At a time when every city, county, and state is fighting to break out of the recession many people look for safe and secure employment. These types of jobs are normally found in the public sector where the job involves providing a public service like police officers, firefighters, or paramedics. These are essential services and are often seen as recession-proof jobs which is why they appeal to so many people.
Don’t get me wrong, these types of careers appeal to people when there isn’t a recession; the job security is highlighted more in tough times. In California alone, an estimated 35, 000 people submitted applications for employment to join the police department in hopes of starting a new career. Only a small percentage of these actually go on to obtain the desired career.
So you would think that applying to be a police officer during a recession would be easy right?
On the positive side, should you be successful, once police officers complete their training they start out with a very good wage. They are often required to work shifts which means greater flexibility. They are not limited to the so called 9 to 5 office routine that most people are desperate to escape. In addition to this, there is usually an annual pay review, the opportunity of promotion and career development, a pension/health plan, and sometimes housing benefits. All of this would seem to suggest a good reason for submitting an application.
However, what many candidates fail to take into account is that during times of recession, police agencies are typically forced to find ways of reducing their spending and cutting costs.It is not cheap to put applicants through the recruitment process and then train them to the point where they are ready to head out onto the streets.
So what does this mean for applicants now?
Well, it simply means when police departments do open their doors, they will be flooded with more applications than ever before. This means the competition is going to be even greater and you need to ensure you stand out from the other candidates. Before we entered the recession period, police departments would have to actively advertise that they were recruiting in order to get candidates to apply; however, this is no longer the case. With rising unemployment, the amount of people looking for a safe, well-paid job grows each and every day.
A great example of this was when a department in Iowa opened its doors for just two hours. They simply allowed applicants to download an application form within those two hours from their website. They then had one week to complete the application form. There was no advertising of the position what so ever and they received hundreds of applications.