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  • Help me decide if I should change careers

    I'm at a crossroads in my life...

    First off, I'm going to be 39 this year. I am at an executive level in a large corporation and make VERY good money... about 6 times the starting salary, actually. About 3 years ago, I started volunteering with a local agency as a way of doing community service. I felt that I should give back about 40 hours per month to service, and chose the local PD as my beneficiary. I found out that I absolutly love doing this type of work, and I think I have "gotten the bug". I truely have no intention or desire to become an officer, but I just love doing this much more than my actual career. I get so much satisfaction from being a part of my community and helping others.

    Recently, I have serioulsly been considering changing careers and trying to become a sworn officer.

    Is this crazy at my age? We have always lived modestly and way below or means. I have a lot of money, so even though the paycut would be substantial, it would not be a problem for the family financially.

    I would like to get thoughts from those out there that are close to my age, or that have made a similar career change. I think my mindset and what is driving me is much different than those that are in their early 20's. Maybe i'm wrong... who knows. I truely want to do this to make a difference in my community and the lives of others.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments.

  • #2
    Originally posted by RRA640 View Post
    I'm at a crossroads in my life...

    First off, I'm going to be 39 this year. I am at an executive level in a large corporation and make VERY good money... about 6 times the starting salary, actually. About 3 years ago, I started volunteering with a local agency as a way of doing community service. I felt that I should give back about 40 hours per month to service, and chose the local PD as my beneficiary. I found out that I absolutly love doing this type of work, and I think I have "gotten the bug". I truely have no intention or desire to become an officer, but I just love doing this much more than my actual career. I get so much satisfaction from being a part of my community and helping others.

    Recently, I have serioulsly been considering changing careers and trying to become a sworn officer.

    Is this crazy at my age? We have always lived modestly and way below or means. I have a lot of money, so even though the paycut would be substantial, it would not be a problem for the family financially.

    I would like to get thoughts from those out there that are close to my age, or that have made a similar career change. I think my mindset and what is driving me is much different than those that are in their early 20's. Maybe i'm wrong... who knows. I truely want to do this to make a difference in my community and the lives of others.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments.

    Become a reserve deputy/officer and keep your day job. With the prices of commodities going up as they are, in my opion, it would be a mistake. You can get all the satisfaction you want by going reserve. Good luckl.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TXICE View Post
      Become a reserve deputy/officer and keep your day job. With the prices of commodities going up as they are, in my opion, it would be a mistake. You can get all the satisfaction you want by going reserve. Good luckl.
      The department I am involved with does not currently have a reserve program. If they did, i'm sure I would go that route. Other agencies in the area have reserves, but I am partial to the one I have devoted my time to... plus... that is the community where I live and want to make a difference.

      Thanks for the comments.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would see if they have reserves and do some ridalongs, also a full shift,
        make sure its what you wanna do, some people cant make it, Im not saying you wont but if you choose to switch careers then give it everything you got

        As far as age thats not a problem, In my academy class their was a 55 year old man who a heart the size of a basketball, he pass everything, Every weekend he had to get shots in both his knees, If your not concerned about money then youll make it without a problem

        Good Luck

        Comment


        • #5
          This is such a personal decision, and there are no wrong anwsers.

          But I wouldn't do it, and not because of your age. You are still in the honeymoon stage with this type of work. Yes, it's fun at first. But that fades with time.

          Don't get me wrong. I'm not jaded, cynical or bitter. I like my job, but I'm not jiddy about it. And I notice that you said nothing bad about your current job. If you absolutely hate what you are doing, by all means make a change. But since you didn't mention that, I suspect you don't hate it.

          Obvioulsy, only you can make this decision. But since you asked, I'm saying I would stay where you are and enjoy that fat paycheck.
          You can now follow me on twitter.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by navy80 View Post
            I would see if they have reserves and do some ridalongs, also a full shift,
            make sure its what you wanna do, some people cant make it, Im not saying you wont but if you choose to switch careers then give it everything you got

            As far as age thats not a problem, In my academy class their was a 55 year old man who a heart the size of a basketball, he pass everything, Every weekend he had to get shots in both his knees, If your not concerned about money then youll make it without a problem

            Good Luck
            Thanks! I do a ride along every month with an officer and my work involves work out on the streets. I have worked side-by-side with officers for 3 years... mostly on DUI's. Assisting on the street as well as processing prisoners. I can meet the physical requriements, polygraph, background, etc... without any problem. I already went through the poly and background for my volunteer role.

            Comment


            • #7
              You seem like you have made up your own mind.....
              Go For It!
              Semper Fi

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SlowDownThere View Post
                This is such a personal decision, and there are no wrong anwsers.

                But I wouldn't do it, and not because of your age. You are still in the honeymoon stage with this type of work. Yes, it's fun at first. But that fades with time.

                Don't get me wrong. I'm not jaded, cynical or bitter. I like my job, but I'm not jiddy about it. And I notice that you said nothing bad about your current job. If you absolutely hate what you are doing, by all means make a change. But since you didn't mention that, I suspect you don't hate it.

                Obvioulsy, only you can make this decision. But since you asked, I'm saying I would stay where you are and enjoy that fat paycheck.
                Those are great comments, thanks. I don't hate my job, but it is not satisfying at all. Yes, the pay is great, but honestly... i'm a very conservative person. We have lived in the same 2200 sf house since 1998, and it's paid for. I drive a 1995 GMC pickup with 110,000 miles, and the last trip we took was to legoland 2 years ago. I guess i'm just looking for "more" and maybe my volunteer work is actually giving me that satisfaction.

                My big worry is that I won't feel the same way about it when it is a "job". Maybe I love it because it's not a job. I go out of my wat to help and do whatever I can. Maybe it would be different if I were getting paid. I don't get giddy about being in a patrol car, or having a radio, or anything like that.

                I also worry about the age gap. I get along great with officer's in thier early 20's as well as those in their 40's.... but I am starting to see an age gap between me and the younger guys.

                Quite honestly... I thought I would get a lot of "go for it" comments. Thanks for the honest feedback!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RRA640 View Post
                  Those are great comments, thanks. I don't hate my job, but it is not satisfying at all. Yes, the pay is great, but honestly... i'm a very conservative person. We have lived in the same 2200 sf house since 1998, and it's paid for. I drive a 1995 GMC pickup with 110,000 miles, and the last trip we took was to legoland 2 years ago. I guess i'm just looking for "more" and maybe my volunteer work is actually giving me that satisfaction.

                  My big worry is that I won't feel the same way about it when it is a "job". Maybe I love it because it's not a job. I go out of my wat to help and do whatever I can. Maybe it would be different if I were getting paid. I don't get giddy about being in a patrol car, or having a radio, or anything like that.

                  I also worry about the age gap. I get along great with officer's in thier early 20's as well as those in their 40's.... but I am starting to see an age gap between me and the younger guys.

                  Quite honestly... I thought I would get a lot of "go for it" comments. Thanks for the honest feedback!
                  They say when you enjoy what you do, you never work. I would follow my heart, this might be your calling. If push comes to shove you could always go back to your previous employer.

                  What ever you decide to choose Good luck. I am sure you will make the right decision

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Can I have your job?


                    JK man!! GO FOR IT!!!
                    Live life to its fullest and don't have any regrets. The best advice I received in my life is if you do what you love you won't have to work a day in your life.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Man, it changes alot when it becomes a job. Right now you are a volunteer and everybody appreciates your free work. You are probably friends with all the patrolman and the chief, and everyone in between. When it becomes a job, that chief is now your boss, not your friend. The patrolman will still be your friends, as long as you do your job and know that you are the rookie ( it seems you won't have a problem with this, you have a good attitude). You like seeing the fun stuff. When it is a job it is not as much fun, it is paperwork and hoping you do everything right so you are not sued for your house and tahoe (which you need to trade in before you make less money). You are volunteering when you want to. As the rookie you will be working a swing or midnight shift. That is hard on the family. Good luck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        RRA640, I will happily trade with you!

                        I must echo the sentiments of my fellow coppers on here. If I were you, I'd be a reserve officer/deputy and go out and play whenever you want. I'd keep the day job with the better pay and schedule. Just my $0.02.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RRA640 View Post
                          We have lived in the same 2200 sf house since 1998, and it's paid for. I drive a 1995 GMC pickup with 110,000 miles, and the last trip we took was to Legoland 2 years ago.
                          I hate you with every fiber of my being...
                          sigpic
                          Don't make me gassy.
                          You wouldn't LIKE me when I'm gassy...
                          _________________________________

                          If you're offended by something that I've said...it was just your turn.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by memphis PO PO View Post
                            Man, it changes alot when it becomes a job. Right now you are a volunteer and everybody appreciates your free work. You are probably friends with all the patrolman and the chief, and everyone in between. When it becomes a job, that chief is now your boss, not your friend. The patrolman will still be your friends, as long as you do your job and know that you are the rookie ( it seems you won't have a problem with this, you have a good attitude). You like seeing the fun stuff. When it is a job it is not as much fun, it is paperwork and hoping you do everything right so you are not sued for your house and tahoe (which you need to trade in before you make less money). You are volunteering when you want to. As the rookie you will be working a swing or midnight shift. That is hard on the family. Good luck.

                            This is exactly where I struggle! I volunteer when I want, and do know everyone from command to patrol, and I feel that they appreciate what I do for them... at least that is what they tell me... I am fearful that my view would change if I were suddenly an "employee"! My rule of thumb right now is "third yawn... I head in and go home!" I like that!

                            Sometimes I go out and meet up with some guys I have come to know... I find out that their first 5 hours of thier shift is going to be sitting in a P-Lot writing reports. I don't have to do any of that, and it's nice.

                            I would like to see a reserve program in our department. I have spoken to our chief about it in the past and haven't gotten anything more than it being added to the General Orders. No funding or green light (really just uniforms, insurance, and equipment). I would like to see our reserve program be made up of "limited authority" officers that must work with regular officers to create 2-man units in areas that always require 2 cars to be dispatched. If one 2-man unit can be dispatched, the second unit that would have been dispatched can stay 10-8.

                            Thanks for all the suggestions and comments!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think the masses have spoken. In the end it's obviously your decision, but I think you know where we stand. Good luck bro.

                              Comment

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