Data obtained from public and private sector professionals in Singapore (n=262) were used to compare the quality of their perceived work experience in terms of realization of professional work expectations, job characteristics, job satisfaction, internal work motivation, turnover intentions, and career facilitation. All 3 hypotheses predicting differences in perceived experience of these variables were supported. On the whole, private sector professionals perceived a better quality of work experience than their public sector counterparts. The findings were interpreted in terms of the defining characteristics of the public-private dichotomy and the resulting internal structure and management practices. Implications of the findings for enhancing the perceived quality of work experience and thereby attracting and retaining professionals in the public sector are discussed.