College graduates should not put all their hopes in working for the civil service and should instead seek work in other areas, says an article in People's Daily. The following is an excerpt:
The results of the written portion of the 2008 civil servant recruitment examination were made public. They reveal that 640,000 applicants sat for the test this year. One out of 60 candidates became a government employee, compared with one in 42 last year. It seems that the national civil servant examination has become one of the most heated tests in China.
There are several reasons for students' widespread interest in joining the ranks of government officials. One is that the occupation is relatively stable, with a well-established security system. The second is the fairness of the examination and recruitment systems. Nearly all officials are selected according to their performance on the examination. The third reason is that there are fewer job opportunities and many college grads see the civil service as a great way to beat the odds.
There is little doubt that the civil service has advantages that some other occupations lack. But college grads should get a better understanding of the profession before they apply to work in it. They should also accept that not everyone should be applying to become a civil servant. These graduates are seriously mistaken in assuming that they will be guaranteed a stress-free life of comfort by simply passing the examination.
Not all people are cut out to be civil servants. The work is no longer casual and is subject to strict measures of quality and quantity. The Civil Servant Law requires all local governments to improve regulations and demand more from their staffs. Performance checks are becoming stricter and an exit mechanism will soon be established, transforming the civil service from a lifelong career to a performance-drive one.
Educational departments and universities should set up guidance programs to help graduates develop healthy attitudes about searching for work and encourage them to work at the grassroots level, in western parts of the country or in the private sector, as well as encourage them to start up their own businesses.
(China Daily 01/23/2008 page8)