When it comes to government work, it’s sadly the case that most people are counting the days until retirement. Of course, there are a rare few that enjoy the work, but most fall into the first category. While some are tired of the politics involved, others want to spend more time with their family. We also can’t avoid the most recent government shutdown which caused serious financial and emotional stress for families all around the country.
As the shutdown went on and on, there was no way for federal workers to plan. Now it has come to an end, the risk of a second shutdown still looms, and this leaves many looking for the exit. Whether you’ve been with the public sector for nearly three decades, are in the middle of your career, or are just starting, we have some useful advice for you today.
Should you take the risk of leaving this career? Would the change actually bring benefits? Let’s assess the merits of both leaving and staying!
Reasons to Stay
Retirement Benefits: Firstly, the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is a system that simply cannot be found in the private sector. What’s more, we also receive a generous match in the TSP and leaving this behind can be difficult.
Security: Recently, we’ve learned that security has certainly decreased in the public sector. Yet, you still have more protection with the government. For example, you could be temporarily laid off in the private sector, called back, and not receive any pay for this period.
Annual Leave: Not only is the annual and sick leave significant with the federal government, but you will also start from the bottom of the ladder in the private sector which can cause issues with family and vacations.
Family-Friendly Nature: With many private companies, they let you go after a certain amount of time if you don’t get a promotion. Unfortunately, this causes you to work all sorts of hours and spend more time away from family.
Reasons to Leave
Change of Scenery: Before we head into the heavier reasons, it may be a simple case of needing new scenery; something fresh. For some, it won’t have anything to do with finances whatsoever.
Money: On the other hand, you might recognize the opportunity to earn more money for the same job (in SOME occupations). Before making a decision, do your due diligence and compare salaries.
Security: We understand that we also included security as a reason to stay, but many people have lost faith in the federal government. Maybe you could launch your own business and take charge of your own financial future?Climbing the Career Ladder: For the most ambitious among us, people tend to climb the career ladder faster in the private sector, so this is worth considering. You don’t have to worry about federal regulations, you just know that hard work will bring rewards.
Improved Benefits: Despite some employers offering fewer benefits, a few will improve the benefits you currently receive. For example, you might enjoy fitness facilities, child care, discounts on products, and regular prizes. Just think of Google and the benefits their employees receive (massages, free food, etc.).
Buyout: Finally, federal employees can sometimes be enticed away from their position with Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments. Often, this will be the lesser of your severance pay (you would have received under normal circumstances) and $25,000. This increases to $40,000 for those in the Department of Defense.
Should you stay or should you go? This is a personal decision and worth discussing with your family and friends, but hopefully, we’ve helped by offering the benefits of each!