How to move from the public sector to a job in the private sector

By on 12/05/2014 | Updated on 21/05/2014

Graham Scott examines the issues facing public sector employees as they seek jobs in the commercial world

The global economic crisis has had many consequences, but one outcome seen around the world has been for governments to prune back their public sector workforce. For example, in the UK alone it is estimated that the Civil Service will lose one million employees by 2017.

In theory, and in practice in many countries, this reduction is being balanced by increases in the private sector. So it’s no surprise that thousands of ex-public sector workers around the world have been preparing themselves for a move into commercial employment.

The trouble is, for many people with a long history of working for global governments, such a move brings significant challenges.

How does the private sector work? Will a commercial organisation value the sort of role carried out in the public sector? Is the private sector really the brutal, soulless place it sometimes seems? How do people achieve career success in the commercial world?

To address some of these issues, I have recently published an eBook that helps people prepare for a move from public- to private-sector employment. It’s derived from my own experience working in a range of roles – including first-hand experience of redundancy.

Thanks to this, I know something of the journey that, every month, thousands of public sector workers around the world are setting out on. This includes the psychological impact of being made redundant, and the sense of uncertainty about what the future may hold.

As part of my research, I interviewed a wide variety of professionals. This included people in both central and local government and those from employment agencies, PLCs and charities. This helped me discern the issues that arise following redundancy, particularly when that entails a move from the public to the private sector.

As a result, the eBook covers every aspect of the process, from dealing with the distress of being made redundant to working out how the private sector operates. It also offers guidance on identifying the kind of area and job that is best suited to a person’s skills and experience, as well as tips about securing a job against stiff opposition.

A chapter is devoted to real-life success stories of people who have made the transition, and another section deals with the top 10 fears facing career changers.

I believe the future for ex-public servants moving to the private sector can be liberating, successful and personally rewarding. My hope is to help people make what could be the most important transition in their entire career as easily and successfully as possible.

Click here to find out more about Graham’s book, read reviews from its global audience and buy a copy of your own.

Graham Scott is an award-winning journalist and author. He is editor of the Fellow HQ website ( and has written for publications including The Global Government Forum and Civil Service World.


About Kevin Sorkin

I am the Founder and CEO of Pendragon International Media Ltd, publishers of Global Government Forum. This portfolio also includes research services and important world leading events for public servants such as the Global Government Summit, the Global Government Finance Summit, the Global Government Forum Innovation conference, Global Government Digital Summit and Putting Citizens First. I am also the founder of the Civil Service Awards and Civil Service Live, established industry leading brands and extremely important events for government. I also launched and published Civil Service World. Over the years I have established relationships with the most senior officials in government and the private sector and have built a very strong and positive reputation across the industry.

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