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Thoughts and views please - career change into the Police?

(5 Posts)
MtnBikeChick Thu 04-Oct-18 13:33:50

I am considering a fairly drastic (though not entirely unrelated) career change. I feel good about it but wanted to get some Mumsnetter views. I am a lawyer, but I don't do client facing work anymore – I work in an operational type position within my firm. I have been considering applying to the direct entry Detective Police Constable role (with the Met). I have absolutely zero attachment to my job, other than my colleagues who I love. The money is however excellent. I would be going from a six figure salary to around £40k, and that is clearly a huge consideration. I am bored out of my mind at work, because I don't find the industry I work in interesting in any way. I find it depressing and demoralising.

By way of background, I am late 30s, and have been doing this job for 13 years (in various shapes/forms). I have two kids – year 1 and year 4. My husband has a very senior City job, travels frequently, excellent money. I do not work for the money, but it's nice. We have a junior nanny/au pair who lives with us and does pre-after school care and holiday help. In the interests of full disclosure, I suffered a sudden family bereavement last year that has drastically changed my perspective on life, and that does have something to do with this. I feel the deep urge to do something more meaningful and do something that would test my brain in a different way. I have incredible research skills and I am very tenacious. I love to keep going until I get a result.

A lot of commentary I have read speaks to the down sides of working shifts. I have the childcare that can cover this. In a way I feel like the shift work can't be worse than what I do now, to be honest. I currently work a 31 hour week over 4 days. One day I work from home, which is nice, but the other 3 days in the office I am out of the house from 7:15am – 6:45pm. I always check my emails outside these hours. In some respects, I feel that shifts may give me more flexibility to see my kids and husband at different times.

Anyway, all thoughts welcome. Clearly a 65% pay cut is pretty drastic and not to be taken lightly. I would love to hear from anyone with experience of working in the Police, whether or not in a detective constable role.

Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
notsomumsymum Thu 04-Oct-18 13:48:24

Hi, I’m a detective with a rural force. I have a toddler and work 32hrs per week. The shifts work well for us at the moment because I have a lot of mid-week days off, which means we save a lot on childcare. However, I’m not sure how it’s going to work when my son goes to school as it will mean I’ll miss out on a lot of bed times and weekends off together. I work two weekends in, two weekends off and a mixture of lates up until 12am or 2am then day shifts. This may be different in the Met.
The hardest part is that ‘the job’ takes priority over family sometimes. So if something happens then you have to be prepared to stay on duty. I’ve worked 17 hour shifts, finished at 7am then have to be prepared to go back in at lunch time that day.
The work is tough, there’s a monumental amount of pressure and your £40,000 will mean you’ll come out with just over £2100 because of pensions, federation payments etc... only you can decide whether it’s worth missing out on birthdays, Christmas and all sorts of special occasions for that amount.

PM me if you have any questions 😊

MtnBikeChick Thu 04-Oct-18 14:00:56

Thanks this is such helpful insight.
I guess I always compare things to lawyer life - where at times I would work 36 hours straight ...but that's why the money is good!

OP’s posts: |
Firesidegl0w Thu 04-Oct-18 17:44:05

I am going to offer an alternative. You stay in your current role with good salary. You find some hobbies, volunteer or a few goals that you wish to achieve outside work. These goals may be short or long term. Secondly, how would you feel it your partner said the same thing, that they were going to reduce their income and do a similar type of job. I understand that your perspective on life has changed, but I would take your time before you make any decisions.

LadyPenelopeCantDance Thu 04-Oct-18 17:50:45

It’s not a great time to join the police. Morale is at an all time low and every force is creaking under the pressure of reduced officer numbers and budget cuts. As pp said, you have to consider how working on special occasions and Christmas would be for your family. Cancelled rest days are the norm too so your days off and holidays are always under threat.

Have you considered becoming a Special instead? You would still get to be in be police, but on your own terms and you get more of the upside without the downside IYSWIM. It might give you an insight in to how you like it before fully committing. Appreciate it wouldn’t be in a DC role, but it gives you first hand experience.

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