Feeling a bit stuck?

You are not alone but follow this PiPS plan and you will be looking at your future with new excitement.

What next?  Police into Private SectorMoving from Policing can feel like you are leaving home – away with the familiar and on with a new, often untried, way of working.

We know from experience that there is nothing out there that, with some patience and a willingness to learn, you cannot adjust to.  Yes, you will have to make changes but change is about growth and development and is a natural part of our lives so why not embrace it rather than fight it?

So here is our plan to set you on your way to happily make a successful move into the private sector.  How quickly or slowly you go will be up to you – just know procrastination is usually based in fear of the unknown – and that never needs to be the case for you because you have us in your corner!

Acceptance – my policing career will end

This sounds absolutely obvious but too many pull away from the inevitable and fail to plan, rail against those who would encourage them to move on and spend their energy and effort complaining about what is.  Accept the reality and know that you will make good progress with the right attitude and you have the potential to prove yourself useful to more than just policing.  Yes, for many of us, a deep breath and mustering up some inner courage is needed but crack on and face the inevitable; you will thrive all the better for it.

Decision – will I jump or be pushed?

By all means do nothing but please don’t complain after life knocks you down.

Why not let the decision be yours in terms of timing, with good preparation you can go when you want to and move either to a break (with a forward plan) or with effort into a new and challenging role.  And yes you will have to actively look for this.  You cannot sit around and hope that someone will offer you a job – go and look for it.  Many of those who have set up companies and are working hard at building up clients say one of the most irritating aspects (and saddest) is former colleagues, often with tenuous links, contacting them and asking for a job. Oh dear.

Ready to jump?

But jump into what?

What environment do you thrive in?  What piece of work are you doing when time just flies?  Who are you with?  What is the task?    Sit and ponder this and similar questions and you will begin to get clarity on where you excel – surprising very few people actually ever do this and they miss out on the area that not only pleases them but is most likely to bring them the greatest rewards.

Define options – as big a list as possible – take several days

Just go crazy with all options – I would agree that this takes some time to get in the mood but it will be worth it.  When we brainstorm like this with people we push them to look at the off the wall and unusual which often leads to clarity on the many options there are.

Financial review, what do I need in terms of income to live my life now and what do I want in the future as a comparison?

Be brutal on this one.  By all means allocate a certain amount of your commutation or savings towards setting yourself up but keep an eye on this – we are horrified at the amount of people wasting (yes wasting) money on unneeded and untested ideas.  Flashy websites; look good but do nothing to bring in business (a basic one is the place to start until you have defined your offering)  Super stationery; rarely relevant in this world of technology and marketing and advertising when they are unclear on what they are trying to achieve.  The list of things to spend money on is endless and can make you feel like you are building a business.   Also you may have a great idea for a service you could provide or are keen on a job but have you worked out how much you will need to charge? What does your hourly rate need to be to achieve how you realistically want to live (and yes we might all like to live like Richard Branson but give it a year or two to build up to that).

Delete ideas that will not deliver, bring them back as a hobby if need be

Really test out your ideas – speak to someone who will ask you the penetrating questions not just your family who want you to do well almost by wishing it so.  A critical but impartial party who can lead you to modify, question, adjust or abandon will be worth their weight in gold.

Do SWOT analysis on each and score each out of 10.  1 being least attractive – 10 the most.

Enough said; you all know how to do this.  Easy peasy once you get started

Do a feasibility study, is this really ‘doable’? What preparation is required, what time line to launch, qualifications, finance, other people, equipment, premises, CV, interview skills?

Whether looking to build a company or gain employment do your homework.  If employment is you interest then what does that company ask for? If you are going to offer a service or product check out if there a market, how do you reach the market? What will the market pay? How will you convince customers that you may be new but you are great?

Please do remember that for those of us who have been in business for some time can spot a faker and will either drop you in double time if you try to pretend that you have it all covered.  They will ask questions to check it out and then judge you if they feel you have lied – what else might you lie about?  Nothing wrong in being new – often people are keen on a new view and a fresh approach so use what you have not what you ‘think’ you should have.

Go with the top 1-3 maximum (preferably – 2)

Once you have defined your offering realistically look in depth at the top of the list

Plan , plan and plan

This is actually great fun and will build your familiarly with what you want to do next – or allow you to go off the idea which is great to do now before you really get started.

Create a plan for each, write down what will make it happen, break them into steps to achieve, many small step are easier and more likely to get done than giant steps requiring huge effort.   Define the time line and double it, everything takes at least twice as long in reality as we estimate when we are being creative.   Project end of year one and three goals to achieve in that time frame.

Check it out with someone who actually knows!

Get your plan checked by a professional, get appropriate advice throughout, you do not know enough, not family or friends as they are biased and will be dishonest with regard to what they feel are your best interests not your real best interests.  This is your future and you need to be aware that this is one of the biggest downfalls.

Decide which plan, then focus and commit

Without really being determined none of this will work   Success does come at a price, usually your hard work and tenacity.  If it were that easy everyone would do it – yes?   That being so make sure you are one of the success stories – in whatever frame that is for you.  It is absolutely certain that without commitment it is not going to happen!  But then isn’t everything in life you had to work for all the sweeter?

Review, review, review

Fine tune the plan, keep with the planned programme, establish goals for implementation and target levels to measure success.  Use SMART, Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

Now get going  – what are you waiting for?

Warmest to all


Angela Hackett – Director

Police into Private Sector – PiPS