A large amount of Ghanaians leave their homes daily to go to work at a government department or agency. The government is the single largest employer of Ghanaians. The government of Ghana takes it upon itself to make sure certain services are provided to the ordinary Ghanaian. They also make sure amenities are made available for use for ordinary people. Governments are responsible for making sure certain basic things are in places such as law and order through the courts and police. They make sure there is development at the grassroots level through the MMDAs.
Think of government, you may probably imagine the president, vice president, and their entourage of staff. But the government goes beyond these people. And they are not involved in the agencies and departments responsible for the people daily. These are done by public servants and civil servants who have been trained and well educated. They handle the affairs of the country at their level whether they are police, fire service worker, a teacher or a doctor.
The purpose of this post is to give you basic information regarding working for the Ghana government. And to help you make the decision.
To start with, your journey to working with the government starts with the decision to join one of 2 main divisions of government workers.
Public Service Vs Civil Service
Both the civil and public services are government jobs. However, they have some significant differences.
The Public Service workers are responsible for providing certain select services to the citizenry such as security. One usually gets into the public service through the public services commission. The commission recruits for the various government agencies and departments such as Civil Service, Audit Service, Health Service, Ghana Polic Sevice, and the Energy Commission.
On the other end, civil servants are also government workers who are given a specific set of roles and responsibilities. Civil servants are often recruited by their merits such as educational qualifications. Civil servants are regulated by the Ghana Civil Service.
Advantages of Government Jobs
1. Work-life balance
One of the best things about government jobs is that you can always a good amount of time for yourself. A huge amount of government jobs are routine and involve repetitive tasks. You get to enjoy a less pressured work environment as you get familiar with the tasks. There may be a few peak times when you have to engage in stressful work hours and meetings but these are kept to the minimum. Government workers enjoy 30 days of annual leave. Senior staff can get up to 45 days excluding holidays and weekends.
2. Stable Jobs
Most people work in the government until their retirement or when they choose to shift to the private sector. Otherwise, they enjoy relatively stable jobs as compared to the private sector where termination of employment is rife based on the signed employment contract. When the coronavirus hit, most jobs lost were in the private sector where a business that was hit most had to let employees go.
Government employees get to enjoy study leave and still receive their regular salary, have access to social security which caters for when they retire. They also get access to professional development opportunities such as government sponsorships, reimbursement for certain educational expenses, and occasional training.
4. Career Fulfillment
Government jobs are many spanning many different interests and industries. One can find their preferred field in the public sector. This is great news for people who do not want to work in the private sector yet want to maintain their career interests.
5. Location Convenience
Unlike private-sector jobs which may sometimes bind you to a certain location, government sector jobs are everywhere, cities, towns, and villages. You can work for the government anywhere live. For the private sector, you may be compelled to live where your office is located. But due to the relative ubiquity of government departments and agencies, you can choose.
Disadvantages of Government Jobs
1. Bureaucratic in Nature
The government is a giant machine with systems and processes which sometimes stifle change. These systems have been put in place for the public good. However, it isn’t everyone who likes the relatively unchanging public sector due to bureaucracy.
2. Career Advancement Hinged on Education Not Necessarily Skills or Performance
Employment in the public sector is mostly hinged on your educational background and experience. Unlike the private sector which values skills and results, you stand little chance of getting into the public sector if you do not have the right certifications and degrees.
3. Slow Growth in Earning Potential
It is possible to stay in the same rank for lots of years if you do not get the right education needed to upgrade your rank regardless of how hard you work at your current level. This may stifle your ability to increase your earning potential as salaries are paid based on ranks and qualifications.
Preparing for Government Jobs in Ghana
Decide if you want to be a civil servant or you want to work in one of the other agencies under the public service.
2. CV, Cover letter, and Referees
Get your curriculum vitae ready. In addition, make sure you have a cover letter in case it is required. You will need some good references to go along with your CV and cover letter.
Send in your application through the Public Services Commission of Ghana.
4. Prepare For Your Interview
5. Get started
Get the job and get started.
Contrary to popular belief, the public sector is a great place to be. Are you interested in making a change in the country through policy and other ways? Getting a government job may be the road you need to take.