If you are changing sectors

There are still significant differences in the emphasis placed on standards of professional behaviour and performance between the private sector and some parts of the public and third (not-for-profit) sectors. Factors such as hierarchy, the formal structure of meetings and observation of job boundaries may have a totally different level of significance than they did in your last organisation. Your new employer may move at a much faster or slower pace than you are used to, or its motivation may be different, having no discernable financial or commercial focus.

When moving between sectors, time and care must be taken to recognise and match the pace and tone of the organisation before setting about making changes, even if your brief is to bring about change. The up-step in pace when moving into the private sector is well-recognised; the pitfalls of a down-step or side-step in pace moving from corporate to public or charity is less well-recognised. Yet, it can prove an even bigger stumbling block. We have had clients who spectacularly failed to ‘stick’ in their new public sector and third sector jobs, despite their obvious capability and impressive results, because their teams and other colleagues simply did not understand them, were terrified of them, or set out to maintain the status quo by undermining them.