Success Stories: Career Break Benefits
In this instalment of Success Stories, we spoke to Kate Theodore about how taking a career break from the police has helped to regain both her mental and physical health.
If you would like to share your story, please get in touch.Enjoy!
We hear a client's testimonial about how Mightify helped work our their options and support them throughout their career journey.
When did you decide to leave, and why?
I left on a Career Break in December 2017 and had been considering the matter for approximately 6 months prior. The force was at an all time low in terms of funding and resources and it hugely affected the standard I was able to perform my job, which caused tremendous frustration. It was impossible to work to the standard I knew that I was able. I had also suffered a knee injury which lead to me being placed on restricted duties, which I found difficult. I am a very active person so this became frustrating, and I was unable to run/train which was my “release”! Shift work is also known to be a huge stress on the body and alongside other factors resulted in me adopting disordered eating habits (undereating)
I knew a career break was the correct option for me as it would allow me to further my education (having not been to university before joining) and gain back my mental and physical health with the intention of returning to the job with a better mindset and new skills that would benefit the both myself and the Force.
What are you doing now?
For the first 12 months of my career break (I was granted 5 years) I worked in admin and as a receptionist in local gyms whilst I studied for my Personal Trainer L3 qualification and L5 Nutrition Adviser qualification.
I am currently a Personal Trainer and Nutritionist working in a large corporate local gym. Having fully recovered from my injuries and disordered eating I was able to pursue two passions of mine, health and helping people! I now support people 1-2-1 and Online with their nutrition and training and I am able to track their progress and watch them change their lives! I am able to teach and increase their knowledge for them to make long term changes. With the gym also being open 24 hours, many of the people I am able to support are shift workers!
What had you been doing in the police?
I joined as a Police Cadet at 16 years old for 2 years and went on to be a Cadet Leader too. I then became a Special Constable for just over 2 years until a recruitment drive opened for Regular officers in 2014. In early 2015 I began my training, and joined Response in mid 2015. I stayed on Response for the duration of my service whilst trying to get attachments to other departments to experience as much of other roles as possible, though doing this proved difficult due to resources.
How did you find another job?
With a passion for health and fitness (and food!), I knew exploring jobs in this area was the right place to start. I explored my options online, spoke to family, friends and colleagues, and contacted Tom at Mightify having found him on Social Media. I knew I needed to gain extra qualifications before starting as a Personal Trainer and that I would need a temporary job to support my income whilst studying. Tom supported me writing a CV (I had never needed one before!) which enabled me to apply for jobs in the right field.
What do you miss? What don't you miss?
I miss my colleagues! Understandably you make lifetime friends having been in some difficult situations together! I miss the shift banter, adrenaline and being an instant relief when someone in need sees you. I miss “doing right” for the public. I miss everyday being different and a challenge and always learning new things! I miss the stable income/pension (being self employed has it’s challenges!) I miss being able to complete jobs with fantastic results, having done a lot of background work to achieve the desired outcomes!
I don’t miss the low morale of the force that I left, also frustrated by the lack of resources at the time (hopefully this has and will continue to improve?). I don’t miss being unable to eat/sleep very well which impacted my health, however I have since learnt how to minimise these issues!
I am hoping to continue learning in the health and fitness industry to improve my knowledge further, with the intention of returning to the Force in a position where I am able to utilise both skill sets to support Health and Wellbeing within the Police.
What advice would you give others?
The skills and knowledge you have gained within the many departments of the Police are vastly transferrable and attractive to future employers! Do not feel that you “cannot do anything else” and “this is all I’ve ever known” because those skills are vital in other roles too.
If you would like to find out more about what Kate is doing, you can follow her on Instagram @_theo_fit