Police officer jobs are among the toughest yet most rewarding careers out there. New officers undergo rigorous training and learn many lessons across countless dispatch assignments. If you're an upcoming or recent high school graduate interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice, police jobs may be the right path for you. Before you lock in your decision, read about these ten important lessons many police officers learn on the job.
- The most physically and mentally tasking part of the job isn't always the looming danger. Daily routines can exhaust you more than you expect.
- Doctors may not always be able to arrive in time to tend to the wounded. In these cases, you're the next best thing.
- A liberal sense of humor is a necessity. You'll experience many twisted, often traumatic situations, where all you can do at the end of the day is remember the ability to laugh with coworkers and family.
- It's often the seemingly safest neighborhoods that hide the most heinous criminals. Don't judge a book by its cover, and always be prepared for danger.
- Catching the bad guys doesn't guarantee they'll receive justice. Court cases are a completely different battlefield where criminals sometimes get off easy or scot-free, and innocent people are convicted. The law is far from flawless.
- Police officer jobs center around teamwork and forming bonds with your colleagues. Your lives are in each other's hands, and you all become one big family. Get along with them as best you can; it'll help keep you sane during tough times.
- Wearing the police uniform grants you neither privilege nor protection. You're not special or above the law, and some people will distrust you on sight. You don't get to choose who you serve, and your gun is there for your own protection.
- Be prepared for the worst. Most situations require impromptu decision-making with limited knowledge. Plans can go downhill in an instant, and lives can be lost in the blink of an eye. Don't blame yourself for things outside your control.
- Overtime can become an addiction. You'll never get enough of it, and you might even structure your life around it.
- Don't get offended, and don't get emotionally attached. There are sociopaths out there who simply don't ever feel remorse for their actions and won't hesitate to attack you out of nowhere or take advantage of your kindness.
It Won't Be Easy, But It Will Be Rewarding
Few jobs demand as much physical, mental, and emotional fortitude as police jobs. Strength and smarts might get you through the door, but you'll need stamina and iron determination to truly succeed. For those who possess these qualities, there is no job more rewarding.