering with the federal government, know that you may be able to transfer overseas to work for a term and they will hold your job for you back in the states (it will be filled, but the occupant agrees to vacate it if you return).
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:53 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,738 posts, read 54,373,866 times
Reputation: 31023
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disgustedman View Post
Have to say I'd go with govt.....The protections and benefits are too hard to beat.... as much as i like my job. But I'd not sit still and keep improving my positions in the govt...
And thereís are opportunities. In my first public agency career 5 promotions in 16 years, current one 2 promotions in 10 years, and making over twice as much as when I started. With annual raises averaging 3-5% you need to keep moving up to jump ahead financially.
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