Thinking of leaving the emergency services in 2018? Have a look at our top lessons of 2017 first...
Lesson 1 – good people really are in short supply out there. ----- Employers are increasingly struggling to find good people to recruit. More and more they are hiring people because they have the right personal transferable skills and then training them in-house rather than looking for specific job expertise. This is good news. Ex- emergency service people are good people – with excellent life experiences and transferable skills.
Lesson 2 – there are no limits on sectors to work in. ------ OK, if you want to take up brain surgery that might be tricky - but the old notion that ex-cops in particular are limited to certain sectors is not true anymore (if it ever was). This year we have helped many people move into completely new sectors simply based on their transferable skills.
Lesson 3 – future employers are a bit like house buyers. ----- They have a long list of what they want in a dream employee and so include everything in the person spec. But they know that perfect person probably isn’t out there and they will compromise at “purchase” time. So don’t be put off if you can’t tick all the boxes. See yourself as the house that Kirsty and Phil would say has great potential including an extension in the roof!
Lesson 4 - always start at the end. ----- Odd but true. Looking through endless job websites when you don’t know what you want to do is the road to ruin. It will more likely demoralise than inspire you. Much better to work out what your skills are and what really matters to you in the future and then work backwards. Use those answers to reveal the sort of job that might suit you rather than hoping something perfect just pops up on your screen (it won’t).
Lesson 5 – what’s in a name? ----- In a specialised public sector world, jobs pretty much are what it says on the tin. Most people can work out what an Authorised Firearms Officer does. Not so in the wider world. Lots of job content can be lost in the way an organisation is structured. So, a job search for an “investigator” may reveal no hits in, say, a finance company but they may have an investigation function in their “compliance” division. So do your research, think laterally and look below the surface. Can’t be that hard if you are an investigator….can it?
Lesson 6 – everybody has a first day. ----- No matter how impressed you are with people you see in other jobs, they all had a first day. They weren’t experts on day 1 and no-one expected them to be. As a rule employers are interested in what you are capable of not what you can do by lunch-time. So don’t limit your ambition and don’t talk yourself down – it may surprise you that outsiders think what you now do is pretty cool, even if you couldn’t have done it on day one.
Lesson 7 – if you don’t ask you don’t get. ----- In the public sector we are used to set piece job selection processes. Not much point in “cold calling” those areas where you are keen to work. This is not the case elsewhere – if you know what you want to do and where, make an approach. Many sectors don’t do big advertising campaigns but they do like to hire good people.
Lesson 8 – technology is here to stay so make it work for you. ----- It is a fact that most employers use software to review CVs and sift candidates. They also do digital searches. So, make sure your CV describes you using words that win the “candidate bingo” game, which probably doesn’t include your GCSEs from 15 years ago or the fact you binge-watch Netflix in your spare time. Similarly, sort out a proper LinkedIn profile and google yourself – what comes up? What does it say about you?
As always, if you want some impartial, expert advice - get in touch.