As we move towards 2017 I thought it might be helpful to run through a few essential tasks for you if you are considering a move away from policing in the new year. And if you have already left, these will be of use if you are not getting the speed of progress you had hoped for.
Here are my points on a securing a successful move –
1. First and foremost, if you are thinking of moving at any point in the next year start right now!
It often takes more time than you might ever imagine to fully understand how to progress successfully.
Start with considering the direction you would like to pursue – and then perhaps a change of direction of when you realise the options are not as strong as you hoped for or the reality is that on closer look it is not quite the perfect fit you imagined. No matter, you will, with trial and error, find a good fit but only if you continually adjust, using what you are learning as you go along to develop ideas, and all this clearly all takes time
Look at companies you are interested in and of course, do your due diligence – will they be a good fit for you as much as you being a good fit for them? think about what are the best aspects of your time spent in policing – where might these be emulated in the private sector? Note I did not say pursue what you think other police officers have done – look for your own points of excellence.
2. Do your preparation
Commit to this as a major project and hunker down to the work. Yes, you might very well be the exception and be offered the perfect job the moment you mention you are on the market – but in my long experience this is a rarity. This takes commitment and some planning, but aren’t the best things worth working for?
3. Get help!
Well, I would say that wouldn’t I, you might be thinking – but no not really – I cannot work individually with everyone mainly because there are not enough days in the week.
So what help?
First and foremost do not think you should just be able to form a fabulous CV and LinkedIn profile – yes you are more than bright enough to do it, but it takes time to learn and understand what employers are looking for. If you spend your time and energy continually guessing and hoping you are presenting what they want you will waste your time and potentially turn away those who may have been initially interested in you. For many people there is only one chance to forward their CV to their key individuals – it is essential that the CV is a good one.
Often I see CV’s that are not bad, but only really useful if you want a job in policing. You need to show employers how your skills will fit in their business – it is not for them to work it out, they do not have the time or indeed the desire. Bear in mind, if you make life easier for those reading your CV it will make you more attractive to them.
Make sure it is not just a job description CV – just a list of your responsibilities because one might say – “well yes that was what you were paid to do”. Offer the added value you brought to the roles.
At times I speak to people who are disappointed that although they were keen to get support and help they feel they did not really want to pay for it. They are not alone and I really do understand, but free is rarely very good. If it is being given away one or both of you are undervaluing the worth. Clearly, I am committed to the cause, I work very hard for clients and their success and bring decades of knowledge and experience – and it is that experience and guidance that you are paying for. If you want a professional to ease the burden on you then expect to pay – they should bring an expertise that you do not hold (because you have been busy policing) and have a good track record of coverting policing skills alongside a great delivery reputation. Ask them probing questions – those of us who can really deliver these services will not mind one bit.
I love to hear the sense of relief from clients when the decision is made to work with me – “fabulous, someone else to sort this out and fast track me to the next stage”. and of course that leaves my clients with the more enjoyable aspects of spending their time reconnecting with old contacts and indeed connection with new people.
4. Get moving
Once you have your super two page, concise and compelling CV clutched in your hand and your LinkedIn profile developing you need to start to sending your CV out to various jobs – this will help you to get a feel for where you skills sets will be most welcome. I do not advocate just sending it out for jobs that do not really suit just ‘to see what happens’. It can be utterly demoralising when you see a job that you know you are more than qualified for, and perhaps even overqualified and not actually even that interested in, and then you are rejected without even reaching a shortlist, never mind invited to interview. There will be lots of reasons this happens (that is another subject but give me a call and I will walk you through if this is happening to you) and you may never know what was wrong but it can damage your self belief needlessly.
Do apply for good fits in advance – starting dates can take time to organise but know equally that there is no point in applying too far in advance – unless you are offering something no one else can they will not wait for you. I know that seems like opposite advice in the same point but really this is all about timing, preparation and flexibility. And of course, embrace the truth that the chance of getting a great job on first application is unusual for mere mortals.
Do make enquiries with companies you are interested in. Who do you know who works there? Who are you connected to that might introduce you to get the inside information?
Do offer to buy key people a coffee in return for picking their brains – be very honest here as they will spot you a mile off if you are not and start to avoid you – they are probably very busy but most people are happy to help the next one along. Ask for advice and not a job obviously!
Do make meaningful connections on LinkedIn in the new area of business you want to pursue. This means people you do not know yet!
And finally, in business, there is a well worn knowledge that many people resist – if you wait until you are ready you are probably already too late. Why do you think Nike still uses – Just do it – because it works and humans just hum and haw for far too long. Take action today.
So with that in mind – really do – Just do it.
I would be delighted to work with you in 2017 and help you on your way, once you are willing to commit to pushing forward with energy of course!
warmest to all
AngelaPips@PoliceintoPrivateSector.co.uk Tel: 01737 831700