Public servants and other employees who have secure employment and are happy doing what they are doing and where they are doing it have one major advantage: they are less likely to find themselves on the scrap heap when they are 60.
The federal and ACT public service, in addition to a swag of professional and non-government organisations, means that Canberra is home to a workforce with not only vast knowledge about particular issues, but also a range of generic skills including written and oral communication, negotiation, mentoring, researching and decision-making on sensitive and complex issues in difficult environments.
What becomes of this knowledge and expertise once these individuals hit 60?
Many of those who are now 60+ expect to keep working for at least another 5 years — but not necessarily with the sort of flat-out, take-over-your-life, demands that accompany so many APS6 and EL1 jobs in Canberra.
Yes, some become consultants, but many would prefer steady, part-time, employment where their experience is utilised and valued.
Despite the constant departmental rhetoric about ‘flexible work arrangements’ and ‘family-friendly environments’, these tend to be just that – rhetoric rather than reality.
Have other older ex-public servants made a successful transition to relevant, part-time work? If so, I’d love to know how you did it.