At the beginning of August, I responded to this question, by Andrew Krzmarzick, which he posted on GovLoop:
A couple years ago, GovLoop founder Steve Ressler and I embarked on a project to ask people why they were proud to be public servants. We got a variety of responses through the “I Am Public Service” project.
I’m assuming many of the same stories and perspectives apply:
– Job security
– Working for the common good
– Being responsible stewards of public resources
But maybe there are different reason for choosing public sector employment in the UK.
So how would you respond to this question: Why are you ‘public service’?
My response was as follows:
Hmm, great question! I wonder if it is too much to slightly slant the question to, Why have I become ‘public service’? The three perspectives above (bearing historically ‘job security’ as one of them) are pretty on the money. In vast majority of cases meant, in others I guess the correct thing to say. They are things I’ve said for a while now, myself.
However, I find it’s what is behind the words and sentiment and the “I’m here to do good” for the public, which is the important thing. I think for some, me included, it is a transitional thing from genuine sentiment to something more progressive.
Those “Working for the common good” and “Being responsible stewards of public resources”, are great, but are potentially in someways still ‘passive positives’. They come to work, work hard, earn their money and provide value to that public money that pays them that wage. The value of these people should never, and I will never, underestimate the importance of this attitude…it gets things done!
What is becoming apparent from a personal point of view though, is that I am beginning to mix, collaborate and work with people who are continuously seeking improvement, change, innovation, in order to squeeze more and more added value out of public resources…’progressive positives’! This is where I feel I am at the moment, it’s where I want to be, even in these times of uncertainty.
I find this is why, in true Spartacus style, ‘I am public service’…and I bet a whole host of others can stand up and say the same.
Mine is probably not the most inspiring of stories, more an accidental transition. However, my answer was inspired by somebody elses story, which in turn gave my own thoughts some context and shape. There must be other stories of interest, where it’s been somebody’s calling.
I’d be interested to hear about those journey’s if people were prepared to indulge me, and themelves!