Some people have a negative perception of government workers (“govies”).
They think that it’s just a cushy job with a lot of free time and benefits.
Sort of like the photo above with the lady streched out over her laptop, eyes half shut, and with the lightbulb above her head–thinking up great ideas for running the government and regulating the people.
Ah, no–it’s not like that at all.
Okay, maybe a little for some people.
Having been in both the private and public sectors about 40-60 of my career, I can tell you that there is plenty of unproductiveness (i.e. dead weight) wherever you go.
But there is also a lot of hardworking (some super hardworking) and really smart people too.
Yes, there are meetings (lots of them) and paperwork (piled high), but there is also a good amount of out-of-the-box thinking and trying to figure out how to do more with the same or less.
There is also some really big thinking like how to win the next Big One (i.e. war), how to protect the country from deadly terrorism, disasters, weapons of mass destruction, and cyber attack, how to partner with others around the world to achieve big ambitious projects and peace, how to colonize outer space, protect the environment, and improve the economy, healthcare, education, and so much more.
Not all the big thinking is good thinking–some of it is unrealistic, biased towards this or that constituency, counterproductive, or even corrupt.
But many govies really do want to do a great job and save the world!
If you think there isn’t plenty of hard work, passion, dedication–you’re wrong.
If you think, everyone is doing the right thing for the right reasons–your delusional.
Like with people all over the world, there’s a mix of good and some not so good, but overall, there is lots of opportunity to lead, problem solve, and do good and great things with real effect, nationally and globally.
And if for that alone, being a govie is an amazing career move where you can have an influence on matters of tremendous importance and lasting impact.
Wild perceptions and pictures can be deceiving–instead think about the hero that you can and want to be. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)