Leaving the police service whether through resignation, retirement, ill-health or any other reason, means leaving the policing bubble and reintegrating with civilian life. To an outsider that may not seem like such a big deal - it’s not like you’ve been living on a base and completely separated from the public! But those that have been in that position know it is a significant change.
Police officers often attach their identity and self-worth to their role. Unless you are in a precarious situation it is probably one of the first things you tell someone ‘Hi I’m Olivia, I’m a police officer.’ It is a defining fact and a way to let people know who you are in the world.
How do you tell people who you are when you no longer have that label?
Do you know who you are without the label?
I was so relieved to finally leave the police service after going through case conference after case conference, meeting with various doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, senior management, HR advisors, and fed reps, and trying my hardest to go back to being a 24/7 response officer. I soon found out that leaving the police wasn’t the answer to all my problems - it helped A LOT, but I felt lost. I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t feel like I had an identity anymore.
Once I started looking into personal development and self-care my identity started becoming more apparent. It was no longer attached to a job but instead is about who I am as a person - what I value and what I believe. This in turn has given me the freedom to make decisions, take risks and learn more about myself.
I would have got to this point much sooner if I had known that there were people out there, acting independently of the police, who had been through what I had been through and could support and guide me through this adjustment period. My mission now is to be that person and support other police officers/ex-police officers in becoming their authentic and happy selves out in the civilian world.
Your reason for leaving really doesn’t matter - you may have done 30 years of service and loved every moment or done 5 years and can’t stand it any longer! Everyone leaving has an adjustment to go through. Having support from someone who has been through a similar situation, understands what you have witnessed over the years, and the culture you are leaving behind is invaluable.
I provide support through personal & career development coaching and mentoring services to help you find out who you are, what you want to do next and how to do it. With a background in HR and recruitment, I also provide CV reviews and interview skills training - this is so important for letting hiring managers and recruiters know exactly what strengths, skills and experience you have in a language and format that makes sense to them.
If you have recently left or are looking to leave the police, get in touch. I am here to make the process easier by providing a safe and confidential place to talk and explore what the future may look like. Together we can put plans into action and help you transition to a fulfilling life outside of the police.