One little secret to eliminate stress
I’ve had the pleasure over the many years of my career, to meet, talk with and get to know an amazing array of interesting, talented and very skilled people.
I recently met a doctor who specializes in public safety consultation. He provides a multitude of police agencies with assisting their administrative teams, and officers, in appreciating and managing the unique stressors faced by those serving in law enforcement.
While we were discussing the basic principles of work related stress and how it can affect the agency as a whole, he said something that’s not only true for law enforcement, it’s true throughout life.
We were talking specifically about on the job stress, when he said this.
“Stress can always be eliminated with a plan.”
One of the most profound and true statements I think I’ve ever heard. Stress can always be eliminated with a plan. A truly remarkable statement in its simplicity.
I was stressed too…
I’ve spent a good part of my near 30 year law enforcement career, focusing on a multitude of chiefly duties, but my passion revolved around three areas.
- Performing police oral board interviews
- Empowering new recruits and officers in gaining a career in law enforcement, and excelling once they got there.
For more than a decade, I managed an agency as its police chief. It was in that capacity that I gained an insurmountable appreciation for just how stressful and difficult it is to land a job in law enforcement.
Officer hopefuls face the one thing they know will make or break them during the hiring process, the police oral board interview. If you think going to a man with a gun call is stressful, talk to a young guy or gal that’s walking into the oral board room for their interview.
Symptomatically, stress will often materialize physically. Applicants shake, stutter, perspire – some profusely, some lose their train of thought, and now and then, a candidate will actually pass out! All of that stress, just from sitting in front of a few people, in order to answer questions.
I don’t mean to minimize the environment, I was nervous too at my first oral board, but I’ve always had a knack for managing stress in the interview environment. Most don’t and that’s why the doctor’s comment really hit home with me. “Stress can be eliminated, with a plan.”
Why do oral board candidates get so stressed?
After hearing that one simple quote, I spent time breaking down the elements that cause stress, as they relate to law enforcement candidates, and particularly, those facing the law enforcement oral board interview.
Fear of the unknown is predominantly why oral board candidates get so stressed.
- Fear that they won’t give a good answer
- Fear that they’ll get stumped and have nothing to say (the deer in the headlight feeling)
- Fear they won’t measure up to their competition
- Fear that they won’t interview well enough to get a job offer.
All of these are very legitimate, very tangible fears.
How does an applicant overcome the anxiety and stress associated with walking into their police oral board interview?
They simply have to have a plan. They have to prepare for their interview, and if they’re prepared properly, the guess work and the mystery is taken out of the oral board.
When confidence becomes tangible, mystery and stress fall by the wayside. Consequently, the candidate that knows they’ve prepared properly, will far outperform his or her competition, those that have not prepared. This is why EBY has provided such success for so many law enforcement applicants. It’s a plan, and it works.
Having a plan is of course, the obvious answer. But how does one conceive or construct a plan that is effective enough to alleviate the fear that causes stress in an oral board?
A former applicant once told me,
“The fear and stress of walking into an oral board interview is what kept me from interviewing properly.”
This was a young man that, by all appearances, was well educated, well-spoken and certainly more than qualified for a position as a police officer. He just never got past the interview, eventually giving up his dream to pursue law enforcement all together.
A real tragedy in my opinion and one that I believe plays out every day across the globe. Candidates giving up, after they’ve received one too many no thank you letters from an agency they interviewed with.
What’s your plan?
After my conversation with the doctor, and recognizing how profound and simple his statement was, I realized that I’m doing with Earn Your Badge is, providing law enforcement candidates with a plan.
This plan, Earn Your Badge, removes all fear that manifests into stress. Essentially removing all fears of the unknown and supplying the tools needed to stand out. A recipe for the perfect plan!
In fact, more than just a recipe, a road map. Plenty of law enforcement candidates plan or prepare for their interview, but they often plan in a direction that has little merit.
Earn Your Badge is the roadmap that eliminates the red lights that would otherwise stop you. The final destination must be a passing score and, at the end of the day, a job offer.
If a person prepares for an interview, the likelihood that they’ll reduce their own stress level is certainly greater than going in cold. The candidates that just wing it are the very candidates that most often fail, and that failure is the result of the stress they feel, in not having a plan for their own success.
Learning to interview in a police oral board setting is a daunting task.
What’s your plan?