Being a new police officer is an exciting position to be in but can also be intimidating at the same time. Starting any new job is nerve-wracking and can cause you to make silly mistakes or stumble and fall initially.
Go easy on yourself in the beginning and accept that you’re on a learning curve when starting a new job. Perform to the best of your ability each day and be proud of yourself for embarking on a new career in law enforcement. Let challenges be a way to help you improve your skills and abilities and develop as a person and police officer. The following advice should guide you to finding success in your career and having more confidence in yourself.
Never Stop Learning
One piece of advice for new police officers is to never stop learning and gaining new knowledge. Figure out what career path you hope to take early on so you can start to take actions that are going to help you get ahead. For instance, you may want to consider enrolling in an online BA in Policing program at cbsa college if you’re looking to take on higher-level positions in law enforcement one day. It’s never too early to start mapping out what direction you want your career to head in the future. If you truly love what you’re doing, then it’s very likely you’re going to want to use your advanced degree and education to land a leadership role at some point.
You’re going to be working long hours and trying to prove yourself to others in the beginning of your policing career. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you focus on taking better care of yourself and making sure you’re in good mental and physical health. The better you feel the less stress and anxiety you’ll experience while on the job. Your wellbeing will have an impact on how well you perform and will help you to minimize making mistakes at work. Not only work out regularly and keep in prime physical condition, but also focus on how you can better manage your emotions and relieve stress in healthy ways when you’re not busy being a police officer. It’s one job that will require you to be fully focused and alert when you’re on duty, so you should make taking care of yourself a priority.
Believe in Yourself
In the beginning of your policing career, you may find it easy to concentrate on all that you’re doing wrong. However, this type of mindset will likely cause you to make even more mistakes and lose self-confidence as time goes on. Instead, put your energy into believing in yourself and remembering all the talents you have and reasons why you’re good at your job. This advice will help you to stay strong and in good spirits when you may be feeling defeated or frustrated at work.
There will be others who may be excelling at a quicker rate or who have been in law enforcement longer than you. Avoid comparing yourself to others and focus on what it is you can be doing each day to improve your skills and abilities. Believe that you do have what it takes to succeed and you’ll likely discover that, in fact, you are able to meet and exceed your
Be A Good Listener & Observer
Policing isn’t about knowing it all and showing off in front of others. One piece of advice you should take into consideration as you begin your policing career is to be a good listener and observer. Learn from the best and take note of what others are doing that you admire. Find a mentor who you can look up to and feel comfortable asking questions to when you’re feeling lost and confused. There’s going to be a lot of training and information to digest right away, which may be overwhelming to you. However, it’ll be easier to handle all the changes and details when you slow down and take it all in without jumping to conclusions or making assumptions and judgments.
Being a police officer is a difficult job and some days will be better than others. One piece of advice to keep in mind as you progress in your career is to forgive yourself. The reality is that you’re going to make mistakes but you have to learn from them and move on. You can’t let inevitable obstacles stop you from following your career goals and dreams. Get in the habit of documenting what goes wrong and what you can do differently the next time around. Ask for feedback and talk to colleagues to get a better idea of what mistakes they’ve made in the past and how they’ve been able to let go and move forward from them.
If there’s one habit you adopt and live by the most in your policing career it’s to always be honest and ethical in your practices. Cheating, cutting corners and breaking the law is only going to set you back over the long-term and cost you your reputation. Know your values going into the job and avoid letting others sway you from your moral compass. As a new police officer, you may see actions or situations that you disagree with or find wrong. Instead of falling into a trap and getting caught up in any misconduct, remove yourself and continue to be open and honest as you go about your days.
Get Involved in Your Community
Furthermore, as a new police officer, it’s a wise idea to always be networking and getting out in the public. You can make a name for yourself by introducing yourself to others and volunteering your time for a good cause. Doing so will demonstrate that you’re a strong leader and will help to give the police unit you work for a highly regarded name and reputation. Getting to know your community and those you’re working to protect will make your job that much easier and more manageable.
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