Scary stuff perhaps because frankly you have not asked for it, but potentially useful nevertheless. So fair warning, if you are a gentle soul you might want to look away now.
My ‘real’ job is in the world of professional development – being involved in PiPS is a delightful part of my working life and of course sits well with this work and I often ponder what was it about this demographic that differs from others.
One of the starkest differences was the reluctance from many PiPS members to jump in and take a chance. “Obvious” I hear you cry ”why of course, we have spent perhaps thirty years making sure that safety and caution were paramount after all there were serious matters, some life and death, to consider”.
But are you still operating at ‘high caution’ level even now you are out on your own (or about to be)?
Has the caution that was once essential hung around for longer than needed? I am often met with the comment – “oh I am quite interested in that (lunch, concept, proposal) but I will wait and see how it pans out, perhaps see what others say and I might try it next time”
Of course, and you know this clearly, often there is not a next time. Opportunities flash by and time spreads out as we wait for the next ‘sure thing’ where success and fulfilment will be certain.
Ah but we know (although would like it not to be the case), that fortune favours the brave. What is the worst that can happen now? You apply for a job – they might say not now – you learn something new – how to present yourself better or understand more fully what might be needed to secure such a job – you might feel a little bruised but otherwise? Not a lot – so all good then.
You go to a lunch – you might be bored rigid or you might have some useful conversation that expands your thinking or you might make an interesting contact. Please note; chances are that the latter two are much more likely.
So I have a theory as to why this trait is particularly noticeable with former police officers. It came to me that over your long career in policing others have found you, you did not need to reach out. and probably things came to you thick and fast.
Trouble came to you – fights and villains, the mad and the sad
The needy came to you – the victims and the lost
Your opinion and verdict was called upon on an all too regular basis
Goodness, people even came to you to get their passports signed
The list I am sure you might reflect is long and actually quite engaging. But now your life is different and you will need to reach out, to not might mean real disaster for you.
So now that you need to reach out and find opportunities and options
You need to ask for what you want
You need to step out of what you know and into the ‘hmm not so sure’
You might even think you will be the vulnerable one – at least in your mind – and that might not be so comfortable
Again the list is fairly long on the ‘need to’ list, and why do I say ‘need’?
Because you will need to do this to get a new place where your past is an advantage, where your knowledge can be used by others. You will have to show others what you are made of because they will not just notice you – really, people are just too busy.
And sometimes that is a challenge for those who have never been the ‘go to’ person for problem solving, life saving or life safety. So for you particularly this might be a challenge.
So now, perhaps ask yourself, and you don’t have to tell but are you still waiting for opportunity to find you?
As the expression goes, you might be waiting for your boat to come in but chances are you will need to row out to meet it.
Get busy, get active, get focused and amazing things will happen, but you will have to move first.
As ever, pick up the telephone 01737 831700 or drop us an email at PiPS@PoliceintoPrivateSector.co.uk or through the contact page if you want support or help – and yes you will have to ask because, well the post was self explanatory.
warmest to you all
Angela Hackett on behalf of the PiPS team