Is the Civil Service that bad?

I have a conditional offer for a job in the Civil Service. It seems a good job to me on paper, with plenty of scope to pursue what interests me (wishful thinking). I was very surprised how accommodating they seemed at the welcome meeting, as I've never worked in any similar role or industry even. After I get the qualifications tied to the role, it should open up doors which I'd like to investigate. If it's disappointing I should be able to leave after a few years for the private sector.
There seems to be a lot of experience with the Civil Service on this site and very little said is positive. Is it that bad? I don't know anyone in so if anyone has any serious advice etc, I'd be keen to hear.
 

Donny

ADC
I have a conditional offer for a job in the Civil Service. It seems a good job to me on paper, with plenty of scope to pursue what interests me (wishful thinking). I was very surprised how accommodating they seemed at the welcome meeting, as I've never worked in any similar role or industry even. After I get the qualifications tied to the role, it should open up doors which I'd like to investigate. If it's disappointing I should be able to leave after a few years for the private sector.
There seems to be a lot of experience with the Civil Service on this site and very little said is positive. Is it that bad? I don't know anyone in so if anyone has any serious advice etc, I'd be keen to hear.
I worked alongside civil servants for a significant chunk of my thirty-odd years in the Army, and then became one in a different Whitehall department. In my experience there are the same differences you’ll find in any group of people - some are great, some not so much.

Much of the criticism on here comes from people who don’t really appreciate the role of the civil service so I’d take it with a pinch of salt. A lot depends on what job you’ve been offered, and in which department. If it’s a Whitehall based job then feel free to ask any questions and I’ll help if I can.

Edit to add: do it by PM if you prefer
 
I have a conditional offer for a job in the Civil Service. It seems a good job to me on paper, with plenty of scope to pursue what interests me (wishful thinking). I was very surprised how accommodating they seemed at the welcome meeting, as I've never worked in any similar role or industry even. After I get the qualifications tied to the role, it should open up doors which I'd like to investigate. If it's disappointing I should be able to leave after a few years for the private sector.
There seems to be a lot of experience with the Civil Service on this site and very little said is positive. Is it that bad? I don't know anyone in so if anyone has any serious advice etc, I'd be keen to hear.
When I joined the scientific civil service at 19 with a lot of O levels and a slack handful of A levels my father said
"you will never be rich, you will never be poor, you will never lose your job, and the pension is good".
He was 100% correct. As to now, I know not .............................
 
When I joined the scientific civil service at 19 with a lot of O levels and a slack handful of A levels my father said
"you will never be rich, you will never be poor, you will never lose your job, and the pension is good".
He was 100% correct. As to now, I know not .............................
Now:
You will never be rich, you will never be poor (but don’t expect a pay rise)
You could, but are unlikely to lose your job
The pension is good, but not as good as it was

* I have the best civil service Daily Mail gold plated pension in my pension pot
But those terms have ceased and I only have them up to a certain date, my current contributions go to one that isn’t as good - but I am able to retire earlier on the ‘current’ pension (If I do so then I will get that part early and wait for the rest to kick in)
 
I have a conditional offer for a job in the Civil Service. It seems a good job to me on paper, with plenty of scope to pursue what interests me (wishful thinking). I was very surprised how accommodating they seemed at the welcome meeting, as I've never worked in any similar role or industry even. After I get the qualifications tied to the role, it should open up doors which I'd like to investigate. If it's disappointing I should be able to leave after a few years for the private sector.
There seems to be a lot of experience with the Civil Service on this site and very little said is positive. Is it that bad? I don't know anyone in so if anyone has any serious advice etc, I'd be keen to hear.

Just go for it and make your own mind up. Take no heed to a bunch of squaddies gobbing off.
 

beer

Old-Salt
I have a conditional offer for a job in the Civil Service. It seems a good job to me on paper, with plenty of scope to pursue what interests me (wishful thinking). I was very surprised how accommodating they seemed at the welcome meeting, as I've never worked in any similar role or industry even. After I get the qualifications tied to the role, it should open up doors which I'd like to investigate. If it's disappointing I should be able to leave after a few years for the private sector.
There seems to be a lot of experience with the Civil Service on this site and very little said is positive. Is it that bad? I don't know anyone in so if anyone has any serious advice etc, I'd be keen to hear.
Do it, it could be outstanding and life changing.
 
When my department was civil service, it was very risk averse, now we're a Government Company, it's even worse! We went from a decent pension to one where I had to pay more in, work longer and get less when I retire. However, that has been challenged and we're moving back to the old scheme once terms have been thrashed out with the union. As has already been said, don't expect any pay rises, I've had pay freezes or 1% rises for 12 years, we were supposed to be removed from the civil service pay restraints when we left, but our bosses have conveniently given themselves big rises while the rank and file suffer.
 
I was very lucky, joined Customs and Excise mid 80s, somehow blagged my way into the Investigation Division, police equivalent would be CID, but with an international remit.
Doubly lucky in sticking like a tick to the Classic pension scheme.
Give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised but keep an eye out for other vacancies.
 

ACAB

LE
When I was in the Theatre Contractors Management Cell (TCMC) in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan we were unfortunate enough to have a female civil servant attached to us. She was so into a Staff Sergeant from a line regiment she didn't give a toss about what the guys were going through.

Snivel Servants, I've shit them.
 
I worked alongside civil servants for a significant chunk of my thirty-odd years in the Army, and then became one in a different Whitehall department. In my experience there are the same differences you’ll find in any group of people - some are great, some not so much.

Much of the criticism on here comes from people who don’t really appreciate the role of the civil service so I’d take it with a pinch of salt. A lot depends on what job you’ve been offered, and in which department. If it’s a Whitehall based job then feel free to ask any questions and I’ll help if I can.

Edit to add: do it by PM if you prefer
Will PM thanks. Thats what I'd assumed, that it will be like any other cross section of society, with good and bad.
 
When I joined the scientific civil service at 19 with a lot of O levels and a slack handful of A levels my father said
"you will never be rich, you will never be poor, you will never lose your job, and the pension is good".
He was 100% correct. As to now, I know not .............................
Thats very similar to what I'd heard.
 
It depends - policy role, finance, admin/clerk, science?

From my exposure to both MoD CS (through job) and through broader CS (family members various), is that there can be some really interesting and exciting roles and people. There are also some mouth breathers who we'd be better off just asking not to come back to work. The biggest thing I've noticed is that the MoD CS are far far older than other Departments - the average age is something like 50.
 
I left the mob last year and went straight into an operations manager role for a large well known courier firm. It was feckin horrendous. Having to deal with civvies that didnt want to be there. Training them up only for them not to bother turning up then when you phone them they tell you they dont want the job any more. Stress levels through the roof on pretty shit pay. I walked away......then covid hit so I was unemployed for a while but that job made me realise I was done with managing people, didnt want to do it any more.
I applied for a storekeepers job with the MOD CS and because of covid it took nearly a year from application to actually getting in the job, however, I love it. No stress, no drama. I'm very lucky to have great bosses who put your health and mental health before the job, I work Mon - Thurs 8 till 4 and Fri 8 till 1. The pay is shit to be fair, I've took nearly a 50% pay drop, but my pension tops that up and the missus has a high paying job and our mortgage is paid off and we have no debt, so it all works out.
Quality of life now is awesome, all I can say is go for it and make of it what you will.

The biggest thing I've noticed is that the MoD CS are far far older than other Departments - the average age is something like 50.
Correct. At 51 I'm the youngest in my Dept.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
The biggest thing I've noticed is that the MoD CS are far far older than other Departments - the average age is something like 50.

You can thank Broon for that.
No pay rises, worse pensions and a de facto end of career progression has seen all the younger leave while the older ones are clinging on for their better than current pensions.
A lot of that older tranche will be banging out shortly, and its going to decapitate MOD CS of an awful lot of its institutional knowledge base.

Fast Track Bright Young Things leaping in at C2 and their very high churn rate are apparently the future.
 
Now:
You will never be rich, you will never be poor (but don’t expect a pay rise)Most CS are now paid wotse than in 2016
You could, but are unlikely to lose your job No but it will be contracted out at twice the cost whilst your T&Cs get butt****ed
The pension is good, but not as good as it wasEveryone starts a new one 04/22 the old and bold can go back to classic terms but the extra you've paid was gone in the style of SNP accounting

* I have the best civil service Daily Mail gold plated pension in my pension pot
But those terms have ceased and I only have them up to a certain date, my current contributions go to one that isn’t as good - but I am able to retire earlier on the ‘current’ pension (If I do so then I will get that part early and wait for the rest to kick in)
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
When my department was civil service, it was very risk averse, now we're a Government Company, it's even worse! We went from a decent pension to one where I had to pay more in, work longer and get less when I retire. However, that has been challenged and we're moving back to the old scheme once terms have been thrashed out with the union. As has already been said, don't expect any pay rises, I've had pay freezes or 1% rises for 12 years, we were supposed to be removed from the civil service pay restraints when we left, but our bosses have conveniently given themselves big rises while the rank and file suffer.
Sounds like the MDP.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
I am an ex military, current CS. Pay could be better but I have a good work/life balance which is more important to me. And I am fortunate in that have an interesting job (to me).

If you like the look of the job, go for it. Once passed probation, you can apply sideways or up for a whole raft of jobs home and abroad.
 
Is the CS pension for someone who joined today still a Final Salary Scheme?
 

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