I have mainly private sector job experience. From SME to huge corporation positions. And to be honest one thing comes to my mind immediately. When I first joined Indian company, a well-known IT giant corporation I actually felt an omnipresent pressure. Pressure that everything is urgent, critical and important, that everything needs to be done asap, with no delays, without fail, pressure to be on time, pressure to fulfill all the joining formalities, to support the background check verification, to follow the onboarding trainings, to follow the process that is precisely set for everyone. Everyone in India means dozens of people joining the company same day as you. Mass crowd no name people who expect good life and good job.

Later on I understood that was an Indian pressure to put some light on corporate discipline. In the end, many things were done more slowly than I expected, without exaggerated pace. Many times I was asking myself: why is it even happening like this? But Indian pressure is pressure anyway. And I do not have any personal comparison to governmental job as well so this I took such behaviours as granted – before I got an OCI card I was working in India only on business and employment visa but I have few friends who made the decision to work only in public sector. My curiosity took over and I got to know what are the differences between these two sectors.  What drives people to go for different types of jobs? Why some are pushed into private sector hence some choose public position.

Job stability

Many of my friends’ parents or even grandparents remember times, especially before IT boom, when there was no job vacancies available in the companies and to support the family they had to struggle to have monthly stable income. The economic growth pushed India a lot and situation changed – people started getting jobs in governmental offices and later on – shifted to private sector. Both types of work give decent income but the job security lies more on the public sector. Private companies’ revenue depends strongly on the negotiation, acquiring new clients and projects that might be risky to some extent. Whereas, in government sectors the situation of the employees more or less remains same and the job positions remained intact for many years.

Salary

Government pays much more than private sector to low skilled sector. On the other words, I would say that private sector is tempting for fresh graduates – it offers good starting packages and the promise for good hikes. At the same time, money is divided into categories-components: Provident Fund, Pension scheme, Income Tax and few more that are reducing your take home money (all these is deducted from your gross salary indeed). For governmental vacancies – joining package will be little less but people of these jobs have Sixth Central Pay – to evolve a proper pay package for the Government employees. To add to this, and that is not a secret apart from regular income they might get some extra nontaxable and not reported money in envelopes, what I call “money under the table”. Unfortunately that gives an image of very corrupted environment, especially in India if you want to have something done – pay extra. That kind of attitude drives people to do unethical things and be ok with that – if everyone does it, why not me? Even if you want to be sincere in your efforts, other people aren’t.

Holidays

Definitely less for private jobs and plenty for government vacancies. Every month in India there are public, national or regional festivals for which the government workers have them all granted as days off (that’s around 1.5 months statutory leave granted per year) and what’s more – they also get extra leave balance. For private sector workers – just 21 days of casual leaves and 5 days sick leave per year. For international contracts in private companies, the employee’s calendar is merged with client’s calendar – that means less holidays indeed.

Working hours

Personally, I think this factor is a big advantage for government job over private sector. In public sector jobs, there are “general shift” I mean standard working hours, mostly 10.00am-6pm (even if you finish early your task – you might leave early home as well). In reality, fixed work hours allow you to plan your schedule around them. Extra working hours in private sector shrinks the day and sometimes you do not know whether to stay and take a pillow to office and have a nap over there when you know there is no point in leaving your desk in the middle of the night. To add to this there might be a demand to work on shifts…morning, afternoon and night shifts as well.

Promotions

An important factor, which in government jobs, promotion is always based on the service period hence or they depend more on reference of someone influential. We might call it nepotism clearly. Quite the contrary to private sector when your appraisals are done on quarterly basis and promotion set up for your performance and results brought from business.

Pension

In both work types some kind of pension scheme is provided (in private sector it is mostly Provident Fund being deducted from your monthly salary, in governmental one: proper pension scheme with little more privileges like i.e discounts for railway fares).

Growth

Relatively attractive for young, mobile people in private companies with international contracts usually offer some onsite experience, they assist and process visa formalities and send their employees on short or long-term assignments. Such opportunity triggers double salary – Indian basic salary plus conveyance abroad. For public sector jobs work is more monotonous and one can get easily into routine. Tasks are not demanding, do not require creativity and any proactive way of resolving things looks kind of bizzare, personal development goes to another plan.

Work load

Government sector jobs are definitely less stressful when compared to the jobs in private sector. The work load in governments jobs even if high would have more than enough time frame to complete it in the best manner possible unlike that of private sector jobs.

Work pace

It might seem funny in today’s digitalized and automated world that in many places, in many offices, especially governmental jobs, work is still now done manually. And I’m not mentioning remote and isolated village conditions but cities cases as well. Paper work that is still observed in governmental offices, is quite lengthy to some extend so do not expect people over there to resolve your issue immediately. Quite the contrary to private sector where each and everyone gets it’s own desktop / laptop / installed environment an applications.


Some general conclusions

  • The jobs in government is practically upto 60 years while the job in private sector can be contractual.
  • In Government Jobs, the promotions are usually based on the number of years you have worked for.
  • You can quit your job by giving notice of 1-3 months (depends on the industry and companies vary from one to another) in private sector. However, you can’t be separated from government jobs except by following elaborate procedures prescribed by law.
  • The objective of private sector job is pretty much clear – to make more money. However, the government jobs have different objectives such as public service or social justice.
  • Getting a governmental job in India is tough. It’s either happening by internal politics, or your connections. Never by chance or luck.

There is not doubt that are  advantages and some disadvantages in both types of work. Whichever field you choose, you are in for a ride full of ups and downs. But make sure to make a conscious decision. In short both are valuable and worthless depends on your dedication and perception. Personally I would hesitate to join governmental position as of now, I have very fixed set of values and i would be afraid that dealing with dishonesty on a daily basis would slowly convert me into same kind of a person… but on the other hand, it’s kind of tempting to showcase that other way round is also possible – maybe setting a good example and changing common opinion would trigger a spiral of good change? Who knows?

I would love to hear your comments on this!

Thank you very much for reading this article. I am curious if you have/had any comparison in any of these sectors? Maybe you switched from governmental job into private one, or vice versa? Any regrets? – please share some comments. And if you liked the article – share it, click “Like it” and subscribe to my newsletter.

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