The reason that I sought out an information interview is that I wanted a realistic view of what it is like to be a National Crime Agency Officer. Through Work Shadowing I was given the opportunity to meet Mike Parsons, a lecturer at the University of Chester for the Institute of Policing.
I noticed from researching job descriptions on websites and reading this role specification that I needed some support on whether I would be able to do my dream job and if my existing experience could contribute to future applications. The reason behind this is I have mild Cerebral Palsy and individuals perceptions of this can often make me nervous about applying for jobs in the field that I am interested in.
Meeting with Mike was a massive confidence boost. It made me realise that I was suited to the job and would be able to do it. This meant a lot coming from someone who was qualified in the field. The questions I had made me realise that an information interview is a great tool for anyone to weigh up their passion for a role with their capacity to undertake it. It also made me think about how important it is to choose a career that builds on your natural skills and that challenges you in areas you feel you can develop.
I also wanted to ask Mike how people in this profession manage a work-life balance as one of the things that I was concerned about was the emotional impact of working in this sector. I asked Mike questions about how to switch off at the end of the day and how he managed to cope with the challenging nature of the work. This gave me advice on not just if I was qualified physically but mentally and emotionally, too.
From this session, I realised I wanted to network with people who were in the profession. Mike put me in touch with two professionals who worked within the National Crime Agency and I will hopefully meet them in the next few weeks.
The whole experience has given me additional motivation to pursue my dream career. If you need some advice deciding what career is right for you and whether you can do it, then register for Work Shadowing at the University of Chester. It answered all my questions and gave me the confidence to begin the application process.
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