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The 5 Traits of People Who Land a Public Sector Job Promotion


You want more.

You’re driven.

Climbing the career ladder is important to you for personal development and community development and let’s face it it’s often about your status too.

You want to be rewarded for your skill, expertise, and years of hard work and effort.

So getting a public sector job promotion is the next logical step for you.

There are certain traits that are common among people who get these promotions in the public sector.

In this article, we will look at the 5 most common traits of people who get a 6-figure public sector job promotion.

They are good communicators

Have you ever noticed that the people landing 6-figure public sector job promotions over you seem to be able to sweet talk their way with people, are brilliant at creating rapport and are liked by many?

One of my key skills and why I landed job promotions, was because I was considered a great communicator.

I was able to talk to anyone from Executives to garbage truck drivers.

I knew how to negotiate and influence each of them by talking at their level.

Good communication skills are essential for success in life as well as your career.

When you build strong relationships with people, you can express your ideas and opinions, and understand the perspectives of others. This endears you to them and when you need something done, they want to do it for you and for the mission.

People with effective communication skills are able to clearly and confidently convey their thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

They can easily explain complex concepts, provide clear instructions, and negotiate solutions.
They also listen attentively to others, ask questions, and respond appropriately.

These are vital skills for higher-level leaders in the public sector.

Good communicators are usually better problem solvers and have an easier time making decisions. I knew this to be true for me.

They are also better able to manage conflict, resolve disputes, and develop strong interpersonal relationships.

Great communicators have the ability to think on their feet, be persuasive yet polite, and maintain a positive attitude even in difficult situations.

Good communication is a valuable asset that goes beyond mere words – it is the key to success in all aspects of life.

Look at all the great leaders around you. What communications skills do you see in them that you can follow or improve on?

They are flexible and adaptive to change

People who succeed don’t shout “I can’t do it” when things get hard or they have to pivot. They ask “how can we do this?” looking for ways to turn things around.

If you want to be loved by the community you serve, then staying ahead of their expectations and at the very least meeting them where they are when they have a problem is the key.

But you have to be able to find out what is really bothering them and find a solution that fits rather than handing them a solution and then finding out they don’t like it or can’t use it.

Looking for ways to improve government services or products and adjusting quickly is a key trait for any government department that wants to remain respected, liked, and trusted.

If you take a look at the shifts that occurred when the pandemic hit, all those ideas and changes to government services happened as the result of leadership and staff who had to change what they were doing overnight.

It shows that they were capable of responding quickly to changes and taking advantage of opportunities.
Notice how technology became the focus instead of handing in paper forms? That happened because leaders and their staff were able to adapt quickly and innovate together to create positive change.

It also showed that they were willing to take risks and make changes when necessary.

If you have this adaptability you will be a sought-after leader because those who are flexible and adaptive to change will have an advantage when it comes to the public’s satisfaction and that makes you valuable because any leader who can change the perception of government from one of mistrust to doing what they say they will, will have a loyal following.

They are goal-oriented and motivated to succeed

Every manager and senior executive I’ve worked with in the public sector didn’t get into their roles by accident.

A common trait of these people is that they had some sort of career plan. They knew how far they wanted to go.

They knew what they wanted and when they want to achieve it and set out a plan to go from their current role to their goal.

They were passionate about their goals so there was no way they wouldn’t be achieved.

They are a special breed of people – goal-oriented and motivated to succeed.

They have the foresight and ambition to recognise their goals and work hard to reach them.

These individuals understand that success doesn’t come easy, but they are determined to reach their goals no matter what.

It’s inspiring to watch them take on the challenges that come their way with a positive attitude and enthusiasm. These types of leaders are therefore sought-after in the public sector.

They are driven by a passion for excellence, and it shows in everything they do.

It’s this drive that helps them make the most of their abilities and turn obstacles into opportunities.

Their determination and commitment to their goals are contagious, inspiring others to set high standards for themselves.

They are motivated by success and will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.

They have good judgment and decision-making skills

Having good judgment and decision-making skills are skills that 6-figure public sector earners are well-known for.

Good judgment involves using your intuition and common sense to make decisions, while decision-making involves actively considering the pros and cons of each option before making a choice.

Here are some tips for honing your judgment and decision-making skills:

  1. take time to reflect on each situation;
  2. research the facts;
  3. listen to your gut;
  4. weigh the pros and cons;
  5. consider your values (and those of the organisation you work for);
  6. ask for advice; and
  7. trust yourself.

They have compassion and empathy for others

Great leaders in the public service choose to work in the sector because they truly want to make a positive impact on the community they serve.

They have compassion and empathy for others, a trait that makes them magnetic.

They seek to understand the struggles of others, and they use their insight to help demonstrating an understanding of the human experience, and recognising that everyone has their own struggles and joys in life.

They don’t let other people’s troubles bring them down, but instead, show compassion for their struggles.

They are great at expressing their feelings in a positive way, and they can always find the silver lining in any situation.

They are open-minded, feel what others feel, seeing things from different perspectives and willing to understand the experiences of others.

They have a natural ability to make people feel seen and heard, offering solace in times of need.

They are inspiring and they’re people everyone wants to be around.

If you are strong, but compassionate and see things from others’ perspectives, a career in a senior public sector role, should be your next move.


There are so many more traits of the great leaders I worked with in the public sector, but these 5 above really stood out to me as really exceptional ones that were able to catapult their careers quite intentionally.

If you’ve been ready for some time and you’re not getting to the roles you want when you apply, then I’d love to invite you to my Free Masterclass How to land a promotion for a 6-figure public sector job (& beat internal candidates).

Details and dates can be found by clicking the button below. 


Hi, I’m Athena Ali

The Founder of The Get Noticed Coach.

I help public servants and aspiring public servants

– articulate their brilliance in resumes and CVs that get hiring managers excited to see them,

– write key selection criteria that prove you’re the right person for the job quickly,

– create a personal brand that sells for you so that you are headhunted for 6 figure roles effortlessly, and

– arm you with confidence-boosting strategies for your next interview so that you impress the recruiters and hiring managers and get hired in a $100K+ public service job.

I’m for people who want to make a difference in the community and work with purpose in a senior public service role.

I use my unique marketing approach to help you get clear, get confident, get visible, and advance your career with my unique 6 step framework.

With over 13 years in the public service and landing every government role I applied for and wanted I am well placed to show you how I did it and how you can do it too!

I believe in you.