Civil Servant vs Startup, Millennial Career Path

This year the government will re-register CPNS. In addition to recruiting CPNS, CASN 2021, this year the government will also open opportunities for registration of Official School students, PPPK teachers, as well as PPPK Non-Teachers. Many people are preparing to take the PNS entrance test. Yes, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic, which is entering its 2nd year, has devastated economic and industrial conditions. Millions of workers who have been laid off have look for other jobs, one of which is becoming a civil servant.

Becoming a civil servant seems to be still very attractive to the Indonesian people, even though this career is often labeled negatively (in a certain sense) such as easy and relaxed work, no KPI demands, the opportunity for corruption, monotonous and boring work, no personal achievements and so on. Civil servants for decades have become a symbol and status of the establishment. In fact, they are often joked about as “civil servants, the ideal profession in the eye of parents-in-law”. Civil servants still have the stereotype of a profession that guarantees, since it gives pension funds. Every year when there is CPNS registration, people flock to register as civil servants at the central and regional region, and many are even willing to “go through the fast track” by paying tens of millions of rupiah to be accepted as civil servants.

What makes the civil servant profession so attractive? First, there is a guarantee that civil servants will receive a fixed salary from the start of work until death. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, civil servants still received regular salaries. Second, in addition to the basic salary for civil servants, they will also get various types of allowances such as performance allowances, husband/wife allowances, child allowances, food allowances, work allowances, and many others benefits. The basic salary received will be doubled because of this allowance. Also, civil servants will still receive a meal allowance for each working day. Often civil servants say “wages can be deducted, benefits cannot be”. Yes, because the benefits received are so large, they can even exceed the basic salary.

The third is a lot amount of leave day, civil servants have annual leave, large leave with a maximum allowance of 3 months for they who have worked for more than 5 years, maternity leave, sick leave, leave for important reasons such as pilgrimage, and maximum leave outside the state’s responsibility for maximum 2 years. And lastly, and most importantly, civil servants are not easily dismissed. Civil servants can be dismissed if they make a fatal mistake that is detrimental to the institution and the state, if the mistake is normal, at most they only receive a verbal warning.

With various benefits, it seems natural that many people yearn to work as civil servants. But what about millennials who dominate the productive age demographics? Millennial work styles, behaviors, and very different mindsets certainly influence the choice of their career path.

According to a survey conducted by JobStreet, millennials really take into account the benefits they get in choosing a place to work, such as the facilities provided and the comfort of working. In addition to demanding high salaries, millennials also want their workplaces to provide a variety of training and a place for personal development. They are also considered to be easy to change jobs if they feel uncomfortable, in addition to being very picky when applying for jobs. With different characteristics, are millennials still interested in becoming civil servants?

Work Hard Play Hard

The rapid development of technology has given rise to new professions that have never existed during the baby boomer generation, companies are also increasingly looking for these new positions to be occupied, which of course are filled with tech-savvy millennials. Call it positions such as content creator, SEO specialist, KOL specialist, food stylist, UI / UX designer, copywriter, digital marketer, data analyst, and various professions that may sound strange to the baby boomer generation. New companies that have sprung up, which we often call startups, are also adjusting by creating a working atmosphere and environment to suit their workers who are dominated by the millennial generation.

Cafeterias, playgrounds, rooms for relaxing and even sleeping, open green parks, small cubicles for discussions, and other facilities are provided by the company so that workers feel at home and can provide maximum performance. Fyi, working in a startup or unicorn and decacorn company is certainly very different from being a civil servant, there is no 8–5, employees can work whenever and wherever they want, and come to the office only if needed, dynamic work patterns where a worker can change work teams several times or continuously based on the project done, lastly career development opportunities that are not tied to bureaucracy.

The flexible, agile, and non-rigid nature of the companies, in addition to a comfortable working environment and the various facilities provided, make millennials eager to work for companies such as Gojek, Tokopedia, Grab, Google, Facebook, and other technology companies.

Even with the various facilities and prestige offered by this startup company, it seems that millennials interest in becoming civil servants is still quite large. Job security is the main reason for millennials who want to become civil servants. Besides, becoming a civil servant also provides opportunities for them to continue their education with a scholarship program organized by the ministry.

In journal written by Trianto, Soetjiningsih, and Setiawan (2020), millennials think financial stability is the most important thing, namely having personal assets in the form of vehicles and houses and having guaranteed jobs. Financial security is also a factor that affects psychological well-being. Some millennials claim to be peaceful when they are financially secure. Now, it is clear to us that millennials still place importance on being established in their career choices.

Although stability is important, in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where the highest need is self-actualization, is a thing that we can’t ignore. Millennials who are tech-savvy, have better quality education than baby boomers, keep up with the times, of course, also want to actualize themselves. They want to know many things, be experts in many things, and keep abreast of developments, if they become civil servants they will only be experts in one field, otherwise if they work at startups they can develop themselves in several skills and keep up with many things.

Millennial Civil Servants

As explained above, different millennial work styles make companies change too, what about civil servants? It seems that government agencies also need to keep up with the times by facilitating millennial civil servants. Indeed, it will not be completely like those startups because apart from different work cultures, bureaucracy and authority also have an effect. But at least, the government must attract the attention of millennials so that these millennials want to work as civil servants because, in the end, they will replace the previous generation, if there are no millennials in the civil services who are going to give the services?

The need to keep up with the times is of course also felt by the existing government ministries and agencies. Millennials with all their expertise can make government agencies more agile in keeping up with the times to create a world-class bureaucracy (World Class Bureaucracy) in 2024.

Regardless of all that, we should know and be aware that the changing of times and generations have changed many things, renewing generations will occur in every generation to come, the old will be replaced with the new is a cycle that will continue to happen. Likewise, with millennials with their career choice, are the circumstances in the industry that must adapt to millennial demands for flexibility and performance or millennials is the obne who have to adapt to industry demands for stability and bureaucracy?

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