Would the private sector want me?

I
am a personnel manager with 15 years HR experience in local government and have
dealt with a wide range of issues including pay negotiations, IR, Tupe, best
value and recruitment. I want to broaden my horizons and am contemplating a
move to the private sector. Is this a realistic ambition? Will my experience in
the public sector to be of interest in the new sector? What can I do to market
my skills to prospective employers?

Allison
Sheard, consultant at Chiumento Consulting Group writes:

A
move to the private sector is difficult but not impossible, though it will be a
matter of planning the right approach. It is obvious that your experience
includes elements that apply equally to both sectors and any application that
you make needs to highlight your transferable skills and experience. In order
to get a better understanding of what these are, network with friends and
colleagues in the private sector. This will give you a better understanding, as
well as demonstrating your commitment to changing sectors.

Once
you are aware of your transferable skills, highlight them in your CV. Then plan
how best to get these facts across when talking to prospective employers. Self-
marketing to companies directly, or through contacts is going to be key. Doing
so also says something about your drive and initiative. This may prove more
effective than reliance on advertisements or recruitment consultants. You could
also consider targeting private companies that were once publicly owned and who
therefore might share a common ethos.

Margaret
Malpas, joint managing director, Malpas Flexible Learning writes:

A
broad range of experience coupled with significant skills is always of interest
to employers. What I think you need to do is to develop a really good CV which
does your experience justice. Try developing a draft and run it past a trusted
friend in the personnel profession.

In
terms of transferring to the private sector, you need to think ahead about the
likely cultural changes you will need to make. This will stand you in good
stead for any interviews too. The principal change to think about is that local
government’s primary aim is to provide services whereas the private
sector’s goal is to make a profit (though potentially also through providing
services) These differences in goals have significant consequences for the
culture of the organisations and this is what I would encourage you to reflect
upon.

Good
luck and go for it!

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