LSL wrote:Anyone constantly floating back and forth between whether they want to be doing gov't work (more stable, better paying work) vs. non-profit work (a little less job security, lower pay, more interaction with clients and "the fight on the ground")? I feel like I change my mind constantly on this, ugh.
I've never really considered non-profit work. My non-profit gunner friends wouldn't dream of government work. Here's my reasoning for the former:
1) Job security. Every night I can go to sleep knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'll have a job for as long as I want it. If my office closes down, my agency is required to offer me a higher-paying spot in another region. If I don't want to move, I get ICTAP -- which is priority hiring at a different government agency that allows me to beat out disabled veterans and vocational rehabers.
2) I can do whatever I want. I can take days off when I need them, and vacation is a real thing. My agency has hundreds of programs that Congress has authorized us for, but we've never taken the steps to implement. If I want to build a new program, I don't even have to ask permission from my supervisor. I can work from home 3-4 days a week if I want, and I always go home at 5:00.
3) Dose benefits. The attorney career latter ends around GS 14, so 5 years in you should be making about 108k/yr. A lot of states/local governments pay even better than the feds. San Francisco goes up to 170k or so with 2%/yr retirement.
My non-profit friends basically hold the exact opposite reasons:
1) Job competency. Non-profits are really good at getting rid of people that are weighing the team down. Not working with a bunch of incompetent turds is really great. For anyone in non-profits saying that I'm wrong and that there are a bunch of incompetent turds in non-profits, take your incompetent turds and multiply the incompetency by 5. There's government. For what it's worth, some of the biggest screwups I've known are AUSAs and federal executives.
2) Vocational freedom. Feds can't run for partisan office, can't campaign on behalf of a partisan candidate, must quit their golden-handcuff job if they want to do anything that looks like it could even remotely be a conflict of interest, etc. There's also not a lot of opportunity to rise; good work is rewarded along with horrible work. People are promoted to the point where they don't even know what they're supposed
to be doing in government, let alone what they actually are doing. Non-profit work is definitely nowhere close to this bad. Government work might sound slightly sexier to the lay-person (mostly because they think all government employees carry guns and badges), but non-profit work definitely gives the individual a lot more opportunity both inside and out.
3) Government may have the edge on security of benefits, but non-profits are definitely king of range of salary. Anecdotally, I used to hold a position where I awarded funding to non-profits that basically filled contractor positions. The guy in charge of the non-profit was making 200k+ a year. That wasn't an isolated circumstance either, I've known plenty of folks in the non-profit field that were doing work that benefited the public as well as their bank accounts. These guys don't last too long in their spots, though, since they usually get picked up for starter political appointments which have exponentially better benefits than the feds.