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Old 16-02-2015, 02:48 PM
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Perhaps I'll offer some insights so that you may make a better decision. Public Sector will be having headcount freeze for years to come, as they cannot be constantly taking in talents. This move will ensure that adequate talents can flow into the labour market (i.e. SME and MNCs). What this means is that:

1) Stricter competition for fresh graduates entering the public sector; and
2) Stricter criteria for mid-career making a move from private into public.

So should you join the private, hoping to gain experience and then jump over to the public, be prepared that it will not go as you envisaged. Even if you are successful, unless your experiences and skill sets are sought after, be prepared to take a pay cut and start off at a lower level than if you were to remain in private. Of course there are instances where you get a pay increment, but that's only if your current salary is below market rate.

In another situation, should you join the public upon graduation, you will be getting a reasonable salary package. Of course it will not comparable to those top bracket jobs, but decent nonetheless. Work life balance should be better than private, but dependent on your workplace culture and your job responsibilities. Should you wish to go out into the private sector in a few years time, you will find it challenging. Reason being private usually don't take into account the experiences you had in public, unless its niche roles (e.g. finance, accounting, corporate communication and IR etc.). Also, you may experience a pay cut more often than not, so most people tend to stay in the public. Afterall, you get a stable income, with good bonuses and increments annually. The downside is that promotion may be slow, and career development will not be as fast (unless you're a scholar, or your supervisor highly recommends you). So you will see younger colleagues being promoted or parachuted into positions above you. If you're the type to feel strongly against such "bias-ness", I would advise you to think twice.

In summary, if you think that you're the type that excels in competition, with a thirst to learn more and climb fast, go for private. If you're the type that are easily contented, wish to do good for Singapore, and want to have good family life in the future, then you can consider the public.
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