How do you know you're ready?

Discuss the educational and physical requirements, testing process and background phase involved in the hiring process. Includes the experiences and advice of current and past applicants. All agency application related questions belong here.
alimartin
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How do you know you're ready?

Postby alimartin » Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:42 pm

I'm sure this seems like an unanswerable generic question, but it's something I want to try to answer for myself.

So many people I know just "knew" it's what they wanted to do. So many of my friends outside of law enforcement just "knew" what they wanted to do. I've never really felt like I "knew".

I'm 30, have studied various things, including 2 years of criminology. I worked in corrections for a few years and loved it (and the feedback from my supervisors and peers was very positive), but struggled with being an on call employee (no benefits, no "time off", no ability to say no to a shift). When a relocation came available for the spouse, we took it, and I left my career. I've been working a very average job in our tiny town, and I'm miserable. I miss having a job that challenged me, that I felt had value, and that I excelled at. I'm generally pretty good with people, great with paperwork

I hesitate to just throw my hat in the ring when I don't feel I have the certainty others had when they applied. Are there others like me? How do I go about deciding, or finding that certainty? Or am I just really conscientious and overthinking this?
Last edited by alimartin on Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby LP89CG » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:51 pm

alimartin wrote:I'm sure this seems like an unanswerable generic question, but it's something I want to try to answer for myself.

So many people I know (spouse is a police officer) just "knew" it's what they wanted to do. So many of my friends outside of law enforcement just "knew" what they wanted to do. I've never really felt like I "knew".

I'm 30, have studied various things, including 2 years of criminology. I worked in corrections for a few years and loved it (and the feedback from my supervisors and peers was very positive), but struggled with being an on call employee (no benefits, no "time off", no ability to say no to a shift). When a relocation came available for the spouse, we took it, and I left my career. I've been working a very average job in our tiny town, and I'm miserable. I miss having a job that challenged me, that I felt had value, and that I excelled at. I'm generally pretty good with people, great with paperwork

I hesitate to just throw my hat in the ring when I don't feel I have the certainty others had when they applied. Are there others like me? How do I go about deciding, or finding that certainty? Or am I just really conscientious and overthinking this?


Well if you're miserable doing the job you have now do you think a career in policing would be better or worse. If it's something you think you might enjoy why not apply. Whats the worst that can happen? You could always find another average job if you find out it's not for you, OR, you could find out you love it and never look back. You will only know if you apply...AND get in. I assume that you "know" you dont want to stay at your job now.

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby PHB » Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:28 pm

If you look at the requirements for application to the organization that you want to apply for and you meet those standards you should apply.

A big part of being successful with a police application is sticking to it until it works out.
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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby Spitz42 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:05 am

I think time helps making these kind of choices. I also think that there always is a little bit of doubt, but somehow one just wants to keep going and see where it all leads to.

For some the investment in time and education put in reaffirms the idea of getting into law enforcement, for others it's getting into a job where no day is the same and is challenging while helping the community.

For many people it can be a combination of all these things. What it comes down to really is, how bad do you want it? and are you willing to give it a try?

You won't know until you try, seems like you know a bit about the field since you worked in corrections, that is a big advantage that works in your favour.

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby alimartin » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:52 pm

I appreciate the feedback and perspective. I should add in addition to my own experience in corrections I have RCMP family. I guess what gives me pause is that it's a huge commitment and I don't want any doubt, but until you've done the job yourself there's no way to know but it really and truly will be like.

Anyways, thanks again for the perspective. I just have so many people around me who never had any doubt, got in young, etc.
Last edited by alimartin on Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby GoodWitness » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:04 pm

alimartin wrote:I appreciate the feedback and perspective. I should add in addition to my own experience in corrections my spouse is RCMP (hence our relocation and me leaving corrections). I've realized I don't want my career to be on the back burner while we follow his; I want one for myself, and I'm confident I have the aptitude, experience, personality and character for the job. I guess what gives me pause is that it's a huge commitment and I don't want any doubt, but until you've done the job yourself there's no way to know but it really and truly will be like.

Anyways, thanks again for the perspective. I just have so many people around me who never had any doubt, got in young, etc.


If it makes sense NOW and you want to try it NOW, then go for it! Time marches on, family situations change, you get older (gasp! Happened to me!) and then you realize the time to go for it was THEN.

So what if you get hired, put in a few years and decide it's not a forever career? People worry too much about this sort of thing. You sound like your current situation isn't doing it for you, so what have you got to lose?

All that being said, you mentioned living in a small community, are there local opportunities in policing or are you thinking his and hers red serge?

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby CEC_ED » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:40 pm

I was very much like you when I first applied! I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do - but knew I didn't want to be in my current career for long. I decided to apply because the diversity and the challenge of the career really appealed to me.
I'm nearly at the end of the recruitment process now (just waiting on SC and medical) and I feel 100% more informed and decisive than I did at the beginning of the process. You learn a lot about yourself and the Force throughout the process! I think the tipping point for me, was when I started keeping my eye out for other jobs I could apply for and couldn't find anything that excited me as much. Sounds silly, but it gave me confidence I was heading in the right direction with the RCMP. I had a couple of interviews with other organizations, and found myself hoping I wouldn't be selected because it didn't appeal to me as much!
I would HIGHLY recommend starting the process if you are at all interested. Of course the application process won't give you a sense for what it will really be like to WORK as an officer, it might just be enough to help with the decision making process. You will have LOTS of time to think as the recruitment goes on :thumbsup: .

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby CharlieVictor » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:57 pm

Not going to be long winded, i'll just say that you won't "know" you're ready. Apply and go from there. If you don't give yourself a starting point you'll never do it. Don't be the "I shouldda couldda" person.
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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby ohmaii » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:56 pm

If you FEEL you are ready and if you meet the basic requirements and competencies that the agency you are looking into are searching for, then apply. You will find out if you are ready or not after going through the application process. If you succeed, kudos, if you get deferred, then at least you know what to work on to be even more ready the next time around. You won't know til you try.

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby rro92 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:08 pm

alimartin wrote:I'm sure this seems like an unanswerable generic question, but it's something I want to try to answer for myself.

So many people I know (spouse is a police officer) just "knew" it's what they wanted to do. So many of my friends outside of law enforcement just "knew" what they wanted to do. I've never really felt like I "knew".

I'm 30, have studied various things, including 2 years of criminology. I worked in corrections for a few years and loved it (and the feedback from my supervisors and peers was very positive), but struggled with being an on call employee (no benefits, no "time off", no ability to say no to a shift). When a relocation came available for the spouse, we took it, and I left my career. I've been working a very average job in our tiny town, and I'm miserable. I miss having a job that challenged me, that I felt had value, and that I excelled at. I'm generally pretty good with people, great with paperwork

I hesitate to just throw my hat in the ring when I don't feel I have the certainty others had when they applied. Are there others like me? How do I go about deciding, or finding that certainty? Or am I just really conscientious and overthinking this?


If you have to ask, you're probably not ready yet


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