Public or Private Sector: Where are the Greener Pastures?

Professionals usually come to the Barrett Group to undertake a change of profession, industry, or role, to earn more money, to be more satisfied, and for many other reasons. Some of these executives even want to switch between the public and private sectors, particularly from the public (government) to the private enterprise sector.

These pros often find it difficult to quantify their achievements, compare titles and/or compensation levels, and especially to demonstrate the transferability of government experience to roles in the private sector.

Take our client Jothy Rosenberg.

Here’s his story in a nutshell:

  • Jothy was the CEO of a Massachusetts-based, cybersecurity startup.
  • His company almost failed five times, but Jothy kept pulling rabbits out of his hat.
  • Then Jothy realized he needed to target a new customer base – Department of Defense customers instead of commercial customers.
  • He passed the torch to a new CEO with the skillset to serve that base, then turned his attention to seeking new professional opportunities for himself.
  • Exhausted from the travails of his previous company, Jothy decided to hire professional help to explore his options—the Barrett Group (TBG).
  • Jothy moved smoothly through the TBG process and began to explore the market with fresh eyes including reaching out to his network.
  • “One of my contacts works at a large government contractor. Three weeks after we spoke, he called to tell me that he spotted an opportunity that sounded right up my alley. He offered to make an introduction,” Jothy reported.
  • Needless to say, Jothy was very pleased with the result. [Read more.]

Now let us explore the public sector and the professionals who work there before examining more success stories our clients have achieved.

According to LinkedIn, in the US, Canada, EU, UK, and the Middle East nearly 600,000 executives from the Director level on up work for one or another government body. Overall, this cohort appears to have grown by about 3% in the last year while 3.5% (>21,000) also changed jobs. Functionally, the highest-ranking specializations (numerically) include Nonprofit Organizations, Program Management, Fundraising, Public Policy, Budgeting, Analytical Skills, and Finance. The fastest-growing specializations, however, include Operations, CRM, Analytical Skills, Customer Satisfaction, Data Analysis, Law, Executive Management, and, again, Digital Marketing.

Titles in government are hardly comparable to private sector designations. The Government Titles chart shows those that are comparable as well as the the frequency of the top titles and their female share in the public sector.

Geographically, there are few surprises in this data with major government centers coming in high in the rankings, though the change year on year, hiring demand, and female shares are all intriguing.

Graph 2_Location of Executives in Government

As far as industries are concerned, many seem to be enjoying growth but fewer are seeing an ongoing hiring demand per LinkedIn. Those that are reflect similar trends to the private sector, i.e., higher demand for Management Consulting, Health Care, Information Technology, etc.

Graph 3_Industrial Sectors Employing Government Executives

Bear in mind that even declining executive populations do not necessarily mean less opportunity. In some cases, the very scarcity of good candidates means great opportunities for those few who submit applications.

However, for various reasons, the major flow that TBG experiences is indeed out of government and into the private sector—including military officers as well as politicians and technocrats. Nevertheless, here are a few successfully landed clients showing motion in both directions:

Vincent Capodicci

Vincent Capodicci – After spending more than 30 years in the federal government, most of it overseas, Vincent wanted to be a full-time husband and father to his young family, which required leaving the government for the private sector. With TBG’s help, Vincent rebranded himself and garnered abundant recruiter attention. Vincent subsequently landed an exciting position for a large government contractor at a compensation level that exceeded his expectations.

“The way [TBG] broke everything down was phenomenal – not just [my consultant], but the whole support team behind him. They show you how to find the cracks and back doors into an organization by leveraging the thousands of people that are connected to you in some way.”


Philip had plateaued at his particular government agency and no longer felt fulfilled, so he stepped down only to find that replacing that income would not be easy. So he hired TBG and we helped him completely rethink how he explained his experience and within a relatively short time, he not only left the government for a lucrative private sector consulting role but also was subsequently invited to reenter government in a state cabinet role.

“My experience with The Barrett Group was great! The program helped me identify my priorities and taught me a tremendous amount about the job market. Overall, I found the whole program to be valuable.”


Alhassan’s previous employer was hit hard by the pandemic. The company had to restructure. Alhassan went from the private enterprise to the government space, supported by TBG, particularly when it came to negotiating his package to his great satisfaction.

“If you take the [TBG] Program very seriously, you acquire the know-how to do a job hunt very effectively on your own later. I tell people it’s a little like college – but for C-level jobs!”

Martha Anderson

Martha Anderson – Martha felt like a fish out of water in her work and her efforts to advance were unsuccessful, so she hired TBG for professional guidance to clarify her objectives and equip her with a new and effective public persona, Martha then began actively interacting with the market. In one case Martha reached out directly to the CEO of a targeted firm.

“It was so apparent from our initial conversations that I belonged and that I could thrive. It was a place where I sensed I could feel joy and reward and know that I could add value for clients.”

Within two and a half weeks, Martha was hired as a senior consultant in change management with a government contract.

“It was worth every penny I paid to The Barrett Group to have someone look out for me, help me with my search, and fine-tune what matters to me. I knew a job like this could exist and Barrett Group helped me find it.”

How can The Barrett Group help in your job search?

The Barrett Group helps executives transition. And it’s our specialty. We focus on an executive’s true emotional motors during the first step in the process—the Clarity Program©. Once those true targets are clear, we help clients rebrand and repackage themselves, mine three critically important executive markets (the published market, the recruiter market, and the unpublished market), present themselves with authority during interviews, negotiate excellent packages, and then on-board successfully in their new roles.

In short, it does not matter what industry you have been in or want to enter. Our proven process, expert team, and 32 years of experience make us agnostic to your background. Whatever your ambitions, we can help. 

So regardless of your background, wherever you see greener pastures, we can help you realize your dreams. Contact The Barrett Group today and make your move!

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