Amid widespread layoffs and economic uncertainty, Gen Z and millennials are flirting with the idea of stability over a glitzy career. Now government jobs are all the rage on TikTok with the hashtag #govermentjobs racking up over 22 million views and counting.
“Public sector jobs are where it’s at,” says Brandon Tamayo, a public transit compliance specialist in his early thirties from Chicago, who goes by @thatssoobrandon on TikTok.
“I really love it because one, I always wanted to be a government employee, two, I have great health insurance… and three I can retire in 20 years,” he explained the perks of his job to over 110,000 viewers.
“If you have student loans like me, after you work in your position for more than 10 years and you pay your student loans for 120 payments, they’re forgiven,” Tamayo added. “By the time I’m 40 those student loans are going to be forgiven.”
Despite claiming he could make six figures if he switched to the private sector, no “life-changing” salary could convince Tamayo to ditch the stability he currently enjoys.
Why? Because the risk of being laid off in the private sector right now is too great, he claims—and he’s not the only way to feel this way.
Layoffs driving the appeal of government jobs
At the same time as government jobs have started gaining interest on TikTok, young workers in their droves have been sharing videos of themselves being laid off.
There are a staggering 20,000 posts on the platform with the hashtag #layoffs, and it’s making the stability of a public sector role more appealing to the next generation of workers.
Google trends show that search terms like “how to get a government job” or “government job pay” have reached their highest peak in five years.
Having witnessed workers in their hundreds of thousands lose their jobs in the last year—to the tune of 240,000 job cuts in the tech sector alone—graduates now rank stability as the top factor they’re searching for in a job.
“One of the biggest benefits especially in this difficult market is the job security,” Bonnie Dilber, a recruiter on TikTok, told her followers in one of the most watched videos on #governmentjobs.
“People in private sector jobs are three times more likely to lose their jobs than people in federal government jobs,” she said, adding that public sector workers can also expect to enjoy a “better work-life balance” with a lot more paid time off.
“I was terminated from my job in the private sector back in 2018,” one user shared in the comments section. “I got a job working in local government and have received 3 promotions since then.”
Even in Tamayo’s video, users echoed that the long-term benefits that government roles provide outweigh any potential dip in pay.
“I am so grateful I got into the fed govt right out of college – inflation adjustments, job security, PTO… too many benefits to pass up,” one user wrote.
“I’m 45 and have been with my state government for 23 years. I have a 25-year retirement at 3.33%. Can’t beat the benefits,” another added.
But one of the most common complaints among viewers is that it’s hard to land the coveted career for life.
How to land a government job
Since his video blew up on the platform, Tamayo is now giving others advice on how to bag a government gig.
He recommends aspiring public sector workers check out the USA jobs website to find out which federal agencies are hiring.
The website even lists its “urgent hiring needs” with roles that the government needs to fill pronto across various sectors from HR and finance to tech.
But if you have no luck there, then Tamayo suggests checking out your local government’s website for vacancies.
Users in the comment section echoed that it’s easiest to “start small and local”—you can always move around into a more favorable role once your foot is in the door.
“My biggest advice that I give is to be patient after you turn in your application because it could take a minute for them to reach out to you,” he says, adding that he didn’t hear anything back for three months and then, it took a further two months to get a job offer.
“Don’t be discouraged,” he concluded. “It’s definitely worth it.”