“With all due respect, the folks who answered, though doubtlessly acting in the best of motives, might not be so well-versed with the job duties of AO or how the HKSAR Government runs.
First of all, AO is very different from most of the other “civil service” jobs. It is extremely demanding with a bloody steep learning curve at all ranks, because AOs are expected to be posted around different policy bureaux and/or taking strategic positions in Government departments. They are responsible for developing Government policies, sorting out the all the functional and political aspects and nuances in the drafting of laws and doing resource planning accordingly, dealing with stakeholders/public opinion/LegCo queries, all of which are daunting tasks with little room for failure.
In return, compared to any other civil service jobs, AOs enjoy a very good promotion prospect – AOs who join the Government right off the bat will, assuming they pass the trial period, be promoted to SAO (salary at MPS 45 – $112,250 + about 30k of housing allowance) in 3- 5 year’s time. So if one joins AO at the age of 23, he/she can already be making six-figures before he reaches 30. Not to mention AOs will get fast-tracked promotion to Directorate positions after, easily making close to 200k per month by the age of 40. Though this can be beaten by top jobs in certain industries such as ibanks, this is by no means “stable but slow growth” as some might have put it. The career prospect is excellent. Some might even enjoy the privilege of hopping to higher-paying public sector jobs (think West Kowloon).”
“Let me be more simple and to the point on your question. It’s pretty pointless to compare 2 jobs purely based on your analysis without having experience working as an AO.
What are you ultimately looking for? Personally I think money (weighted average of today’s salary, long term salary and job stability) should be the most important factor.
Have you done due diligence on both offers? Do you know what are the hours and pay like for both jobs?
I don’t know about the feasibility analyst but I can tell you AO in the government makes way more than 50k as stated on the website.
You will get promoted to SAO, making the max salary of an AO just a few years on the job and have a very decent job stability.
Also, remember the 10 year housing benefit government provide (take it when you become SAO) and the fat pension package.
If you are not a particularly strong or lucky candidate, you will have a hard time to find such a lucrative offer in the corporate world even in your late 30s.
Those who tell you to think about satisfaction or whatever non-monetatry terms probably forgot about the stability and salary AO offers. They only talk about the pressure the dissatisfaction the hours, etc. Sounds as if these factors do not happen in the corporate world.
Btw, I work in investment banking, not HKGov fyi. So I can assure these are purely facts that you should consult with older folks, not some youngsters chasing dream all day without considering the future.”
“Take the feasibility analyst offer. Think long-term about your career and your life goals. What kind of person do you want to become? The rest is just noise. Yes, you might enjoy an easy and convenient answer for societal judgments or gossips as an AO, but this is your life. It’s not worth it to sacrifice your career for people who will gossip regardless (If they take satisfaction out of judging your career, oh yes they will also take satisfaction gossiping about your salary, rank, pace of promotion, title etc.).
1) The further down you are in your career path, the harder it is to switch career. Switching costs gets higher:
Let’s imagine for a moment that somewhere along the path, you’ll find this perfect career named “X” in mind. If you switch 2-3 years after starting as an AO, you are losing 2-3 years of developing industry expertise for “X”. Even though your skill sets are transferrable, you almost always have to take a toll as you transfer industry. Your new role, in the first 1-2 years, will be the equivalent of AO. While your peers enjoy a promotion 2-3 years after staying in “X”, you are in fact a year or two lagging in behind.
Now, let’s say you are switching industry in your 50s. You can’t be a lawyer, a doctor, any other professionals without some heavy schooling for a shortening career timeline before retirement. You can be an entrepreneur, or you can move into some high-level management roles in the non-government industry. While you do have financial securities / capital, remember that most entrepreneurs have actual skills before they start something. Does AO develop a core competency for you? The ability to create, not to facilitate. Also, you might be thinking differently about life when you are in your 50s.
Finally, government is government is government. And it so happens that you are working for the Hong Kong government. Unless you are also a foreign citizen who may publicly serve another country, your field is in fact quite limited. Are you into serving the community? (Or I guess dependent on your political attitude, are you into serving the government?) This is the most personal question of all.
Like golf, in your first job, shoot as close as possible to the pole (your life goal) and then adjust from there. Why satisfy for some mediocracy for all that society tells you when your heart knows already? Good luck. ”
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