In the UK as with many places around the World statutory part time uniformed organisations( paid and unpaid) offer an excellent second career. In some cases it can even trance your primary means of earning a living. In the UK activities are well represented.
The Army, Navy and Airforce have a part time section as do the police, fire brigade, lifeboats and ambulance. This might also include social groups like the scouts though they are not a statutory group.
In a world of of bland repetitive employment the part time option can add a new dimension to life not to mention the development of transferrable skills that can filter into our regular careers and social activities. The volunteer gets a sense of adventure and satisfaction from the activity.
1 Deciding to go for it
Before embarking on a second career within the part time uniformed sector do your research. How much of your time do they require? Can you get time off work if need be?Some of the emergency services require a location commitment. You have to live or work within so many minutes of the Lifeboat or Fire station so you can attend quickly. Look at the physical and academic requirements. Are you suited to the environment. The fire brigade is not good for people who are nervous of heights or small spaces. Alternatively the Lifeboats are not a good idea if you suffer from sea sickness. Acceptance will usually require passing certain dexterous tests a medical and an interview. Often there is also a weighting list as numbers are limited.
All services require basic and ongoing training much of which is on the job training. This will require a time commitment prior and during active deployment. The training can be demanding and arduous but is ultimately very rewarding and useful in all areas of life
3 Giving back
Many see the joining of a uniformed community as a social service This is especially true with the part time services as it is not solely about earning a living. There are however opportunities to convert a part time activity into a full time career. Many forces recommend part time involvement prior to applying for a whole time career in the service
Many services can be integrated into social activities. The scouts for example might be connected to a religion. The spiritual growth of a worshiper is expressed practically through their scouting activities
Friends made during time in the service become life long. This is partly due to shared experiences of training and deployment. Many services carry a risk factor that could be fatal . This helps give members a sense of comradeship through exclusively shared experiences . The service will also provide associations for retired hard up or injured members with ongoing connection for the elderly and the part time members are included in all these elements.
6 Transferrable Skills
One of the most valuable skills learned in part time uniformed services is one of leadership and management. All uniformed services have a hierarchy which gives members responsibility for their subordinates. This includes training instruction and their welfare. Team building is another skill learned in the service which is closely transferrable to both business and industry alike. Other practical skills like technical dexterity and social skills such as self confidence and public speaking are also a result of service life .
If you are wondering what life has to offer maybe a part time career in a uniformed service might be the answer.