Leaving the Police
Leaving the police can be a very stressful time. Whether you're departing after 30 years of service or are looking for a change after a shorter amount of time, there will no doubt be many questions about what to do next and what your options are.
This is understandable, as many police leavers find themselves without clear direction upon exiting the service. Whereas those leaving the armed forces can turn to their government-funded Career Transition Partnership (CTP), there is no such official help available for police officers.
Security Cleared Jobs has helped people leaving the armed forces through the government funded CTP, and we've extended our expertise to those leaving the police. Our Police Resettlement EXPO was created in order to offer similar help and advice to people leaving the police service. The Expo is free to attend and is held at different locations in the UK.
There is high demand among a range of sectors advertising jobs for ex-police officers. Recruiters often favour those with police skills, as many roles are similar to jobs in the police. That experience and transferable skills are highly sought after. What's more, a proven track record of service in the police can speak volumes about your character and trustworthiness that may he you stand out from other candidates. Employers can feel confident in your honesty and integrity and could well give you an edge when they are making hiring decisions.
The transferable skills you can use
The good news for those leaving the police is that the skills they will have acquired over their career will be very transferable and will be very desirable to prospective new employers in a wide variety of sectors - the notion that there are few paths available is a myth. There are many jobs for ex-police officers, whether you want to remain involved in the public sector or try your hand in the private sector
For instance, your investigative skills will no doubt be one of your biggest assets, and will be of interest to many corporate investigators, counter-fraud professionals, security advisers and consultancy firms, to name but a few.
Some of the job titles you may be well-qualified for with these skills include:
- Crime scene investigator
- Financial crime analyst
- Intelligence analyst
- Fraud investigator
However, even less obviously relevant skills can prove hugely useful if former officers are keen to move into a new sector. This could be anything from the organisational skills you use every day, which will be useful for project management tasks, or the communications skills that you've used to interact with the public throughout your police career, which will transfer almost anywhere.
Valuable security clearances
Another major advantage you may have as a former police officer is likely to be the professional security clearances you have acquired along the way.
There are a wide range of jobs available where having these credentials is an essential requirement, and those leaving the police service who can demonstrate they have already passed the necessary checks will be in a very strong position. However, it's important to remember that these clearances will lapse if they are not used, so you may need to act quickly to give yourself the best chance.
Security clearances that are highly transferable to other sectors and companies and will increase your employability outside the police include:
- Developed Vetting (DV)
- Security Check (SC)
- Counter Terrorism Check (CTC)
- Recruitment Vetting (RV)
- Management Vetting (MV)
- Non-Police Personnel Vetting (NPPV)
The next steps
SecurityClearedJobs.com is the largest job board in the UK that caters for vacancies with a level of security clearance. Candidates can upload a copy of their CV to the site and register to receive alerts for relevant jobs.
However, it's important to understand clearly what your next steps are, especially if you have been with the police for many years. Selection processes for many positions may be very different from what you're used to, so be prepared to adjust your plans and expectations accordingly.
For instance, having a strong, well-written CV is a must, but don't be tempted to overdo it. It can be easy for experienced officers to go into great detail about their careers and achievements, but this is not what many hiring managers are looking for. Keep it as concise as possible and tailored to the skills and experience the individual employer is looking for - there'll be opportunities to expand on this at the interview stage.
It pays to plan ahead and have a clear idea of what you want to do before you leave the police services. What sector or type of work most appeals to you? Are you looking for shift work or something more fixed? How can you make the best use of your acquired skills and security clearances?
Making sure you have the answers to these questions as early as possible will stand you in good stead for the next step in your career, whatever that may be.