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Department of Social Services Reviews
Reviews by Department of Social Services graduate employees
- starstarstarstarstar3.9GradAustralia surveyed 43 graduates working at Department of Social Services. Read on to get an insider’s view on life as a graduate. 43 responses.
- The friendly atmosphere, the people you get to work with, the opportunities to be challenged and work on issues that affect our community.
- You get to work across a wide range of communications areas
- There are many good things about DSS. There is the flexibility, a great friendly culture, opportunities to gain experience in other roles within the department & good working conditions.
- You get a sense of helping vulnerable people through targeted policies / programs / initiatives
- The breadth of policy issues that DSS is responsible for - it offers a wide variety and plenty of opportunities to work in different areas.
- Government of the day changing the agenda
- Like all large organisations, the bureaucracy to do certain things.
- I miss living in a big city! Don't necessarily get a say as to where you are placed.
- Working in the Australian Public Service involves adhering to a lot of bureaucratic processes.
What insiders say about…
I have worked in a ministerial corporate area, legal area and policy development area. All areas have been really interesting and done quite different work but working towards better social policy for all Australians.
Work-life balance is very clearly here, colleagues are friendly and usually happy - work together and cooperative.
Be yourself, be interested in the organisation, be prepared to move to Canberra.
We have Flex-time. Which means that if you work more than your standard hours of work in a week, you get credited with those hours which can be used at a later time. So if there is a busy period at work, you might be able to accrue enough Flex-time to then take a day or two off at a later time. Work is generally pretty flexible with your start and finish times for the day as long as you work enough hours in a week. However the flexibility depends on how busy your Section is and the nature of the work you do.
There are few formal bonus but general pay and conditions as well as opportunities for training are good - that's the nature of the public sector.
In my experience, the executive level managers are very accessible to graduates. As a graduate, you are on probation for six months as well as the formal performance feedback process so there are plenty of opportunities for formal performance feedback, praise and recognition as well as informal discussions. Depending on the size of your Branch, you might also have good interactions with your Branch Managers and possibly Group Manager. There is obviously less interaction with the Senior Executive (Secretary and Deputy Secretary) but that said, the Senior Executive is interested in the graduate program. The Secretary has come to a number of graduate events and I think most of the graduates have had a chance to chat with him. The Deputy Secretaries also took part in a very candid discussion forum where the graduates had a great opportunity to get an insight into what it's like to be a Deputy Secretary.
Training programmes range from basic IT training and other training essential to carrying out the job to more detailed training including ministerial writing courses, project management and social policy
As we are a fairly large organisation with thousands of staff there is a fair bit of movement in staff (e.g. people retiring, going on maternity leave etc.) which in turn can create an opportunity for someone to be promoted to their place. There are cases where people advance fairly quickly but most do so at a more standard speed. I believe that a lot of your ability to advance depends on what area of work you are in, timing, seeking out opportunities and a little luck
The grad programme theoretically only cares if you have a university undergraduate degree, but the vast majority of public servants are very upper middle class whitebread. However, speaking as someone who grew up "disadvantaged", having a good view from the ground up will make you a valuable employee for the department, especially when it comes to communication with the general public.
There is vague talk about this and in some areas (notably Women's Safety) we're alright but the rank and file seem to view corporate responsibility as an unnecessary hurdle.
I've found the office's very comfortable. The set ups at the desks allow for some adjustments to suits an individual's physical needs. There are a several different office's located around Canberra (and the also some in the States). The facilities are also to a good standard. The dress code varies throughout the Department as different Sections have different dress codes. Usual business attire is the most standard (e.g. long black pants, collared shirt, no ties).
The new office building planned has taken into consideration the environmental impact.Join us to bookmark!
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You'll be able to save searches and much more if you register for free today!Why Sign Up?Personalised alertsGet instant notification about Australia's top graduate jobs and internships openings.Latest insightsWe’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest articles and insights to help you succeed in your graduate job hunt.Your own applications dashboardKeep track of all your job applications in one place.People also viewed...When you apply for PM&C’s Graduate Program, you’re not just applying for a job; you are opening the door to your career.Your time starts now