Why Blue Light Leavers?
After serving for 30 years in mainly frontline roles (including 24/7 response, Territorial Support Group, Dog Handler, Response and Neighbourhood policing Sergeant, Firearms Sergeant, Head of Operational Training and more), as Andy approached the end of his service, he was really unsettled and worried about life after policing.
He successfully applied for and transitioned to a new role in Project Management, then went freelance as a Lead IT Business Change Manager and is now in charge of Modern Workplace Technology for a global online fashion retailer.
Hearing he'd successfully transitioned to a new career, he was approached by friends and ex-colleagues who needed guidance and support moving into new careers, mid-service and on retirement and due to his success in helping them successfully apply for and understand how to map across their skills and experience to new roles, word of mouth referrals led to more and more enquiries and Blue Light Leavers was created to help more people and now has members from the UK, Ireland, North America, Australia and more and a podcast audience across 47 countries.
Unlike other post-policing 'resettlement experts', Andy is still in full-time employment in the corporate world, interviews regularly for roles and interviews others and understands exactly what you are up against in today's job market.
'There was one particular life changing incident that came out of nowhere and made me question everything.'
'I’d been on response, Crime Squad and then the Territorial Support Group, totally committed to the job.. I was married with a young family, working really long hours, grabbing rest days and overtime just to make ends meet. Like all of us, I missed birthdays, Christmas’, public holidays and regularly ended up sleeping on the gym floor at the base, because of overtime or having chosen going out for a few beers with my work mates over going home.
All of this culminated in the inevitable breakdown of my marriage and a divorce.
I transferred Forces to be closer to my daughter and it was when I was a dog handler that my ex-wife told me that she and her new husband had been offered jobs and the opportunity of a new life in Sydney, Australia, and they wanted to take my 12 year old daughter with them.
I fought the move, but after a really challenging conversation with my solicitor, I had to sign the papers to let her go and my heart broke.'
'No Aussie Forces were recruiting, I had no other skills, I felt completely lost, and I stayed put and work and the gym became my crutch.'
'I like to think I did pretty well at work, winning several awards, gaining promotions, and driving my team’s performance in different departments and then, 9 years after my divorce, I married Claire (having said I’d never get married again.) We had two children, but at work, I was sick of being told where to be, when, what to do, still missing birthdays and Christmas but completely caught in the pension trap. There was always something in me wanting to do something different, find a new career, a new life and see how far I could go outside of policing.'
'On 30th April 2015, I handed in my warrant card and my 30 year policing career was over.'
'I knew I had to do something, but since the age of 18, I’d only known policing, and although excited about the possibilities, I was very worried about where the money was coming from, losing my identity, my livelihood, my vocation, and losing touch with colleagues and work friends.
If you HAVE felt, or ARE feeling, any of the emotions that I describe, I absolutely know how you feel.
There is life after policing. I've been really fortunate to have undertaken new, sought after career related qualifications. and graduated for the first time in my life at the age of 53!
Although not a motivator for many, almost by accident, I've been able to more than double my Police salary in less than 5 years.
If you're looking to move mid-service or you're leaving on retirement, or just looking at your options and need to talk to someone who's done it and helped lots of others do the same, click the link below for a free clarity call. No sales pitch, just honest advice and guidance.'