Blue Light Leavers Blog


Stuart’s Story ‘The Goose to your Maverick'

Earlier this year, I found myself thinking about other work opportunities outside of the police. I didn’t know where to turn, and I had no idea if there was a support network available for people like me, who wished to explore the option of employment elsewhere. I searched on Google, where I stumbled across Blue Light Leavers. I did some research and decided to arrange a video call with Andy Labrum, which turned out to be the start of an unexpected journey.

My career was affecting my home life and vice-versa. I felt lost. I was in the depths of a battle with ongoing mental health problems, and I felt like my life was falling apart around me. How could a police officer, with 20 years of being a front-line cop, ever gain employment away from an environment that is becoming increasingly harder to work in?

I spoke with Andy for over an hour about my experiences, about how I was feeling and the difficulties I was facing. He was kind and caring and made me realise that I could explore anything I wanted to. Andy offered a consultation package to help me through to my first job, including coaching, CV building and mentorship. As much as I knew his skills would assist me, I just couldn’t afford it. Andy suggested I listen to the Blue Light Leavers’ podcast and join the Facebook group, which I did.

The Facebook group and podcasts are great, and I gained so much from them, but I still walked away confused and in fear of attempting anything on my own. I was hoping to be able to afford the package offered by Andy eventually, and I resigned myself to the fact that I would continue in the police until that time.

A couple of months had passed, and Andy remained in touch, sending me messages and giving me support. He sent me a personal message inviting me to The Academy – a place where I could meet weekly with like-minded people and learn from subject matter experts. I decided the £10 a month to join (with 10% donated to a charity) was worth it. Since this time, I have never looked back, and I have achieved the following:

• Built a strong LinkedIn profile
• Designed and created my own CV
• Recognised the skills I have and how to support them with real evidence
• Commenced training and upskilling in cyber security through WithYouWithMe
• Completed culture fit and psychometric assessment through WithYouWithMe
• Created a strong network of supportive people and made some fantastic friends
• Improved my mental health through group sessions and free support

I have since experienced my first interview in 19 years, for which Andy provided coaching and support to me without hesitation. This was another hour-long video call where he gave me sound advice.

I went into the interview very nervous, but came out feeling great, and I found out a week later that I had been successful. I texted Andy, “I GOT THE JOB!” Andy immediately video called me, even
though he was in a meeting, to congratulate me. He then offered to keep in touch with me and supported me towards making a decision on taking the job.

If you are reconsidering your career path and you feel lost, I highly recommend joining The Academy. Be part of the team. You won’t regret it. Andy Labrum is a real life ‘wingman’; the Goose to your Maverick! He genuinely cares and wants to help. He’s developed something really special, and I can say that his support has made a massive difference to my life. I have nothing but love for Andy and Blue Light Leavers and The Academy..