5 Fundamentals for Building a Career in Public Service

Many members of my career mentoring site work in the public sector.  Here’s a guest post from Dixie Somers on how to do well in a public service job.

If you are wanting to get into a career in public service, you likely already appreciate the value of leadership in such an endeavor. Both government and civil institutions need competent public administrators at the helm, and most successful of these have leadership characteristics like the ones below:


Planning and implementing new policies requires persistence in good times and bad. In today’s unpredictable economy, it’s important to stay focused on priorities and continue meeting important goals. A public administrator who gives up at the first sign of trouble is unlikely to become successful. Alternately, a leader who maintains status quo may miss out on unique opportunities.


Public administrators who make it big usually do so because they are risk takers. They can calculate the pros and cons of an opportunity, evaluate the potential for success, and steer their dreams into uncharted water, ready to meet challenges and obstacles in a quest for success.


Administrating requires not only a desire to pursue a dream, but the ability to consider future possibilities over the next few years. Studies show that leaders with vision who persist through the learning curve and make it to the three-year mark often reach stability and growth. Rather than take a trial-and-error approach, visionaries will analyze the timing and circumstances of their proposition and logically decide whether the time is right to implement a policy.


Some people are surprised to hear that competent leaders are often humble. They expect highly successful individuals to be brassy and arrogant, but the truth is that strong leaders know their weaknesses. They are willing to ask questions and learn from others. They admit mistakes, and they are eager to distribute responsibility along with rewards that come with leading organizations.


A good leader counts the cost of an ordinance before jumping in with both feet. A careful market analysis is the first step, followed by a detailed business plan. Financing may be secured from a reliable lender or investors when terms are favorable to all parties involved. Feedback from customers is essential to understanding how the business is performing and if changes are needed.

Those who are thinking about going into public administration or who own a nonprofit organization may benefit from developing qualities like these more fully. A good way to do this is to earn a masters of public administration online. Additionally, hiring a manager with these qualities may help to optimize the organization’s leadership so that all employees can benefit from a new focus.

Dixie has some great ideas here.  Put them to work and watch your public service career flourish.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to https://budbilanich.com/join to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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