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is my civil service pay progression fast/slow/normal?

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-02-2011, 10:30 PM
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Default is my civil service pay progression fast/slow/normal?

Really need some help from the more experienced people here as I'm considering a new job offer.

First the facts. I'm 34 now, 2nd upper honors degree grad working at a stat board for the last 5 years, MX12 all the way with no promotion in sight, and am getting $4662 now. Doing a masters degree, expecting completion next year.

My history:

Job 1 (2003- Jan 2006):
A ministry
Starting pay MX13 $3000
Leaving pay MX12 $3312

Job 2 (Feb 2006 - Sep 2006):
A research institute
Starting pay $3600
Leaving pay $3600

Current Job 3 (Sep 2006 - now):
A stat board
Starting pay MX12 $3300
Current pay MX12 $4662

Is this progression normal? I am aware my increments in the current job seem high, but at the same time discussion with friends of my age group and qualifications seem to show that many of them are getting higher.

Now I've just got a new job offer with a pay of $4100, and the annual package is lower too. HR people of course tell me, 'there're lots of things to learn and the skills will benefit your portfolio'., but of course the same could be said of any job. I'm wondering if I should take it, or will it be a step backwards that I cannot recover from? Do all new jobs peg the pay offered to your last drawn pay? In that case would it be possible to keep drawing lower and lower pay with every job you change?

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Old 08-02-2011, 01:06 AM
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Hi Miwashi, I think your current pay is slightly below average. And the last drawn is an important factor in determining your renumeration offer.

Unless you have really strong passion for the new job, I will certainly not accept such a significantly lower pay. It will not only be a step or two backwards, but also become a resume stain. Future employers will certainly judge you negatively for it.

Besides, in this current tight labour market you should be aiming for higher, not lower.

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Old 08-02-2011, 01:28 PM
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Thank you.. was wondering what should be the average pay for people my age and qualifications?

I only got 2 job offers in the last 5 years, and both undercut my pay by $800-1000, their reasons being that I was 'quite overpaid already'. The one that undercut first is a ministry, the current one is a public health and medical group, not government.

Are any HR people able to shed light on how the pay offered is calculated?

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Old 08-02-2011, 03:26 PM
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I'm not from HR. But my experience is that companies will either match or offer a higher salary if they find your working experience relevant. You should try to look for something that is similar in nature to what you're doing now. If you manage to get a job with another Ministry, negotiate for MX11.

Your current salary might seem lower than average compared to others of your age. But I also note that you only started working at 27. So, taking that into account, I think you're earning OK. There will always be people earning more. I know of people, graduates and in their 30s, earning about your level.
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:05 PM
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The thing is, I'm in a stat board now and the work is very generic. No specific focus, so it's hard to classify a speciality. I did get an offer at a ministry for another administrative position, but since administration is broad, their HR tried to negotiate saying I am from a different sector so the experience is not really relevant, thus the $1000 pay cut.

Does anyone know HR's recruitment criteria for direct recruitment into MX11? I've been where I am almost 5 years already at MX12, and I am wondering if this will be reset if I quit and join another ministry; will it be another 5 years++ before I am considered for MX11? How do ministries decide whether to recruit people from the private sector into MX11 grade? Is there some specific attribute or years of experience required?

Another thing.. I'm expecting to complete my masters next year; stat boards/ministrys don't do individual reviews of salary based on new qualifications, do they? So I should expect to look for another job again next year in order to gain a possible increment?
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Old 18-02-2011, 11:42 PM
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I have 2 days to decide if I should go for this job or not. My current job pays better but it has absolutely zero prospects, the new job is a really substantial pay cut and the prospects are also suspect, but a little better than the current.
Can anyone advice? I am 34 years old and almost at the point where I cannot change jobs anymore because employers do not consider me young anymore, so that is a factor too.

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Old 18-02-2011, 11:47 PM
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sounds like an interesting job.

are you sure you are a grass cutting manager in a stat board?
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Old 18-02-2011, 11:54 PM
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yes, in terms of functional role.
on paper i'm a 'manager'
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Old 19-02-2011, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miwashi View Post
yes, in terms of functional role.
on paper i'm a 'manager'
If you stay in your current job, you will always be comfortable. You won't be a millionaire, or at least you might take a while, but you will never starve either. You can probably own a car, pay off your house, buy a second property, etc when you are in your mid-forties. That's the reality. On the other hand, you appear disinclined toward your new job because of the pay differential. I believe you need to look at it more holistically, in terms of career earnings and not just annual pay. If you progress faster in your new job, or if it provides opportunity for you to move to other better paying jobs in the future, your career earnings may well be far better than in your current job. Unfortunately, that's what you will have to predict for yourself.

Frankly speaking, I am certain you know all the above. The choice is between guaranteed comfort and a small risk for potentially better prospects. You know that too. None of us can help you choose, because none of us know what you want in your life.

But if you are asking us to give you our opinion of what we would do in your situation, I would take up the new offer. Your progression in your current job is quite poor; you are aware that scholars are promoted much faster and their pay increases much faster. Some graduates in their late 20s already earn twice what you do. If you remain in your current job, you will always be second fiddle to them. Because I am ambitious, I would never be comfortable with that, so I would go to another place which offers me a chance to rise faster.
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Old 19-02-2011, 08:57 AM
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Thank you so much for the input. I agree that it is a gamble taking on any new job, even more so when it involves a substantial pay cut.

The thing that is making it difficult is the fact that I'm doing a masters degree now. I don't expect a pay increase as I know it's just fluff to add shine to your cv, but I don't know if taking a masters should also equate to the likes of losing around 5 years of increments, especially when your masters is somewhat relevant to the new job.

Plus I don't think companies review pay of existing staff and offer you an increase once you complete a new qualification; they only give increases upon promotions, which may be many many years away.
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