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Thinking of the Civil service. Any advice would be much appreciated.

I am now seriously considering a career in the civil service, however I am unsure of which department I would like to work for and what level (grade) I should aim to enter at? I studied history at both undergraduate and post-graduate level, but all my work experience has so far been non-grad. Do I look to join at AO or HO grade? What departments should I look at joining?

Any advice would be much appreciated!
Reply 1
Original post by NapoleonIV
I am now seriously considering a career in the civil service, however I am unsure of which department I would like to work for and what level (grade) I should aim to enter at? I studied history at both undergraduate and post-graduate level, but all my work experience has so far been non-grad. Do I look to join at AO or HO grade? What departments should I look at joining?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Hi,

I work for the Civil service and can give you a few main pointers.

1. Don’t expect to earn a bucket load of money straight away. You have to work your way up.
2. Civil service jobs are reliable and you can move across different departments.
3. Once you’re there it’s hard to get out.
4. You can do jobs which come with an allowance which bumps up your salary. Usually found within Home Office and HMRC roles. These type of roles might have unsociable hours or weekends but day to day, very varied and you will learn a lot and have great experiences. I would say go for these jobs if they float your boat. Beats being stuck in an office 24/7.

In terms of what grade to go for, it’s really relative. Some jobs are more highly skilled at EO grade compared to some that might be HEO/SEO grades. For instance, you could be an investigator vs being a personal assistant for senior management (basically booking travel and meetings etc). You could have line management responsibilities at EO grade and none at HEO. I would say you have to have a look at different departments and see what interests you. Tax - HMRC, immigration -Home Office, work and pension -DWP, prison and probation - HMPS and so forth.

As with most CS jobs, the best opportunities are in London. Try and apply to a campaign to with many posts as you have a higher chance to get your foot in. After probation is up, you can move any where you like internally.
Without CS experience you could struggle at HO. Look initially for AO or EO. Some EO roles will have staff as mentioned above but are the best grade to start and work upwards. Big depts are best so HMRC, DWP, Home Office etc to start with. It's a brilliant varied career with solid potential to progress if you want to. I certainly wish I'd started sooner
(edited 2 years ago)
Without any experience I would not jump into HEO, if you are competent enough to carry out work that needs requiring use of your brain then EO grade I would say for sure

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