Career as a Senior executive officer

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Carol Ross is a senior executive officer working for the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) in Sheffield. She works in the team which is reviewing the financial support available to young people.

What are Senior executive officer work activities?

My work involves meeting with customers and external partners throughout the country, briefing and updating ministers, project planning, drafting papers and reports, giving presentations on my area of work and problem solving.

What equipment do you use?

As well as using various software packages and the internet, I sometimes use an overhead projector for making presentations, and video conferencing facilities for carrying out some of my discussions with colleagues in other parts of the country.

What skills do you use in your work as a Senior executive officer?

I use teamworking skills as the job involves working closely with others, including colleagues, customers and external partners. I also have to prioritise and manage my workload, which includes scheduling meetings and managing my time effectively.

I work closely with ministers and, therefore, must provide up-to-date briefings and present recommendations. Writing ability is needed to draft reports, papers and action plans. The job also requires strong communication and problem-solving skills.

What hours do you work?

I work a flexible 37-hour week which means I can choose different start and finishing times.

What do you like about your career as a Senior executive officer?

When I joined the Civil Service, I enjoyed the flexible working arrangements, the training and development opportunities and the mentoring support that was available to me. I also get to meet new and interesting people, and the work is varied and challenging.

Carol's route to her career as a Senior executive officer

  • Left school and trained in business administration.
  • Entered the Civil Service after gaining some work experience in business.
  • Currently doing a Master's degree in Urban Regeneration.

Carol's executive officer tips

  • Speak to a civil servant to get a real feel of what life is like in the Civil Service.
  • Try a work experience placement or even apply for one of the vacancies on offer.

Senior executive officer related jobs

  • Civil Service management trainee
  • Company secretary
  • Economic development officer
  • Local government external funding officer

Senior executive officer salary

  • Senior executive officers in the DfES earn between £27,170 and £32,329 nationally, or between £30,124 and £35,814 in London.
  • If you have the ability, it is possible to progress through the grade structure and earn higher rates.

Career as a Senior executive officer

  • To become a senior executive officer, you need to compete in a recruitment exercise, which is competency based on skills, knowledge and experience. You may apply either from within the Civil Service or after gaining other experience.
  • Training and development is ongoing and can be online, in-house or external on some residential training courses. Support is also given from colleagues and mentors.
  • The DfES actively supports staff to study for nationally-recognised qualifications.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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