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5 questions for career self assessment

In our leadership classes for women, we always start by asking students to take a few minutes a do a “career self assessment.” It’s nothing fancy, it’s just a quick way to internally check in and ask a few pertinent questions:

What do I expect? (Of myself, of the agency, of my career)
What do I want? (Out of this job, out of the profession, out of my life)
What do I believe? (About me, about my abilities, about my future)
Do I have goals? (Are they clear, attainable, realistic, have they changed?)
And am I ready to do whatever it takes to SUCCEED, not just survive?

Print out these five questions and spend some time answering them. Be honest with yourself; understand that as our lives change so do our goals, our beliefs and our idea of what it means to be success.

Once you’ve answered them, write them down and put them somewhere prominent, and then reassess them in a year.

Don’t just let your career “happen” to you, take control of what you can and don’t obsess about what you can’t. Make sure you’re working toward your idea of success and happiness, not someone else’s.

Be flexible, be realistic, and enjoy this wonderful adventure that is law enforcement!

My column is undergoing a bit of an identity crisis. I’ve been writing for the Street Survival “Newsline” and the P1 Newsletter for several years. As a Street Survival seminar instructor, I write about officer safety and survival, but I’m also a supervisor, a mom, a trainer, a cop’s wife, and dare I say, a woman, so I’ve got a lot to say about any number of topics (what woman doesn’t?!), and I’ve always received great feedback from our readers. So when Police One approached me and asked me to author a monthly column dealing with women’s issues, I enthusiastically agreed. “What a great opportunity” I naively thought “to bring issues to light that both women and men in law enforcement could all relate to, perhaps discuss at roll call, and ultimately learn something from each other.” Yeah, just call me Sergeant Pollyanna…I forgot that by calling it a “women’s” column, not only will most of our male readers skip over it, but so will at least half our female readers. What?! Why in the world wouldn’t women read a “women’s” column?! Because, there are a lot of female crimefighters out there like me who have spent a lot of years just trying to blend in, to be “one of the guys” if you will…to be perceived as and conduct ourselves as “warriors,” not “victims.” We don’t want special treatment; we just want to be cops.