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    Government Jobs: An Insider’s View On Growth, Opportunities, Challenges

    By Pramod Nagpal
    9 Nov'22  7 min read
    Government Jobs: An Insider’s View On Growth, Opportunities, Challenges
    Synopsis

    A large segment of our populations aims to avail government jobs for the numerous perks they are perceived to bring along. In this article, the author, with four decades of working with the government, gives us an insider’s view on growth, opportunities, and job satisfaction among those working for the government.

    Government Jobs: An Insider’s View On Growth, Opportunities, Challenges
    Synopsis

    A large segment of our populations aims to avail government jobs for the numerous perks they are perceived to bring along. In this article, the author, with four decades of working with the government, gives us an insider’s view on growth, opportunities, and job satisfaction among those working for the government.

    Decent salary, perks and allowances, dearness allowance revision every six months, premium housing facilities, job security, social security, free health care, holidays, leaves of various types, work-life balance, retirement benefits – what is there not to aspire for in a government job. Perhaps these are a few reasons why for a large segment of the population, securing a government job is the be-all and end-all. For all the benefits a government job provides, working in the government sector comes with its own disadvantages which have a direct bearing on one’s career, professional growth and job satisfaction.

    Types Of Govt. Jobs

    Before we discuss the various aspects of a government job, it is important to know the various types of government jobs in India:-

    • Civil Services – Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), and other allied services
    • Indian Engineering Service (IES), Indian Economic Service (IES), Indian Forest Service (IFS), Indian Statistical Service (ISS), etc.
    • State Service Commissions – for working with state government(s)
    • Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS)- for jobs at various levels in banks
    • RBI Grade B Officers
    • CDS – for jobs in defence
    • Public Sector Companies (PSU’s)
    • Scientific institutions such as DRDO, ISRO
    • Teaching jobs in universities/colleges/schools

    Some of the jobs for those who wish to begin working in the government sector right after Class 12 are:-

    • NDA – for jobs in defence
    • Staff Selection Commission (SSC)
    • Railway Recruitment Board
    • Indian Army/Coast guard/BSF/CISF
    • Police constable in various states

    Also Read | Top 10 Government Institutes Offering Unique Courses

    Growth Opportunities

    In the government. sector, the elite jobs like civil services, officer profiles in banks, defence, RBI etc., offer excellent career and growth opportunities. It is important to add that hard work, integrity, and honesty are key ingredients required in all spheres. Promotions are generally based on “seniority cum merit”, though in senior- level selections, merit is the predominant factor (suitability and closeness/ loyalty to current dispensation being the other unsaid factors). Continuous high performance and a clean and honest image go a long way in one’s career as the government has now started implementing the provisions contained in clause FR 56(J) of CCS (Pension) rules, and thereby prematurely retiring government officials on the ground of lack of integrity and ineffectiveness.

    Limited No. Of Positions

    It is also important to note that these opportunities are available to only a few as the structure in govt., just like that in the private sector, is like a pyramid and the number of positions at the top are limited. For instance, e.g. with 58 ministries in Govt. of India, there can only be that many or a few more secretaries to the government. There are around 300 Central PSUs and therefore, only 300 CEO positions available in a large country like India.

    Less Promising For The Juniors

    In the case of junior-level appointments in the government sector viz. clerks, stenographers, police constables, assistants, peons/helpers, the growth potential is extremely limited, stagnation is rampant and one generally gets two or three promotions in their entire career span, that too under the “Assured Career Progression Scheme”. This often leads one to feel frustrated and lose interest in the job. In fact, as per recent reports, around 2000 employees working as sepoys in one of the paramilitary forces have opted for voluntary retirement or tendered resignation because of not having received their first promotion in 18-20 years of service.

    This brings us to an important facet of one’s career i.e., job satisfaction.

    Also Read | Confused About A Job or A Start-Up Venture? Here Are Tips To Help You Decide

    Job Satisfaction

    Job satisfaction, in simple terms, can be understood as how content one feels in their job, in terms of its different aspects of facets, for instance, nature of work or supervision, respect received, compensation, and the likes of these.

    Based on the author’s four decades of working with the government, here are a few insights about the offerings of the government. sector in terms of job satisfaction:-

    types of government jobs, government jobs opportunities, government jobs growth A Government Job Provides Ample Opportunities For Self-Development

    Pride | Working in the government sector brings a lot of pride, since the work is usually developmental in nature and impacts a large number of people and their quality of life. The satisfaction of bringing positive change to people’s lives and the feeling of being able to contribute to the cause of one’s own country is without a parallel.

    Self Development | A government job provides ample opportunities for self-development (in the form of training opportunities, continuing education programs) besides making one learn to work, deliver and implement programs within the constraints of inadequate financial and other resources. The enormous challenges one may face and overcome in a government job help develop valuable life and crisis management skills, and guarantee huge dividends in the form of having great accomplishments and interesting stories to share with future generations, as one may wish (e.g., a battle fought on the warfront, a grave law and order situation handled as district magistrate, a difficult trade negotiation at forum(s) like WTO, relief measures undertaken at the time of cyclone or pandemic).

    Mundanity | For a large percentage of those working in the government, the job scenario is generally of an administrative nature, repetitive, mundane and monotonous, having limited scope for innovation. Absence of continuity in the policy framework is also an important factor because every time a secretary or a minister changes in a ministry, the policy framework tends to change and the work done earlier, while formulating or implementing the policy, is undone without realising the full benefits of earlier policy initiatives. This often leads to frustration amongst employees.

    Also Read | Know The Life Of New Employees At Banks

    Favouritism | It is said that people do not leave their jobs, they leave their bosses. While this is true for private sector employees because people in the government sector generally do not leave their jobs, they will have low levels of job satisfaction if they do not see eye to eye with their bosses. In the government sector, the superior officer cannot grant higher salary or additional financial incentives/perks, yet favouritism in grant of non-financial incentives/recognition/appreciation often leads to loss of job satisfaction.

    Seniority Cum Merit | High performers invariably tend to have low levels of job satisfaction, primarily because they are treated at par with non-performers/ low-performers for salary and other benefits, as well as in the matter of promotions because promotions are on the basis of “Seniority cum Merit”, instead of the other way round i.e., “Merit cum Seniority”. However, this rule is not necessarily followed in selection posts at very senior levels, where senior officers do sometimes quit their positions if an officer junior to them is appointed to such a selection post.

    Low Compensation | Low compensation levels and lack of exponential growth opportunities as compared to those in the private sector are two other important factors for low job satisfaction.

    Frequent Transfers | Place of posting and frequent transfers are also responsible for less-than-optimal job contentment. Posting in disturbed areas (where officials tend to go without their families), departments such as police (where everyone from bottom to top works twenty-four by seven, 365 days a year) directly affects work-life balance.

    Also Read | What Will Be A Good Career Option For You? Understanding Yourself And The Industry

    To conclude, there are plenty of jobs where you derive the utmost sense of achievement, pride and contentment. At the same time, there are jobs which get you various benefits that a government job has to offer, yet you have a feeling of non-fulfilment and emptiness. The glass is either half full or half empty, one cannot have the best of all the worlds all the time. Our circumstances, education, the amount of hard work we are going to put in, understanding the pros and cons, and choices we make, will eventually determine what we make of our career in the government.

    Pramod Nagpal is Chartered Accountant by training, (Retd.) Managing Director, Central Cottage Industries Corporation Of India Ltd. (A Govt. Of India undertaking, under Ministry Of Textiles). He holds close to four decades of experience in the areas of finance and commerce. Pramod has keen interest in the field of education, and guiding students on harnessing available opportunities to achieve their goals.

    • Education
    • Economy
    • Employment
    • Employee benefits
    • Salary
    • Incentive
    • Job satisfaction
    • Business
    • Indian Administrative Service

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