Whether it’s for the fulfilling work experience or the inspiration of helping others, the reasons why people choose a career in public service are as diverse as the individuals who fill the jobs.
Yet, no matter the reason, their impact centers on one common theme: community. Having a positive impact on people’s lives in their communities fuels the work ethic of many public servants. And they do so with little fanfare or recognition.
During Public Service Recognition Week, it’s time to shine the spotlight on those individuals who serve as federal, state, county, or local government employees. This is the first post in our series for Public Service Recognition Week.
Javier Chagoyen-Lazaro, Inland Empire Utilities Agency
“I didn’t realize what public service was about until I was inside, because usually when everything is working out people don’t notice everything…everybody takes everything for granted. It’s just when things go wrong is when everybody starts crying for help. And what I realized is that public service is about making sure that everything is running smoothly, everything goes unnoticed, and I like that. It is very sometimes underappreciated by the general public, but I like that—I like to go unnoticed.
“It’s just work for people without necessarily them knowing that what you’re doing for them, just making sure they can have their day-to-day life without worry.”
Alana Matthews, California Energy Commission
“When you work for a paycheck, you know you can buy something and it’s temporary, but when you work on policy and programs that will be lasting forever, it’s really something that’s going to leave a legacy and a better world for everyone else, generations after me.”
CalPERS is proud to feature the people who serve the state of California in this special series, We Serve CA. If you have a great story to tell about what public service means to you and how you serve the state of California, please share it with us on our Facebook page, or by using the hashtag #WeServeCA on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!