Second Careers for Street Cops
Ok, not quite. Obviously a bad plan will take you down the wrong path. But the point is, get a plan in place for your second career while you’re still at your police career. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated. Just start looking ahead and asking yourself some questions about what you want to do when your policing career ends. Write down your ideas.
What kind of work would you want to do when you leave policing? Maybe you’re going to answer: “No work, I’m retiring.” That’s one way to go if you’re able to call it quits and not work at all. However, I’m reading a lot of material these days about second careers and how many people want to carry on working well into their old age.
Look, if you’re 40 and carrying a huge burden of workload and stress you might think this is all crazy. From where you see things now maybe the end can’t come soon enough. No amount of advice from a retired cop like me is going to convince you otherwise. But we all change somewhat as we get older and, for a lot of us, the idea of carrying on in some kind of work is very appealing. That’s something to think about.
The trick is to make it something you really enjoy. In other words, a second career without that huge workload and stress. Lots of us want to work part-time as we get older.
Not you either? Maybe you’re an adrenaline junkie and can’t wait to dive into a big, fast-paced second career. Lots of us are. I took on a very challenging and stimulating second career. It was a great experience. I learned a lot about myself and the investigations work we were doing. If that’s in your future, plan accordingly. Get ready. Make a plan to give yourself options.
Here are some other questions to think about: “When would I like to move to a second career?” It helps to pick a date. You can stash the date away in your back pocket and not tell anyone about it. But with that date in mind, you can start developing an exit strategy, all part of planning ahead and taking care of yourself.
Then there’s the money. We all have our own set of financial circumstances and I don’t offer financial advice. That’s for you to figure out, perhaps with the help of a professional. At some point you’ll need to arrive at an answer to the question: “How much do I want to be paid?” That answer will help point you to your choice of a second career.
Make a plan. Write it down. Think ahead. There are lots more questions to ask. We’ll get to them as we go along. This is just the beginning.
Where can you find second career information to help you with your plan? In my next blog I’ll let you know about some good sources.
Author of Second Careers for Street Cops