There comes a time when we have had enough. Working in Emergency Services, particularly in the Police Force is tough. The years wear us down until we become disillusioned. We become frustrated with the lack of management support, aware and protective of our own mortality, sick of working long hours, tired of the shift work and of the seriousness of what we do on a daily basis. We become mentally, emotionally and physically burnt out.
So, what can we do? Where do we go from here? What are we good for?
Many assume that our qualifications and skills are only good for similar careers, such as security work and private investigations, which leave us disappointed or feeling that we have chosen to do more of the same because it is easy; just swapping one job for another job that has all of the same issues. However, what we overlook is what we learn along the way in our Emergency Services work, which truly sets us apart. The ability to communicate and the ability to perform well under pressure are priceless assets that many of us take for granted. If we focus on where those unique qualities will take us and think outside the box, a world of opportunity opens.
Re-Invention is simply doing something different. It requires us to direct our skills to another career. We have to take what we already have and apply it to something new, and then build on those skills. In order to do that, we must start by looking at ourselves differently; judge ourselves positively and give ourselves some credit for the knowledge we have accumulated. We have to stretch the belief that limit us into thinking that we only qualify for a small range of careers.
Emergency Services workers commonly share the following skills:
• An ability to mix with all types
• Communicate openly
• Computer skills
• A caring for others and a desire to make a difference
What emergency services and ex-Police are most afraid of when we leave is venturing into the unknown out of our comfort zone and what we have known for so long. A fear of leaving and not being able to go back is common. A fear of making that break into the outside world and missing the comfort of the camaraderie that is second to none in careers where safety frequently depends on each other. Mateship is more than just friendship within the ranks of Emergency Services, a good mate can save your life – literally.
With the above mentioned qualifications, ex-Police and other Emergency services add tremendous value to other businesses. It is important that we value ourselves enough to take that chance and try something different. Many ex-Police make the move into sales careers as they are accustomed to approaching people with ease; they master sales techniques along the way. Starting something part-time before submitting a resignation to the boss might be a good place to start, gaining confidence slowly and securing an income before making the move permanently. A great place to start is in your own industry magazine. Usually there are advertisements in there from ex-members who are now established in external businesses and require assistance. It is an easier move, joining likeminded people in business that understand and are seeking the particular skills that emergency workers possess.
Whatever the choice, it is important that Emergency Services workers and ex-Police do not limit their expectations by failing to promote their own personal value consisting of the skills that their demanding jobs have provided them. Confidence and self belief is key to career re-invention.