Career Change - Difficult decision


Full Registered User
Afternoon everyone,

I originally applied to Merseyside police last year - it has taken a while to progress but I have been invited to a SEARCH assessment. I am facing a bit of a dilemma though and would like to get some advice from members on here.

I am ex forces and have spent my career in the security and risk management sector, now specializing in emergency planning for shopping centers and arenas.
Since applying for the police, I have secured employment with a really good company and have settled into the role really well. I currently work from home and if I have to travel it is covered by my employer. I am on a salary (with car allowance) of approx £42k. My current shift pattern is the old mon-fri 9-5 but because I am home based I can basically work any hours (as long as my basic requirement is covered) so some days will start at 06:00 and can finish at 14:00, or start later finish later if I have stuff I need to do.

I have always wanted to join the police, but I have a lot more commitments now (Mrs, mortgage, kids etc). Due to my current working pattern/salary we live quite a decent lifestyle with no major monetary concerns (we are not rich by any stretch, but get a couple of decent holidays a year/if a car needs a repair its not the end of the world, home improvements etc.). I am really struggling with the decision to join the police as it will basically mean a complete change to my working pattern and a big drop in salary (almost 20k). Part of me really wants to go for it but I also realise that this would have been fantastic for me 10 years ago, maybe I should stay were I am as at least I know I have all my weekends and evenings to myself, work from home and have a decent income.

Can anyone please give some feedback on what they would do in this situation (I know its ultimately my decision). I have spoken to a lot of serving police officers (my job that I do means I liaise with forces all over the country and CTSA teams for testing purposes) and I get a lot of feedback from them. A lot of the police officers I have spoken to have said the same thing - I would be stupid to throw in what I have now to start at the bottom with the police but a few say to go for it as it would be a good career.

Any help would be appreciated.


Longterm Registered User
What are your prospects with your current employer, £42k is an ok salary
Plus working family friendly shift pattern home based is a bonus.
The police is more like social work these days talking to people I know still in the job.
Depending on your current employers position you could benefit from becoming a
consultant / supplier to them allows you to offset some tax against your expenses.

Not forgetting you can't put a price on happiness!




Longterm Registered User
What's driving you to the police?
Can't be money as you'll have a massive pay-cut and take years to get up to what you're on now, unless you find yourself in a role where overtime gets paid, but then you're working long extra hours and not seeing the family.
I've a mate who does ARV and it's taken him over 10 years to get on it, and he generally hates what the role has become, like Premier says above there's so much 'social work' involved even in a specialist role as you get called in to all sorts, I presume a regular copper or response role is worse
So are you looking to 'help people' which seems to be a key driver for most? In which case, I'd have thought your current role is just as satisfying, protecting the lives of hundreds of shoppers, and you get regular hours and decent pay and time with the family
Stay put mate