Being part of the police force is often highlighted as one of the most rewarding and challenging careers available in the UK today. However, there may come a time when you want to hang up your uniform and move on to pursue a different path.
Whether it’s due to retirement (since those eligible to retire are often still relatively young), financial factors or pursuit of an improved work-life balance, heading to pastures new could be just what you need after any length of service.
However, it can also be difficult and stressful as you look to adjust to life after leaving the police. How will you know what roles to apply for and which industries are likely to be seeking new talent?
We recommend that the best thing to do is understand your options and align them with your individual skills and interests in order to map out your secondary career.
Your skills are in demand
First, the good news: as a former police officer, you’ll have many transferrable skills that employers are always on the lookout for, such as:
- A can-do attitude perfect for people and project management
- Excellent communication skills
- The ability to make decisions under pressure
- A proven record of integrity
- Resilience under difficult circumstances
- Security clearance proving you can work with sensitive information
But which sectors can you look to transfer these skills into? Here are just a few of our top suggestions:
1. Financial and anti-fraud
As a police officer you will be used to writing detailed reports and demonstrating strict attention to detail, which would make you a great fit for the financial industry.
There is a vast array of potential roles available in this sector, including: claims validation officer for insurance companies or personal injury sites; anti-money laundering officer; financial crime investigator; fraud risk manager; fraud analyst, and many more.
Most of these jobs centre around the collection of information and the analysis of data to prevent businesses losing money to crime.
2. Cyber crime
Cyber crime is unfortunately increasing every year as more of our transactions migrate online. However, this does mean there is increased demand for professionals who have experience with IT systems and still want to see criminals brought to justice.
As with the financial sector, you are likely to mostly be collecting information for private businesses, looking for problems and reporting them, and assisting with programmes that could help to prevent online crime in future.
It might sound like a cliché, but there are still excellent opportunities for ex-police officers in the security sector. And forget any horror stories you might have heard from the 1980s and 90s – security is now professionally managed, regulated by a dedicated authority and well-respected.
Whether you’re in retail or elsewhere, your conflict resolution skills and calm demeanour will come in handy as you check visitor credentials, secure areas should emergencies arise, liaise with law enforcement and monitor security footage, among other responsibilities.
4. Private investigating
If you loved law enforcement but would rather be your own boss and choose your cases, then getting your licence and becoming a private investigator could be right up your street. Performing background checks, operating surveillance, searching records and interviewing individuals will all be in a day’s work, and former officers are sure to enjoy the variety.
Consultancy might sound mysterious, but it’s really just a catch-all term for providing advisory services to businesses – and it may be a great fit for former police officers. You could work with some of the big consultancy firms like KPMG or Deloitte or be independent, but your skills in communication and reporting and your specialist knowledge are sure to be a boon for recruiters needing help with anything from forensic accounting to security training.
6. Emergency services
Finally, although you may be looking to move away from the force per se, you could still consider opportunities one step removed from law enforcement, either working with the police in a civilian capacity, or with one of the other uniformed services.
For example, being a crime scene technician or a fire inspector would allow you to utilise your expertise and achieve that buzz of investigating a crime without having to be the one responsible for prosecuting offenders.
This could appeal to those looking for a challenge yet also a slower, more analytical pace.
Moving on from the police can be daunting, but recognising that you have the skills and expertise for many other roles could be just the boost you need to make that change.
These are just a few sectors with available roles, but by asking yourself what you most enjoyed as part of the force and where your biggest achievements lay might help you to identify many more.
And if you need further help, SecurityClearedJobs.com is the largest job board in the UK that caters for vacancies with security clearance – why not view the latest jobs today?
Find out more about careers for people with security clearances.