A career in law enforcement can not only provide you with future financial security and long-term employment prospects but is also an extremely rewarding path to take. Talk to anyone that has been a police officer for some time, and they will probably say that it is a way of life rather than just a job. If it’s something you are considering, then it’s a good idea to do as much research as you can.
To make things a little easier, we’ve put together 5 things to think about if considering a career in law enforcement. Hopefully, it will help you with your decision as to whether it is the right future for you.
There are many different job opportunities
The great thing about law enforcement is that there are so many different options when it comes to differing roles. Perhaps you are interested in the administrative side of the job and feel an office position would be more your thing. Maybe you see yourself feeling more comfortable being out and about protecting members of the public.
There are hundreds of different career paths with law enforcement so have a good think about what you might want to do. You may, of course, change your mind further down the line but don’t worry about this being an issue. You can always modify the path you have chosen once you have a better understanding of the options available.
Be prepared for variable hours
One of the potential downsides to this career is that you will almost always have a non-standard shift pattern. This may not cause too much of an issue if you are single, but if you go down the route of having children at any point, it’s something to be mindful of.
You will need a good network of people around you if you intend to juggle bringing up children and a stressful job with shift work. They should, of course, try to be as accommodating as possible with options such as job share, but it is a completely different set up than a job doing the usual 9 to 5.
Are you comfortable carrying a weapon?
Although law enforcement officers in the UK and many parts of Europe do not carry weapons, the majority in North America and other countries do. A key question you have to ask yourself is whether you feel comfortable carrying a weapon and, more importantly, if you would feel happy using one should you need to.
For some, it is second nature and thus no big deal, but if you have not grown up around guns, it could come as a shock. You will be given full and very extensive training on how to use it, of course, but you first and foremost need to feel comfortable knowing that you may at some point in time need to use it.
As a law enforcement officer, it is also wise to look into taking out additional insurance to cover you should you ever need to use your weapon when off duty and as a means of self-defense.
There are associated risks
Obviously, with this type of job, there are associated risks that you need to be aware of. You will come across a wide range of people in this field, some of which are dangerous.
Although you will be trained on how to deal with various situations, your life may still be put at risk regularly. To be effective in your role, you need to have the ability to deal with that and understand those risks. It is not a job for the faint-hearted, so make sure you are comfortable with these risks, or you could put your life in jeopardy.
It is very rewarding
Working in law enforcement can be hard work and stressful, but it is rewarding too. It may even be one of the most rewarding careers you can have.
As well as working with a bunch of extremely loyal co-workers and an abundance of job security, you get to make a difference every day. To protect the public from those who don’t want to abide by the law.
You will also play a part in making your town, city, or country a better place. If it’s your dream to work in this field, then you should go for it. There are so many different long-term career options you never know what it could lead to further down the line.
Interesting Related Article: “How Self-Care Can Reduce Law Enforcement Officer’s Stress“