Any current civil servants? Watch

sma0414
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Hi all,

I'm really keen to work in the public sector (and Civil Service) but was just wondering if there are any current civil servants on TSR that can give me some advise of what it's like? How are the working hours? Is it a good job to go into at EO level straight after graduating? Do you enjoy the work you do? How much responsibility do EO's typically get? What kind of tasks are EO's typically assigned?

I'm particularly looking into EO Policy positions but if there's anyone from any department (in any role) that is happy to talk I would really really appreciate just getting to know a bit more about the Civil Service thank you so much!
1
reply
Liv1204
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
Hey,

So I was an HEO, so there will be some differences but I'm happy to answer a few of your questions. I'd also really really recommend having a read through of the Civil Service Competency Framework - relevant to all levels, and gives more specific detail about the competencies required at specific grades.

General disclaimer that what it's like will vary a lot depending on specific role/department/team (I absolutely loved my team/division, but even within my department there are areas I really would have hated to work in!). But in general, it's a very good place to work. Civil Service tend to be very professional employers in my experience. I actually had to stop for health reasons, but right up until I left my line manager and lead analyst were brilliant, incredibly supportive, pushed me (nicely!) towards achievements I'd never have thought I could do.

EO is an absolutely respectable level to go into after graduating!

Re. types of tasks and responsibilities for EOs, definitely have a look at the Competency Framework. Basic summary of it (and bearing in mind I started at HEO, so can't be 100% certain on actual EO experience):

- Be aware of the relevant issues relating to their team/department (similar for all grades, HEOs + above should be aware of emerging/wider issues)
- Be interested in expanding knowledge through training etc (higher grade difference is that there may be more expectation that they will actively seek out training opportunities)
- Suggest ideas for improvement (so there is the responsibility for making changes and how to improve services)
- Less responsibility for decision making than higher grades (obviously), but still responsibility to speak to the right people, ensure unbiased decisions are made, explain decision-making etc
- Less leadership/management responsibilities than HEO and above (though a good employer should aim to give opportunities for this)

In practice, things may not differ too much, the main differences are likely to (at least initially) be how much leadership is expected.

Working hours pretty good in my experience, again may well differ in departments - when I was at DWP there was some 'controversy'/debate about the new working agreement for flexi time and pay, but things change. My hours were 36 a week; outside of London was 37 a week (London pay zones an hour less because of often longer travel times) - 7hr 12min a day. Nice thing with flexi hours was you could do longer some days and shorter other days. We filled in time sheets, so often there'd be weeks with some long days, and then you'd be up on hours and could finish early (e.g. during England matches in the Euros the office was pretty empty!) Or e.g. I had some weeks where I had a lot of travelling - Stirling, Coventry, Doncaster, Nottingham, Bath, all sorts of places. That made for a couple of 10 hours days, so then I had some short days later in the week, or late starts to even out. And Friday afternoons are very very quiet!

Work is enjoyable. Again, will differ in role/department! But it's interesting stuff, so many opportunities and interesting work, and as cliched as it sounds, it is so good to be getting involved with work which really does make a difference to people's lives.
1
reply
sma0414
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#3
Hi

Thank you so so much for your really informative reply! So lovely of you to mention things is such detail and it has really helped me out!

I've send you a direct message in response!

Thank you again
0
reply
Grim_Squeaker
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
I'm a Civil Servant. Though my experience are probably somewhat different from that of my esteemed TSR comrade as I'm not with the DWP and instead work in Engineering and Project Management.
2
reply
Gyoza
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
I might jump on this bandwagon. I was wondering what the promotion opportunities are (generally) like. I just took an AO role, although I'm on the reserve list for a couple of EO roles and my previous work experience is more in line with EO or HEO level work. I'm waiting to hear back about a couple more EO positions that I have interviewed for.

Ideally I'd like to work my way up to EO relatively quickly, because I have that experience already so I was wondering if you have to 'do your time' before you'll be taken seriously for promotion or if it's reasonable to be looking to move up after about six months to a year?
1
reply
username3079870
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
Former Civil servant. Will echo what the others have said, there is a great work life balance.

I decided to leave as I was a "techie" in goverment. In that field things move pretty quick. With goverment my skills weren't staying up to date so that was the only reason for moving on. Other than that I would've stayed. Really great place to work
2
reply
Daniellecorni5h
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
I joined the Civil Service (Office for National Statistics) as an EO straight after graduating and was promoted to HEO within a year. I'm a statistician so it's different to the policy roles you've mentioned and in reality I didn't find any jump between EO and HEO responsibilities. Most people here seem to start at HEO from graduating but EO isn't bad either.

Working hours are great - flexi time means I tend to work 7-8am-ish to 3-4pm ish to miss the rush hour traffic and have a long afternoon/evening. Also get to work from home when I want to within reason.

Happy to answer any other specific questions
2
reply
roflcakes1
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 year ago
#8
Thanks for starting this thread - it's really useful.

For those currently in the civil service with experience of HEO level roles, I'm wondering if you could give me some advice on my situation.

I graduated in 2016 and following 2 internships (one in the civil service) secured a role 6 months ago (in the public sector but not civil service). The role I'm in is above graduate level for my company (I'm working at the same level as someone who has finished our graduate scheme). I want to go back into the civil service after maybe a year in my current role, but my problem is that I'd be looking mainly for a policy role, and my current work isn't in policy, although I have a voluntary role as policy researcher for a think tank. Would HEO be a good level for me to look at applying to? My salary and level of responsibility is around HEO level so I feel applying to EO would be a step back for me - although I recognise I may need to do this given the change in job sector. And what if I want to work in a department slightly different to the area of my current job?
0
reply
Captainusa
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
(Original post by roflcakes1)
Thanks for starting this thread - it's really useful.

For those currently in the civil service with experience of HEO level roles, I'm wondering if you could give me some advice on my situation.

I graduated in 2016 and following 2 internships (one in the civil service) secured a role 6 months ago (in the public sector but not civil service). The role I'm in is above graduate level for my company (I'm working at the same level as someone who has finished our graduate scheme). I want to go back into the civil service after maybe a year in my current role, but my problem is that I'd be looking mainly for a policy role, and my current work isn't in policy, although I have a voluntary role as policy researcher for a think tank. Would HEO be a good level for me to look at applying to? My salary and level of responsibility is around HEO level so I feel applying to EO would be a step back for me - although I recognise I may need to do this given the change in job sector. And what if I want to work in a department slightly different to the area of my current job?
I'm in a similar position to you but a bit further on in my career. I'm currently leaving the military as an officer and my pay/level of work closely resembles that of a grade 7. However, I'm finding it tough to get in at that level. I have a couple of SEO offers so I think I'm probably going to take one of those and hopefully get promoted within a year or two!
0
reply
Horus123
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 year ago
#10
I just wanted to chip in as a current CS. Whilst there will always be the odd job where someone is
0
reply
Zyro
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 year ago
#11
(Original post by roflcakes1)
Thanks for starting this thread - it's really useful.

For those currently in the civil service with experience of HEO level roles, I'm wondering if you could give me some advice on my situation.

I graduated in 2016 and following 2 internships (one in the civil service) secured a role 6 months ago (in the public sector but not civil service). The role I'm in is above graduate level for my company (I'm working at the same level as someone who has finished our graduate scheme). I want to go back into the civil service after maybe a year in my current role, but my problem is that I'd be looking mainly for a policy role, and my current work isn't in policy, although I have a voluntary role as policy researcher for a think tank. Would HEO be a good level for me to look at applying to? My salary and level of responsibility is around HEO level so I feel applying to EO would be a step back for me - although I recognise I may need to do this given the change in job sector. And what if I want to work in a department slightly different to the area of my current job?
I am a HO in HMRC. Obvious disclaimer is that departments vary massively. I work in compliance which handles checks into taxpayers returns. From watching jobs for my own progression to SO and G7, policy roles typically start from SO, and most common I've seen are G7. There are a few HO ones but Id consider thoae the exception from what I've seen. This is ONLY in HMRC however, so other departments vary.

Responsibility also depends on department. A HO in DWP will have a metric **** ton more responsibility than I have in HMRC for instance.

As others have said, flexi is incredible. I would find it really difficult going out of civil service because of flexi alone. I believe flexi is different for G7 and above though.
0
reply
roflcakes1
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 year ago
#12
(Original post by Zyro)
I am a HO in HMRC. Obvious disclaimer is that departments vary massively. I work in compliance which handles checks into taxpayers returns. From watching jobs for my own progression to SO and G7, policy roles typically start from SO, and most common I've seen are G7. There are a few HO ones but Id consider thoae the exception from what I've seen. This is ONLY in HMRC however, so other departments vary.

Responsibility also depends on department. A HO in DWP will have a metric **** ton more responsibility than I have in HMRC for instance.

As others have said, flexi is incredible. I would find it really difficult going out of civil service because of flexi alone. I believe flexi is different for G7 and above though.
That's interesting - I've seen lots of EO/HEO policy roles online but for different departments, so you're right that it differs a lot. I guess HMRC is quite differently structured because it requires a lot of admin-type staff so I guess they make up the majority of EO/HEO roles.

Flexi time is obviously a bonus but is less important to me as I'm young. Will definitely be a plus for older people with families. May differ by departments, but more senior people tend to get more bonuses like this - I knew someone who worked 7-3 to miss rush hour, and another who worked 8-4 to do the school run and didn't work at all through school holidays.

But thanks all for answering. When I'm ready to make the move I'll start by looking at HEO policy roles, and maybe a few SEO - I don't think I'm ready to make that move yet, but nothing wrong with seeing how far along I get.
0
reply
Jcasement1
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#13
Report 4 weeks ago
#13
I start my new job as AO for hmrc. What are the hours like are they scheduled? And what way do they do Flexi time? And can u change from part time to full time easily ?
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Do you give blood?

Yes (61)
8.5%
I used to but I don't now (17)
2.37%
No, but I want to start (269)
37.47%
No, I am unable to (172)
23.96%
No, I chose not to (199)
27.72%

Watched Threads

View All