With the large number of job losses in the public sector, the potential movement of people from employment in the public sector to the private sector has been a hot topic on the news recently-with various quotes from private sector employers, some of whom apparently feel that they would not consider a job application from someone with a public sector background. The sort of thing, of course, guaranteed to set me off on a rant about any employer worth their salt not out ruling any prospective employee on the basis of generalisations about one sector or another.
So I was delighted, in my role as PPMA President, to be asked to chair a conference last week taking an objective look at the issues involved in career change from the public to the private sector, sponsored by the East of England Regional Assembly (EELGA) and BT. It was a great day-we had more than 100 people there, some because they were contemplating such a move and others from HR who are looking to learn more in order to best support staff facing redundancy. We spent part of the time looking at differences that people had experienced in working in both sectors-issues highlighted included involvement in decision making and focus on the bottom line. However, the strongest message from the day was about the importance of people thinking hard about their skills, experience and achievements and about how they might best describe that in a way that makes it relevant to a prospective employer.
Then, staying up later than usual on Wednesday night (I had foolishly volunteered to pick up our 15 year old after a concert!) I caught an item on Newsnight with Dragon’s Den Deborah Meaden and others acting as jobs market mentors to four public sector employees facing redundancy. What Deborah Meaden in particular had to say was more of the same. Very sound and practical advice to any job seeker, her top tips can be found on the Newsnight website
So I end the week being heartened that there is every possibility that the huge amount of talent that is sitting in the public sector might be recognised after all!
‘Till next week,