I've just finished my first year working for one of the Big 4 doing tax. I have a law background, and have recently been offered a Job working for the government assisting with tax policy.
I'm worried about a few things:
- Being bored; I'm a hard worker and from what I've heard some government departments can be lazy.
- Incompetent management; Apparently a lot of the management in the government are people who were promoted simply due to their time worked, as opposed to proven ability.
- Boys club culture; I don't mind this as long as I'm not going somewhere full of cliques that take forever to let you in. It only took me like a couple of weeks to start to fit in with my current team, but I've heard it can be a bit of a horror story in Government - partly because people leave less often.
Yes, there is nepotism and yes there is an old boys culture, but that is all leaving.
Upper management is finally realizing that promotion based on ability is more efficient than promotion based on time worked. The old guard are retiring and a new generation are being hired through a way more competitive process than the boomers ever went through.
The boys club thing is relevant but really only in the intelligence community, everywhere else women, minorities, etc have become half or more than half of the working staff.
I mean now the federal government has management consulting companies coming in teaching teams "innovation" and all the silicon valley crap is filtering into the government.
This could be a good thing or a bad thing.
I feel like I'm rambling but it's what I've noticed living and going to school around Washington.
I'm not American, but I can share some experiences as a lawyer working for government in tax.
>Being bored; I'm a hard worker and from what I've heard some government departments can be lazy.
There are some people who get by doing the bare minimum, but plenty who really do work hard. If you show that you're willing to take on more work (and that you're competent to do it) then you shouldn't find yourself bored.
The people who don't do much work tend to be older people who don't care anymore, or people who are just a bit shit at their jobs so no one asks them to do anything. Unfortunately it's difficult for incompetent people to actually get fired in government jobs.
>Incompetent management; Apparently a lot of the management in the government are people who were promoted simply due to their time worked, as opposed to proven ability.
Where I work there is a very strict system of merit based selection. It might be different where you are. If anything, the problem tends to be that people get promoted to management positions because they were performing well in their previous non-management roles. And good lawyers are not necessarily good managers. But yeah, it's luck of the draw with getting a good manager.
>Boys club culture
I haven't really experienced this. Actually I expect my colleagues would generally consider the private sector to have more of a boys' club culture.