Tips For Starting A Career In Public Safety
Your choice of career is important. In fact, it’s more than important. This is why it’s essential that you choose a career that will enable you to grow professionally and personally. Also, your job should make you happy – don’t forget that, too.
Starting a career in public safety is a great way to tick all of these boxes. You get to go to work every day and make a positive impact on the world. In terms of job satisfaction, it doesn’t get much better.
Of course, there are lots of different public safety jobs that you can choose from, such as being a police officer or a firefighter, which makes working in the public sector incredibly exciting. So, whether you’re a college graduate or looking to switch jobs, here are some top tips for starting a career in public safety and becoming the ultimate professional.
Firstly, it’s a good idea to study. Specifically, you should study a master of public safety degree.
This will benefit you in a variety of different ways. You will:
- Be able to articulate yourself in the workplace to a higher standard.
- Enhance your critical thinking skills (critical thinking is now really important in the modern workplace).
- Learn how to better communicate with employees and members of the public.
- Gain greater academic and life perspectives from both your tutors and fellow students.
- Develop your leadership skills (which is great if you want to go into management roles in the future).
Another great part about studying a public safety degree is that you’ll be able to work remotely, whether it’s from home or another country while you’re abroad on a work trip. Modern education is evolving, and it’s certainly something to be excited about.
Let’s say, for example, you have a family and a part-time job that you need to juggle at the same time: this wouldn’t be a problem. The reason why is because you can study on a part-time basis from the comfort of your own home while still having access to all the university resources and your tutors.
Even if you’re an existing public safety professional, you will be able to get your degree while remaining in your current job. Combining work with education has never been easier – and it’s all thanks to technology!
2What Happens After I Get My Master of Public Safety Degree?
After successfully completing your degree, you will have a greater chance of entering your desired job role.
This is because hiring managers will see that you have studied public safety to a high level and will therefore have all the relevant knowledge you need.
It’s important to note that it’s not essential to have a degree. However, there can be no doubt that it gives you a huge advantage in the current landscape!
3Choose a Specific Role That Appeals to You
When you decide that you want to enter a career in public safety, you need to choose a specific role. The role you choose should be one that appeals to you and that you ultimately see yourself being in for a number of years.
Here are examples of the main public safety jobs that you can choose from:
- Police Officer
- Law Enforcement Personnel
- Parole Officer
- Intelligence Analyst
- Health and Safety Case Officer
As you can see, there’s an exciting pool of jobs to choose from.
Naturally, some roles are more physical than others. For example, being a firefighter or police officer is highly physical, while being an intelligence analyst is office-based.
Therefore, if you’re someone who wants to be outside in the public domain helping people, then you should go the route of being a firefighter or police officer.
However, whatever public safety career path you choose, you’re guaranteed to have excellent job satisfaction.
4Picture Your Long-Term Goal – Career Progression is Key
It’s also important that you clearly picture your long-term goal. After all, career progression is a big part of modern working life.
As an example, some people enter the police force with the intention of starting as a standard police officer and then progressing through the ranks (detective, sergeant, etc.).
Once you have a clear idea of where you want to be 10 years down the line, then your choice will be a lot easier.
5Get Practical Experience
Next, you need to get practical experience. Many police and fire departments allow volunteers to get practical experience with them. So, whether you’re a student or working professional, it’s a good idea to reach out to your local departments and ask to do work experience with them, as there’s a very high chance that they will take you on board.
Some departments even work hand-in-hand with colleges and universities. This way, students can study and get practical experience at the same time.
6Focus on Your Physical and Mental Health
Working in public safety means you have a lot of pressure on your shoulders. Therefore, it’s essential that you focus on and nurture your physical and mental health.
If you decide to be a police officer or firefighter, your physical health is extremely important. In fact, you won’t get hired unless you pass the physical examinations (which are usually very testing). So, if you aren’t already, it’s a good idea to start getting yourself in shape now, as training and exercise will be part of your daily routine upon entering one of these professions.
7Get Advice from Current Professionals
Finally, it’s a smart idea to get advice from current public safety professionals. On platforms like LinkedIn, you’ll be able to connect with (and message) these professionals and ask them for advice. If you do work experience, this is also the perfect place to seek out more advice from the people that do the job every day.
For example, you could reach out to the manager of your local police department and ask them how they started out and if they have any valuable tips that they can give you. Plus, you’ll be able to grow your network by connecting with these professionals, which is a great way to open potential doors for yourself.