There’s much to think about before pursuing a career in law enforcement. And indeed, even if you do decide it’s the right option for you, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make it; competition for these jobs can be difficult. If you are successful, however, then you don’t have to settle for just being there. Shoot for the stars, and try to earn more money by working your way up the ladder. This is also easier said than done, but with our tips below, you’ll be giving yourself a fighting chance.

Bring a Positive Attitude

It’s easy to see how a person working in law enforcement can become jaded. You’re dealing with the worst of humanity every day, the public is trusting you less and less as the year’s pass, and you just don’t seem to get thanks for all the effort you’re putting in. But remember: the people who become cynical aren’t going to get very far, or anywhere for that matter. More than in most professions, what really matters is A. being good at your job, and B. having a positive attitude! Believe in your job, believe that you’re doing the right thing. Others will see and appreciate it!

Stay Out of Trouble

You can be the greatest police officer in the world, but if there’s a big mark on your record, then promotion might be out of the question; indeed, even keeping your job might be out of the equation. As such, work hard to ensure that you’re staying out of trouble, and to keep your record clean. You can do this by following procedures precisely (even if you think they’re pointless), and by defending yourself when a member of the public makes an accusation; if you’re accused of excessive force, for example, then take a look at today. It’s much easier to rise through the ranks when people can see you’re living by the rules you’re trying to enforce.

Ask for Feedback

Even if you try your hardest, you’re not going to be the perfect police officer. There’s no such thing! However, you should always be trying to improve, and that means asking for feedback on your performance (from fellow officers, not the public!). A willingness to learn is valued in all jobs, including law enforcement positions.

Learn How to Work With Others

There’s a romantic idea of the maverick police officer, but in reality, they’re not going to get very far! If you’re going to be eligible for promotion, then you need to learn how to work with others. That’ll mean talking with people who hold opinions different to your own, and sometimes with people who hold views that you outright don’t like.

Look to the Future of Enforcement

Law enforcement isn’t static. It’s ever in flux and is always responding to new threats. If you can have your finger on the pulse, and not be overly committed to traditional practices, then you’ll be a useful addition to the more senior positions. Like in most jobs, there’s no point looking to the past all the time!

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