I always diss on employees in public service. But with the market being volatile working for in the public sector be a good deal. People always say that the smart people work in the private sector because one usually makes more money $$$ and there is more room for advancement. However what I am finding is that when you make more $$$ you spend more money. Another problem is that most people live in the present and if they aren’t forced to put money away (like the city forces you to) then you may not save enough in your 401K and IRA. As a city employee you are required to contribute to your pension. And even if the market tanks that’s okay because you are guaranteed a pension. That or the city will find some way to cut money from somewhere else to pay you.
Too bad I can’t get a job with the city for two reasons.
1) I’m not qualified (as Felton says), Here’s an example, a city planner requires either a masters degree in urban planning (MUP) with no experience OR a bachelor’s with two years experience. However even though I have two years as a city planning technician meeting the minimum is NOT good enough. Most of the people who interview and have this job I know have a MUP with at least two years experience. And all that for a gut-wrenching $46,000 a year. After two years you receive a 15% raise, and beyond that it is only cost of living increases. The people at my current job in finance make at least twice as much and they’re younger and have less educational background (some have just a high school diploma)
2.) The city ain’t hiring because they are in tough times. One of my friends asked me why he gets paid the least amount of money in the department where he supervises everyone. When a workforce is unionized a collective bargaining agreement is negotiated for them as a group, and the workers are protected to some degree from being laid off. Unless they’re deemed absolutely incompetent the budget is split equally amongst all your coworkers and there is a sense of equity. Everyone in the same job title with the same seniority get the same money. In the private sector each employee can negotiate their salary and they take more of the piece of pie if they’re better employees (or deemed that)
On that note here’s a story about the department that one of my friends runs in the city and how they put up a street sign in the WRONG borough. Remember as Val Kilmer says in Top Gun when Tom Cruise says he’s the best. “The plaque for the alternates is down in the lady’s room.”