I do find myself somewhat envious of those who take the plunge and leave this occupation of ours and do something completely different. Michael Pinkstone is one I particularly admire escaping the madness and I wish him well with the new book. Unfortunately for me I'm beginning to smell that final pension and that is the overriding reason why I wouldn't even consider leaving. The finances were never a reason for joining and I never gave it any thought in training, when I was pulled in and asked if I'd accept the police offer on part of my army service. I think it amounts to 18 months but means I can claim a full pension when I reach 50 years of age.
So for financial reasons I feel somewhat stuck where I am. I'm reasonably financially secure and am able to meet my mortgage and maintenance commitments, and work towards ensuring The Clever One leaves university debt free. I've noticed that those who have made a career change haven't had others dependent on them. One of my ex colleagues left to be a florist and will never be back. She does OK working for herself, but had a bit longer to wait for her pension. I think if she'd stayed maybe she would have fallen into the just working for the pension trap.
Another friend left to work for himself running a small retail business and as long as it goes OK won't be back either. He was a late joiner age wise so never had the lure of a full pension awaiting him. I still meet with both occasionally for drinks and they are happy with their lot. When they left I advised them both to take a career break and see how their new ventures went, just to keep their options open, but both had become disillusioned with The Job. It's a shame as both had specialised skills and had a lot to offer. They could always rejoin if things went wrong, but would come under the new pension regulations having to put in a 35 year stint.
They are in the small minority that do seem to be leaving at present. A few years back alot of the youngster's left in droves as the salary wasn't exactly competitive. Me, looks like I'm in for the long haul like I always knew I would be. I'm hoping that some sanity is going to return to policing over the next couple of year's or is that just me having an optimistic moment.
I don't know what I'd do anyway. I would prefer to work for myself when I retire so am thinking about specialised driving jobs, maybe a licenced cabbie. There is also the option of short term contract work that appeals. 6 months away on a training contract overseas for the ODA would suit me, with the other 6 laying on a beach somewhere. Then again there's always the public sector, why waste all those contacts in the local authority, surely there's an opportunity for me in the local parks police or licencing department.
One thing I will not be doing (hopefully) is returning to the fray in any guise whatsoever on the civilian side as 200 Weeks did. Unless it's as a consultant on 500 pounds a day.