The purpose of this report is to examine my suitability for the career I wish to pursue as well as look at other areas that maybe more suited to my personality and interests. I will highlight my suitability to the career in which I have chosen through self-awareness and career exercises. I will be analysing these findings and determining my suitability for my chosen career as well as the implications that I may face.
I will then review potential career opportunities of interest to me and why I have chosen this particular career as well as reviewing the selection procedure that I would have to go through in order to join the Metropolitan police service.
Finally, I will produce an action plan for the next 5 years based on my career and life goals and the steps I would need to take in order to achieve my goals.
Throughout this report I will be referring to material that I have used that can be located at the end of this report in the appendixes.
A Future on the Front Line
In my Career Planning Preparation Questionnaire  (See Appendix I), I outlined occupations that I was considering. After further thought into this, I have decided that my main goal is to join the Metropolitan Police Service, although I will be conducting research into Mi5 as a back up option if I was not successful in joining the Police service.
The report was very accurate in that it stated that I was a very confident person and knew what interests me and what sort of career I would like to pursue which I believe will be evident throughout this report.
In the comments section at the end of each section I set my self tasks to complete, I have done all of these I purchased the book stated, this proved useful when completing assignment one in for which I got a very good grade. I have completed the Prospects Planner  (Appendix V) and this will be referred to throughout. I have also conducted extensive research into the Metropolitan Police service and Mi5.
Analysis and Reflection Following the Type Dynamics Indicator 
In order to understand the type of person I am and what sort of job my personality would be best suited to and that implications that may arise I conducted the ‘Type Dynamics Indicator Exercise’ (Appendix II)
After answering a number of questions, the indicator suggested that I preferred the style of co-ordinator. This is one of the most organised and responsible of the types. A more detailed analysis can be found in the appendix. When I read the report and compared it to how I view myself and how this would fit into the police force, I found it to be very useful and insightful.
Throughout my career I have always preferred an ordered and disciplined work environment, hands on roles rather than office based work, and I loathe work which is unstructured or wastes time. My preferred style also explains why creative writing and performing arts have never interested me, as this is not typical of a co-ordinator.
I enjoy taking responsibility in teams, which is evident throughout my academic and voluntary roles. I was form representative throughout secondary school, college and university. I was also chair of Basildon Youth council for 3 years. According to the report, the above elements are very typical of a co-ordinator.
I can be a very tough leader. I am very organised and ensure everyone has a task and a deadline by which to complete it by. I will also put equal if not more work into the task as well and respect those who do too.
Many co-ordinators are found in the police force. This is because they are organised, traditional, loyal and efficient and the job gives them a role where duty, courage and a sense of responsibility are the foundations and together with purpose, direction and delivery. I think my preferred style is very suited to a career in the Police force. Although areas I may wish to improve are flexibility, allowing people to do things in their own way and being more appreciative to other people’s feelings.
My Strengths and Weaknesses
I used the activity ‘How Well Do You Know Yourself’  to help me highlight my strengths and weaknesses. I had to select five words that described me, including at least one weakness, I asked two of my house mates whom I have lived with for 2 years to do the same. The results are outlined below.
How I see myself:
How others see me:
It appears that I see myself very similar to how others see me. Both my friends and I also stated that I was driven which hopefully will stand out when I go for through the selection process and promotions. One of my weaknesses that I put down was that I can be moody, this was not picked up on by my friends by they did state that I can be aggressive. This may prove a problem when in the police force and so I should try to be less aggressive and abrupt when dealing with people as this may aggravate situations, instead I will be more authoritative as this will also resolve situations.
Because I have been involved in voluntary work from a young age this is also one of my major strengths as not only do the police view those who have undertaken voluntary work very highly I have also worked in a wide range of different teams with different police and developed numerous skills such as communication, presenting, leadership, teamwork, delegation and compromising.
The work I have also undertaken with the police with add to my strengths further as I have a more in depth knowledge of the workings of the police that not a lot of other candidates will.
Analysis of Career Interests
To assist me to identify my career interests I used the John Holland ‘Career Interest Inventory’  . My Results stated that my code was ESI. A description of the different aspects is below.
People who have athletic or mechanical ability, prefer to work with objects, machines, tools, plants or animals, or to be outdoors.
People who like to observe,learn, investigate, analyze, evaluate or solve problems.
People who have artistic, innovating or intuitional abilities and like to work in unstructured situations using their imagination and creativity.
People who like to work with people to enlighten, inform, help, train, or cure them, or are skilled with words.
People who like to work with people, influencing, persuading, performing, leading or managing for organizational goals or economic gain.
People who like to work with data, have clerical or numerical ability, carry out tasks in detail or follow through on others’ instructions
My most popular interest area was enterprising. A more detailed analysis of this on the same website, said that I am self confident, assertive, ambitious, popular and extroverted  which are similar qualities to those highlighted in my strengths and weakness section. It also stated that I enjoy heading meetings, evidence of which is my 3 years as chair of Basildon Youth Council and achieving awards, something that of course I always enjoy. Occupations that matched my code included, computer operators, paramedic and stoke brooking, although none of these careers has ever interested me.
A police officer matches the Holland code of SER. I matched the social and enterprising aspect but lacked in the realistic aspect as in the description it stated that the interests include working with machinery, plants, and tools which is something that does not appeal to me. I still believe my interests match closely with that of a Police officer and that my interests will still be fulfilled.
Analysis of Career motivators and Drivers
I completed an exercise  developed by Dave Francis in order to highlight my career drivers (Appendix III). The two highest scoring elements were material rewards and power/influence. I was not surprised by the power/influence element as I enjoy taking on responsibility and believe I perform better in teams that I am leading.
I was surprised by the material rewards element. I have never considered myself a material person, but that maybe because I have never been in a strong financial position as I am from a low-income background. My need for a better life where I do not have to worry about money maybe what is driving me to succeed and may be why I have chosen to take a degree in order to be able to apply for the high development scheme within the police force to aid my promotion prospects. I maybe further motivate to gain promotion because power and influence drives me to succeed. I don’t think I would be happy in a career which does not allow me to develop or where there is no opportunity for promotion.
Prospects Planner Results
I completed a personal profile on the prospectus website  (Appendix IV). In the skills area I matched 100% in three areas, counselling, social and guidance services, human resources and employment and legal services. I believe this is a good match to me as I have been involved in a lot of youth and community engagement work through my voluntary roles and I enjoyed this very much. I also undertook a 4-week work placement while I was at school with McCormack’s Criminal Defence Solicitors that I enjoyed too. I was surprised that I scored so highly on human resources as this is an area I have never considered or interested me before. My highest scoring on my interests and motivations was again counselling at 71% and teaching at 69%. I was surprised that I scored highly on teaching as this is another area that has never interested me.
My combined profile matched most highly with counselling with legal services very close behind. Both of these have interested me throughout my life and I would consider a career in these areas if I were unsuccessful in my original career plans or wanted a change of career later in life.
Appendix V demonstrates how well my combined profile matches the job of a police officer. My overall match was good however; there are some areas that I scored ok or poorly in. After looking at the report the areas in which I have said I would like to avoid or be a minor part of my job are those that I would not mind incorporating into my career. They are things I am competent at so I do not think they will prevent me from enjoying or performing my role as a police officer
My Career and Life Goals
Pass my driving test
Have a degree with a 2.1 or first class classification
Successfully gain employment with the metropolitan police service
Although a large part of this report will be based on the Police force I have also conducted research into Mi5 as I will need a back up option if I were not successful in joining the police.
Graduate positions within Mi5 are advertised on their website (http://www.mi5careers.gov.uk) a specification of a job that would appeal to me is attached to this report  (Appendix VI). Before you apply for the job you are invited to complete a short test  of scenarios with possible responses which you have to select in order to test your suitability to the role. I conducted this exercise and a copy of my results can be found under appendix VII.
In order to join you have to be at least 18 years old, you must be a British citizen and one of your parents also has to be. You have to have been resident in Britain for at least 9 out of the last 10 years prior to your application. This does not apply to those who have been serving abroad with HM Forces. You also have to be of good mental and physical health. Depending on the role you apply for you may have to meet other requirements such as degree classification or previous experience.
The recruitment process is quite lengthy and can last up to 6 months. The first step is to get an application form from one of the services external recruitment agencies. If your application meets the required standard you will then be shot listed and the best candidates on the short list will be invited for a competency based interview with the services graduate recruitment team. If successful you will then attend a one day assessment centre where a range of competencies will be tested. Successful completion of this will lead onto another interview this time with the services vetting section. This will last for at least 2 hours and will involve personal questions about your background and lifestyle to ensure you are suitable to having access to sensitive material. Those who pass this element will return for a final interview with the final selection board. If successful the vetting process is then complete and a job offer will be made. Depending on what role you are applying for you may need to do additional assessments such as fitness tests, medical examinations and in the case of the vacancy attached to this report you also have to do a 2 hour driving assessment.
Once you have been appointed you undertake a week long initial induction course prior to taking up then post and then you will undertake a two-year training programme.
Metropolitan Police Service
The recruitment process is open to everybody and is not limited to graduates only. In order to apply for the Metropolitan Police Service you have to complete an application form, in which it asks you to give examples of a number of competences. The only way you can get one is to attend one of the recruitment events that are held throughout the year in various different areas of London, details of the events can be found on their website http://www.met.police.uk/careers/events.html. This is to assess your dedication to the force to which you are applying.
In order to join the police you must be a British Citizen, a citizen of the EU or other states in the EEA, or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK. The minimum age is 181/2 but you can apply to join at 18. There are no formal qualifications needed although you will be required to be able to pass the tests. You must also be physically and mentally fit enough to perform the duties of a police officer.
The recruitment process can take in excess of 12 months. If you are successful in the application stage, which 65-75% of people are not due to poorly filled out application forms  , you will be sent notification of your assessment centre date and information regarding the process.
While at the assessment centre, you will be a customer service officer and the scenarios and exercises will be based around a fictitious shopping centre called the Westshire Centre. During the assessment centre, you will undertake two 20 minute written exercises, which could be a report and a letter for example. This will test your problem solving, communication and written skills.
The interview is the next part. It generally last 15-20 minutes and you will be asked 4 different questions and you will have to provide examples of things you have done in the past to demonstrate you competency in different areas.
You will then go through four interactive role-play stations. At each station you will be given five minutes’ preparation time at each station in which to study the background information to the role play and make any notes which you can take in with you. When the five minutes are up you will enter a room, interact with a role-play actor, and deal with the situation for five minutes.
The last exercise you complete at the assessment centre is the Police Initial Recruitment Test, which consists of two papers; Numeric (12 minutes), and Verbal Logical Reasoning (25 minutes).
You will receive results of your assessment centre within 14 days. Each of the competencies tested will be graded between A-D, D being the lowest. If you have passed, you will also be sent details of the next stage of the assessment, which is the fitness tests and medical.
Firstly, you will undergo a medical in which your hearing, vision, blood pressure, body fat etc will be tested. Your height and weight will also be taken. If you pass the medical, you can progress to the fitness test.
The first stage of the fitness test will measure your upper body strength. There is two parts pushing and pulling, these will both be measured on a Dyno machine. You need pull at 35kg and push at least 34kg to pass. The next test is a bleep test. In this test, you will run between two points 15 meters apart. You will run to one end turn around wait for the beep and run back to the other end before the other beep. As the test, progresses the beeps will get closer and closer together through the levels. You will have to reach at least level 5.4 to pass. Once you have completed this section successfully you will go through the final vetting and reference checks, if this is successful you will then be formally offered employment and fitted for your uniform.
When you start, you will initially undertake a 5-week module at Hendon Recruit Training School after which you are designated a borough where you will carry out a remaining 26 weeks training as part of the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme. 
Every recruit will undergo a 2-year probationary period before they will become a fully trained constable.
High Potential Development Scheme
Those who show potential during training will automatically be invited to join the High Potential Development Scheme, you can also apply to join the High Development Potential Scheme after one year with the service, you do not need to have a degree to apply, but you must be able to cope with the academic demands. It is anticipated that there will only be 60 places on the scheme in the Metropolitan Police Force for 2009  .
In order to apply you will have to fill out an application form when they become available, you can find out when they are available from your boroughs HDPS representative. If you are successful the assessment takes place in three stages.
Stage one – an in-force assessment where candidates will demonstrate the ability to meet the high level eligibility criteria. Forces will be asked to recommend their very best officers.
Stage two – is a series of ability tests, including tests of your verbal, numerical and non-verbal ability, and a test of your judgement and decision making in a range of managerial scenarios. These tests are designed along the same lines as the selection tests used for the Strategic Command Course, they will ensure that candidates have the ability to deal with the required academic programme. However, dependent on how many people are recommended, these tests may also be used to select the best officers on merit to attend the assessment centre at Stage 3.
Stage three – is an assessment centre incorporating; written exercises, interactive exercises, an oral briefing exercise and a competency-based interview. Candidates will also take a personality questionnaire. The feedback from the questionnaire will only be used to give all applicants developmental feedback; it is not part of the selection process  .
If you are successful, you will then embark on a two-year development programme leading to a postgraduate diploma related to policing in which you will be assessed throughout the whole process. Workplace support and development is also available. Those who are successful at this stage and still show potential to reach Chief Officer level can go onto the next level where they will undertake further development leading on to a masters.
Promotion will be given to those who can show the Chief Officer that they are competent in the next rank and pass the relevant exams; the advantage to this is that they do not have to wait for vacancies to come up and therefore move through the ranks quicker than those who are not on the scheme.
Even those who are not on the Scheme can still apply for promotion once they have completed their 2-year probationary period. There are numerous opportunities to specialise further. There are various different departments that you can work in such as the dog section, CID, Scenes of Crime, Intelligence, Terrorist Division, armed response, air support etc.
Pay and Benefits
During training you will be paid £28,497 and after completion of training this will rise to £31,068  .A more detailed break down of the salary for officer’s at all different levels can be found as Appendix VIII of this report. You will also have access to a comprehensive pension scheme and free travel within your borough.
Why the Police Service?
When I was 10 I attended an open day at the local police station. I was amazed at the variety of work they undertook and the job really appealed to me. I started getting involved in volunteer work I became a member of the Basildon Youth Council and this lead on to further opportunities to work closely with the police where I learnt a lot about the force and the job.
I continued aiming to become a police officer and decided to study Public Services at college. I wanted a vocational course that enabled me to learn more about the jobs within the police as well as giving me opportunity to work with the police and other organisations.
Now I am at University studying the degree of Policing and Criminal Investigation. I chose this I get to study various aspects of the work of the Police in detail as well as learn English law in great depth too. The degree will also assist me when I join the police and apply for the High Development Potential Scheme.
A career in the police force appeals to me, as I would like a job that is both challenging and rewarding whilst giving something back to the community and making a different in the lives of those around us. Although it does have some drawbacks. It is a very dangerous career as you are the first response to most violent incidents, some incidents you attend can also be very traumatic. Because of the shift patterns it can leave very little time for a social life and plans which you make may have to be cancelled due to more pressing work.
I am now going to create an action plan for myself based on my career and life goals previously mentioned.
Pass my driving test
By the end of summer 2009 I will have passed my driving test. I am going to achieve this by taking a week long crash course in Blackpool, costing around £1000; this cost will include 40 hours worth of driving, my theory and practical test costs as well. This will assist me when applying for Mi5 and the police service.
Have a degree with a 2.1 or first class classification
By then end of summer 2010 I hope to have gained my degree with a 2.1 classification or higher. I will achieve this by attending all my lectures and seminars, conducting extra reading and research. Planning assignments in advance and conducting extensive research and reading to enable me to complete my assignments to the best of my ability. I will also be continually revising throughout the year to ensure I am ready for my exams.
Successfully gain employment with the Metropolitan Police Service
During my last semester at university I will regularly check the metropolitan police website to see where the recruitment events are where I can obtain an application form. After obtaining this I will spend a lot of time filling this out correcting with good examples. If I am successful at this stage I will then conduct practise for the assessment centre by rehearsing interviews studying the information regarding the assessments and build on my fitness.
If I gain employment with the police service I will continually work hard to show my willing and ability to join the High Development Scheme. I will request an application form when they become available and if I am successful in joining the scheme I will work hard to complete the exercises that are required of me and continually show my enthusiasm and capabilities,
After completing the self-awareness and career tests, I discovered that my personality would be very suited to a job in the police force. In the Type Dynamics Indicator  , my preferred style was a co-ordinator and one of the better suited occupations to this style is a police officer. My strengths that were highlighted in the ‘how well do you know yourself’  exercise will assist me while I am in the Police force as both my friends and I said I was authoritative. Although being moody and aggressive were my weaknesses I can work on these issues and they shouldn’t pose a problem when I join the Police force.
Although my career interests inventory did not match exactly with that of a Police Office I still had two elements, social and enterprising, that matches a police office so I still will be a good match for the job and my interests do not differ majorily. My career drivers, material rewards and power and influence, will help motivate me and encourage me to go for promotions and which is why I want to apply for the High Potential Development Scheme in the police force which I discussed earlier in the report. Finally, whilst my prospects planner results did not highlight the police force as being one of the best matches the occupations I did match had elements that were needed in the police force and when I matched my profile with a police officer it proved a good match. Overall, I believe the exercises did not highlight many implications for my career choice.
After conducting research into Mi5 and the Metropolitan Police Service I decided that I will defiantly be applying for the Metropolitan Police service as my first choice employer and if I were successful in gaining employment I will be applying to join the High Potential Development scheme as well. Although, if I were not successful I believe Mi5 will also provide me with just as an exciting and challenging career that I would be happy in.
In conclusion, I will work towards the targets that I have set myself in this report and hopefully I will be successful in reaching my career aims.
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