Are you thinking of making a career change? Has working in the federal government become tiresome?

If so, you need to know the differences between the public sector and private sector to have a better understanding of how to navigate this transition.

It’s going to take some work on your part. For starters, a mindset change is imperative if you’re going to embrace a different workplace culture. Each sector has its ways of operating, and it could be quite an adjustment.

Read on to find out more private sector information.

Private Sector

You may be wondering, what’s a private sector? The private sector is made up of for-profit individuals and companies. These entities aren’t controlled by states or regulated by the government.

These types of businesses include:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Small and mid-sized businesses
  • Large corporations and multinationals
  • Professional and trade associations
  • Trade unions

In this sector, people are likely to be employed in manufacturing, financial services, professions, hospitality, or other non-government positions.

Public Sector

The public sector consists of governments and publicly controlled and funded agencies, enterprises, and other government sectors that produce public programs, goods, or services.

There is ambiguity when it comes to figuring out which organizations belong to this sector.

For example, state businesses and public contractors are in the gray area.

State businesses are owned and controlled by the government, but sell goods or services for profit in the private market.

Public contractors receive public funding to provide programs, goods, and services under contract.

Public vs. Private Sector

Leaving federal service for private sector is a big decision.

That’s why you need to be clear about your core values, know what you can provide to an employer, identify your skills, strengths, and talents, among other things.

There are differences in job security when comparing the public and private sectors.

Most private-sector workers are classified as at-will employees. They can be fired for any reason other than race, gender, exercising workers’ compensation rights, or truthfully testifying in court.

Public-sector employers can only discipline, demote or fire unless there is cause. Examples of cause are a violation of work rules, dishonesty, misconduct, or poor performance.

Government employees who are not on at-will contracts have the opportunity at a hearing to present evidence and reasons why there is no legitimate cause for discipline or termination.

The United States Constitution prevents only governments from impeding a person’s right to freedom of speech.

Private citizens, businesses, or organizations have the power to demote or fire employees for expressing views they deem detrimental to the company.

Government employees are protected from views expressed on issues of public concern unless the government agency’s functionality is compromised.

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