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Working for the NHS

Working for the NHS

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Choosing a career deserves thought. While you’ll move from job to job over the course of your working life, it’s much rarer for people for change their entire career in midstream. Building to a position of success in any career is the result of long hours of training and work, not just to acquire the qualifications you need for the particular industry you’ve focussed on, but also to prove yourself at a junior level before you can ascend the ranks.

Something that deserves an equal amount of thought is the employer you’ll be working for. Many of us will encounter good or bad employers in the course of our professional lives, and it’s worth developing a good sense of judgement about who is a good employer and who is a bad one – applying this in advance will help you avoid some stressful workplaces!

The NHS is by some distance the largest employer in the UK, with nearly one and a half million people working for it in positions as diverse as Mental Health jobs, Ambulance Drivers and administrators. It’s certainly been in the spotlight recently, as negotiations on Junior Doctors contracts have shown that newly qualified doctors are subject to some intense and exhausting working conditions, and nurses are paid very low wages (not merely for their contribution, but in respect to the national average).  That said, if you are away from these embattled areas, the NHS represents a prospect as a good, stable employer with benefits that are well worth looking at. You don’t need to train to be a brain surgeon: the organisation needs as many recruiters, statisticians and procurement specialists as it does clinical staff, to keep that army of doctors and nurses supplied with everything they need.

One of the main advantages to work for the NHS is the NHS pension: a robust fund with employer contributions equalling 14% of pay, and various retirement options opening up from the age of 50. This is the sort of scheme that’s rarely available now in other organisations and is sustainable largely because the NHS is such a large and well founded organisation.

The NHS also offers 27 days of annual leave (before public holidays), rising to 33 after ten years service: whatever area of the service you work in, it’s an intense job and the NHS recognises the need for downtime and relaxation to restore and recharge it’s workers.

On top of this, a robust development programme, to ensure your talent is nurtured and you always have something to work towards means the NHS is a rewarding employer and one well worth considering whatever your skills are.

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