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    colorblind's Avatar
    colorblind Posts: 68, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member
     
    #1

    Apr 14, 2014, 03:32 AM
    Private Job or Government Job?
    Hi guys,
    Having completed my masterís degree in construction management and working with a leading construction company since a year now, itís time for me to again take a big decision in life which will change my life to a greater extent.
    After joining in the privately owned construction company, I have now grabbed a Government job after clearing the examination.
    The pros and cons of both are as follows:
    Private Job:
    Pros:
    1. Good money comparatively
    2. Would get a good position after couple of months
    3. Good training and exposure to big projects and core area
    Cons:
    1. No fixed working hours, minimum 12hours duty 24x365 irrespective to any designation
    2. No personal, social and family life
    3. No time to spend earned money with family or friends
    4. Job location is not fixed and changes every couple of years within anywhere in the country
    5. Very few official leaves and have to struggle to get approved
    6. No government holidays or festivals holidays
    Government Job:
    Pros:
    1. Comparatively 30% less salary
    2. Social respect, legal authority and power in department
    3. Safe and secure job for lifetime
    4. Ample of time for family, friends, society and self
    5. Can be home forever and transfer is less frequent and within state
    6. Can start own part time business
    7. Have ample of time to study and opportunity to give exams for higher posts
    8. No danger of losing job, recession etc. No office politics or favoritism for promotion and perks
    Cons:
    1. 30% less pay comparatively
    2. No opportunities to work abroad
    3. Slow growth and less exposure to advanced or core work area and technology
    My father also was a civil engineer and half of his life he has been out working on projects. I prefer a well set regular family and social life with enough money to satisfy the needs. I am now very confused to choose between unsecured job with good money with scarified life and secured job with average money with family & social life.
    Please help me to stretch my thoughts beyond these limits and to arrive at an optimum solution. I am now 29 single and planning to get married sooner.
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
    Ultra Member
     
    #2

    Apr 14, 2014, 04:30 AM
    I spent about 35 years in positions very similar to what you are discussing here. My time was spent with a state highway administration in the construction division. Once vested into the system, it is very difficult to consider moving into private contractor positions. But, the benefits of government have continually declined and I would question your ". No danger of losing job, recession etc. No office politics or favoritism for promotion and perks" pro for the government positions. Used to be true, but not so true anymore.
    And don't count on " No office politics or favoritism for promotion and perks". That was fairly accurate when I started but by the end of my career the merit system was about totally shot.

    But I get the feeling, in looking at your analysis that you are leaning heavily toward the government side. One option for you is to base your decision on the monetary comparison, and that analysis is complex. States have changed their retirement systems very severely in my region, but probably still superior to most private options. Contractors will cut staff quickly as funding dries up which it will do every 5 to 8 years during your career.

    But if you want to get into the heart of actual construction management as opposed to being more an observer, if the actual management of the final product is what really turns you on, you will get that with the private sector, but you will change companies, positions, and locations frequently throughout your career. Some of our best contractor engineers started out with the state highway administration to gain some experience and familiarity without being in high stress positions, then were more readily accepted into contractor positions. Those engineers knew the industry from both sides (owner and contractor) and were especially effective during negotiations over claim related issues, which is large part of today's construction management. Those engineers were also long term employees with the contractors, as they were instrumental in the bidding process also, and if a contractor can't present good bids, he will disappear fast.
    The instance of young engineers starting with contractors and then switching over to the state were very rare.
    Another option is employment with consultant engineering entities. States rely very heavily on consultants for planning, design, construction management, construction inspection, cpm schedule analysis and claims studies.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert
     
    #3

    Apr 14, 2014, 04:34 AM
    'I prefer a well set regular family and social life'

    You answered your own question, right?
    While it's good to weigh the pros and cons, going with your gut is preferable in my opinion.
    You are young and your skills are transferable. There's no reason to think you are stuck in one job for life.
    As someone who keeps an eye on the real estate market, I would also add that the recovering economy is in no way a sure thing, especially in construction. The flurry of activity last year isn't continuing as hoped.
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
    Ultra Member
     
    #4

    Apr 14, 2014, 06:00 AM
    colorblind,

    You listed about a dozen different factors when the ones common to different positions are considered.
    One of the 12 relate to the technical side of your career. This one- "3. Good training and exposure to big projects and core area"
    Where do the challenges of working in you chosen field and applying all that education fit in?
    Solving problems, proper planning and engineering, controlling costs, preparing-updating-analyzing highly technical schedules, use of computer technology.
    Supervising construction and/or construction management technicians, scheduling and efficient use of equipment and materials.
    I'm not sure that you have the "fire in your belly" to succeed and prosper on either side, govt. or private, if specializing on the construction side.
    Once you establish a family, the items you listed (security, time off etc), will become even more important to you, and that's OK but it will do little for your career.
    Maybe what you really want is a "people management" position with an engineering related company, leaning more toward administration in a 9 to 5, office environment.
    Taking a critical construction project from inception to completion means long hours, unusual hours, nowadays a lot of night work, hazards, getting mud on your boots, quick decisions and cost overruns always lurking in the background. Not to mention all the legal elements that are constantly present in construction management.
    Are you drawn toward those challenges or do you want the administrative side? Maybe as a safety engineer with your state's occupational safety administration?
    colorblind's Avatar
    colorblind Posts: 68, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member
     
    #5

    Apr 14, 2014, 07:17 AM
    smearcase, thanks for your reply.

    Your latest suggestion put in my more depth of thinking. And Yes! I am more inclined towards the administrative part, but still being in technical tasks. My current contractor company is 2nd largest in India and I would be working at a middle management level in June 2014. Also, I am appreciated and complimented socially for being a part of this old company.

    Moreover, I am among the 7 people selected for Leadership Development Program and having my final round in last week of this month. Well, I am confident that I will get through that, and after that I will have to sign a legal bond with the company for 3 years thereon (probably in May). Also, on the other side my joining order will be out within next 4-6 months and then it would be very difficult for me to leave the company with healthy end.

    The balanced and optimum solution I have had on my mind was to get an internal transfer to other region and to a metropolitan city and work in real-estate projects, the thought itself right now makes me happy and positive. There I can relish all the pros of Private and Government job, I feel. Also, I can work on getting my PMP certification. The slow growth and low monetary benefits and income of Govt. job also scares me at times, which would also can be a problem for me get a desired girl as my life partner.

    But, on the other hand the Government is likely to increase the pay in 2016 which is also considerable. I am allotted Irrigation department in the Government sector. If there, I am put on a Dam construction or say at remote site, it will be more worse than what it is right now. Because then I would have lost the chance of being a part of Leadership Development Program, the time, and the money I would earn in private job.

    What about the chances of getting recruited in countries like Canada, Australia or Singapore for construction planner job?Oh yes! I am in planning department, working as a planning engineer currently. I hope from this you can make out what kind of life I am looking. I lost my father just an year back, so its very important for me stand for myself, take right decisions for me, family and the future waiting for me ahead.
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
    Ultra Member
     
    #6

    Apr 14, 2014, 11:32 AM
    I assumed which I shouldn't have that you were in U.S. Maybe government positions in India are more secure and lucrative than U.S. has become.
    But, at least we did establish that the administrative end of the spectrum is more to your liking.
    It has it's advantages and I have worked in both, but preferred having field and office responsibilities simultaneously.
    Some professionals stereotype field employees as ogres and thugs but nothing could be further from the truth. They just want clear, sometimes very quick answers so they can keep working, but do it right the first time.

    We had a considerable number of engineers from India working with and for the highway administration, about equal numbers split between government employees, contractor supervision, and inspectors employed by consulting engineer companies. I can't recall one of possibly as many as 50 engineers I encountered from India that was lacking in any regard while working in the roles I described above. Competent, even tempered, cooperative, and excellent attitudes. Several were in very senior positions on the government side and were highly regarded and respected. They were often on national panels and committees and helped set standards to be followed in all 50 states.

    I think that you would do very well in the government, administrative engineering/design end, and with consulting engineering companies in you home country and the U.S. I don't have any experience to know about the other areas of the world you mentioned but I doubt you would have many problems, if you are at all like the individuals from India that I had the pleasure of working with.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,303, Reputation: 10854
    Expert
     
    #7

    Apr 14, 2014, 12:15 PM
    Your key is the balance of your priorities both long and short term and work to that end. Often job and career will require a choice between family and a social life but for now while you are single, I think the priority is to build both knowledge and skills until the family thing becomes clear, as for sure you must be both knowledgeable and experienced enough to have options and opportunities long term and that may mean sacrificing social for career.

    The more solid a foundation you build now, the more you can expand later. And the more you can weather the life storms that can not only change priorities, but options, as well and cause the needs for adjustments to life changing events. Marriage, DIVORCE, births and deaths are life changing events as well as changing economics, and domestic situations that life puts you in.

    Bottom line is be happy in whatever you choose, and be willing to work hard at it. It starts with a reasonable plan with reasonable goals and dealing with the glitches along the way. Decisions based on facts, and not just feelings as all plans look good on paper, but making it happen depends on overcoming obstacles. Reality doesn't always cooperate with the best laid plans.

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