Getting your feet wet in security prior to launching a career in policing is something we often discuss.
So often in fact we regularly communicate with our staff, new recruits, potential employees, and most importantly – policing agencies near and far so that we can stay current in the wants and needs of what could be your next future employer.
Having survived a pandemic and currently in the throws of a global staffing crisis, there are some very notable lessons to be learned.
While making yourself a priority should never be taken lightly, and fostering positive mental health is at the forefront of everyones minds – there is a limit to how much you should realistically ‘sit back’ and ‘take it easy’.
Any strong willed goal getter will agree.
If you want something – you need to work for it and you need to earn it.
Especially in this climate, things aren’t often just handed to us anymore.
When it comes to front line work and first response – sometimes and often life is brushed aside to make your job or career a priority.
And it is literally a priority. As a first responder, especially when it comes to Policing and by nature even security – working a standard day job, having holidays and weekends off and even the luxury of calling in for a snow day – these are things that simply don’t exist.
As a police officer you grow accustomed to not only working your birthday, but even your kids, significant others, and family members birthdays too.
Christmas, special occasions, holidays – not to say you won’t get that time off, but you’re certainly expected to take your turn and step up and most importantly – show up on these days.
There are seldom last minute requests for time off. If you want any specific day or stretch of time off, it is planned well in advance, even up to a year ahead.
With the winter weather upon us, the vast majority of the working world eagerly anticipates snow days, bus cancellations and that icy weather that forces us to stay home and curl up in front of the tv instead of making the trek into the office.
As a first responder – This does not exist.
Your one hour commute could easily stretch to three or more hours, and you’re still expected to make it in on time.
Planning ahead, knowing alternate routes, giving yourself extra time to arrive safe and on time is just part of the job.
When your job or career is designed to ensure the safety and protection of others. While it doesn’t mean at the cost of your own safety, it is definitely at the cost of some of the regular comforts and flexibilities most of us have come to know and expect.
Sometimes the best way to ensure your safety while protecting others is to always have a good contingency plan.
If you know there is going to be bad weather, rather than leaving at your normal time and rushing and putting yourself (and others) in danger – leaving well in advance, even potentially doubling your commute time or more – is necessary to give you ample time and space to safely commute in otherwise treacherous conditions.
Knowing your surroundings, your event, your specific role is also integral to the job.
It is being prepared to press pause on life in order to remain in a stable career and position and fully embrace the role on the path you’ve chosen.
It is knowing that birthdays, holidays, and even Christmas – are just another day of the year.
While they have special meaning behind them, there is no reason you can’t celebrate the day before or after, or even a week before.
Celebrations and gatherings are the reason that make these events special.
If you end up gathering on December 18 to celebrate Christmas – it doesn’t make it any less Christmas.
If you were married on September 25 and celebrate on October 1st – it doesn’t make the past ten years of wedded bliss any less significant.
And when you look out the window and see the snow continuously falling, know that you have planned ahead, picked a safe route, have your snow tires on and you’re leaving early so that even if you get to work a few minutes early, it allows you time to breath deep, relax, and maybe even grab a cup of coffee before you start your shift.
Policing, Security, and First response is not a lifestyle for everyone.
What it is, is a mindset.
Is sometimes thankless, but often rewarding.
It is a career that will see you into your retirement and provide a lifetime of memories, experience, and relationships that you may not have otherwise gotten had you not taken the leap.
Guest Blogger Rayna Davies
Rayna Davies is a graduate and practitioner of Business Management. She has developed an expertise in blogging, covering subjects like travel, world events and security. Having grown up with a father who has developed an expertise in Physical Security and Executive Prot
ection in the RCMP and two major corporations, she has personally observed and experienced many security details. These experiences have included personally meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and many celebrities. She presently assists Sentinel Security in Executive Protection workshops and guest blogging and also assists Gloprosec Preventative Services in Intelligence gathering and Business Administration.
Her passions include World travel, having visited every continent.