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Thread: Good Career Change For Me?
04-28-2011, 23:21 #1Cadet
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
Good Career Change For Me?
I'm a professional non-manager type that works a unique NASA Launch Services Job (as a coordinator/scheduler admin type), and I'm bored, bored, bored. Also, frustrated that I'm at a glass ceiling. I work with great people M - F, 7am - 3:30pm and I have my own giant, private office with lots of windows. That said, I am not challenged, properly utilized or most importantly...fulfilled.
I always wanted to be a cop but I know I'd never do that position justice. However, considering my passion for people, community, and criminal justice - I've deeply considered becoming a Public Safety Dispatcher for years. Well, now that I'm burnt out in my 20 year day job...I'm wondering if this is a good move for me but I don't know anyone who is in this career and can tell me the pros and cons from the heart. I'm hoping someone can ask me some questions about my life and personality and be able to tell if I'd be a good fit.
A basic pic of me: I am a military veteran, very social, travel to MN often to see my parents, family and friends are my world, love kids and animals, and I ride motorcycles.
05-05-2011, 21:25 #2Cadet
- Join Date
- May 2011
05-13-2011, 13:14 #3
Tinabell, I think you would find it difficult based on the information you have provided. You would be going from working days with weekends off to working weekends, and you would miss all major holidays, birthdays, etc, because you would be at the bottom of the totem pole (Most 911 centers schedule based on seniority). And you would be on midnight shift most likely, those hours generally being something similar to 11pm-7am. Your family and friends would have to come to terms that you would not be able to go out on the weekends any more, you will miss parties, family events and whatever else you, or they, have going on. As a trainer and a person involved in hiring, I can say that the schedule is by far the biggest shock to a new person. That's why I'm harping on it so much.
And if you couldn't do the job of police officer without "doing it justice" I'm not sure why dispatching would be any different. It is equally stressful without the closure. Rotating schedules are practically identical. The benefit of being a dispatcher, is that we are less likely to be punched, shot, puked/peed on and we don't have to clean out the back of a squad car. But we require dedication, attention to detail, hard work and an understanding that for all intents and purposes, your work becomes a higher priority than almost anything else you have going on.
I would suggest finding a place you are interested in working at, and request to do a sit-along for a shift and observe the work environment, and if allowed put on a headset and listen to calls as the person you are sitting with taken them. Be sure that it is something you CAN and WANT to do. You are looking at a significant life change if you pursue this.MrJim911
Someone once told me that time is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But maybe time is also a companion who goes with us on our journey, and reminds us to cherish the moments of our lives because they will never come again.
05-17-2011, 08:13 #4Cadet
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
I worked as a loss prevention associate prior to becoming a police dispatcher. Not sure where you currently live and/or what departments you're applying with but I've noticed out here in the Mid-Atlantic that the smaller the department the worse the schedule for newcomers and the bigger the department the more fair they are with scheduling. With the smaller departments the shifts are on bids yearly which basically means the lower on the pole you are the worse shift you'll get. The bigger departments, such as mine, everyone has the same shift 2 days (0700-1900) and 2 nights (1900-0700) with 4 days off. It's a wonderful schedule for personal life especially with family. That schedule allows you to have 1 month off weekends and the next month you work weekends. Also with that schedule, every other year you'll work most of the holidays. Last year my platoon was scheduled for 13 out of 15 holidays...really helped out with the finances though. This year we only work 2 out of 15 holidays, so that will hurt the bank some. Depending on where you are applying and get hired you might be able to use that as an "in" to becoming a police officer with that department.