Emergency Services Career Transition
It’s a very different world from twenty or thirty years ago when police officers completed their service to take up that long dreamed of hobby or spend time with the family. Now, the Emergency Services landscape is changing with staff facing unprecedented challenges. Austerity measures have vastly reduced numbers in many of the emergency services, whilst calls for their support and expectations about what they deliver has increased. Changes in pay and conditions and in wider society mean that many see their emergency service career as part of a portfolio career, or a second career and not necessarily a job for life. Attracting quality staff, retaining and motivating them and providing support as they transition to the next phase in their career remains a challenge that all of the Emergency Services must address. For long serving staff, leaving the Emergency Services can be a daunting and difficult transition that some describe as being similar to a feeling of bereavement. Workers who face medical retirement can experience greater challenges and concern about their future.
Emergency Service workers often use their network to help each other transition into the next phase in their career or to share snippets of information about a great service they’ve received but there’s something about the word “networking” that has mixed connotations for many. Whether it’s the perception that everyone stands around having wine and nibbles or making small talk in a meeting room with a group of strangers, some people find networking difficult.
Unlike the Military Services, there is no funded resettlement support for Emergency Service workers looking for information about financial support, careers advice, coaching, personal wellbeing or for employers to advertise positions that might be suitable for ex-Emergency Services staff.
The three founders of Emergency Services Career Transition Ltd (ESCT) have over 90 years’ service in policing and the military between them. They found themselves in a position where service retirement beckoned but “retiring” didn’t and were surprised at the lack of resources available to help them and their colleagues as they started to consider “what next”. Having navigated the many frustrations involved in resettlement themselves and successfully transitioned into second careers, the founders have funded the formation of ESCT with a view to ensuring that this gap is addressed. A Not-For- Profit organisation, the ESCT has been developed For, By and With the Emergency Services at the core of everything they do.
Of course, trawling the internet will bring up numerous other career transition companies and consultancy services offering courses, workshops or CV writing services. but it’s a challenge to know exactly what you need, to guarantee the quality of the advice or to know whether you’re choosing the right support and whether it’ll be beneficial. Often these services are very expensive, aren’t targeted towards Emergency Services and can’t identify or translate the many transferrable skills gained in public service. ESCT has a vision to provide all Emergency Service workers with access to free advice, guidance and support and to assist them in making career and personal choices at every stage in their career whether joining, volunteering, serving or leaving the services.
With ESCT, the user can have confidence that the providers, tools and products offered or recommended through the website will be from a trustworthy source and have a bias and interest in providing support that will benefit Emergency Service workers as they try to make decisions and prepare for their future.
To ensure ESCT standards are maintained, governance is provided by an Advisory Panel made up of representatives from the Emergency Services, private and public sector organisations and volunteers with a keen interest in supporting the Emergency Services community. We are excited to include representatives from Bovis Homes, QinetiQ and other independent members from public and private sector business communities.