I was pleasantly surprised to find that trainers have a plethora of opportunities afforded them in retirement. Law enforcement, security firms, and private companies are constantly searching for folks just like us. Why? Well, the obvious and foremost reason is because of our expertise. However, and just as important, is the ability to hire us as part-timers or contract workers. This allows a department or company to get "a lot of bang for their buck." How? By not having to provide benefits. Part-timers and contractors are simply paid a salary, sometimes with bonuses, but without the traditional trappings of a full-timer, i.e. pension, health care, etc. Moreover, if for whatever reason it becomes time to part company with that employee, it is a simple matter compared with the cumbersome machinery of civil service employees.
On the plus side for us as trainers, is that we don't have any difficulty making that transition from sworn employee to just "employee." We are still in our comfort zone, we are still trainers, but minus the ancillary headaches such as research, inspections, and assignments in addition to training responsibilities, etc. Those things are for the "sworn" people, not the contractor. It is actually the first time for most of us when all we are is trainers.
So how do we find those jobs? Well, if you are reading this article on Officer.com, you already have a great resource. The network associated with this web portal is most likely the best source of information you can ask for. Additionally, if you have attended conferences like IACP and FBINA, then you know that the people that comprise those groups are invaluable resources for post-retirement jobs.
Next, try cultivating the network that you had already established through the years. First, people in your department, then others that you have met at training seminars, and then colleagues in state and federal agencies that you had occasion to work with. Depending on the individual, that network could be immense.
Another avenue to pursue is the Internet. I have known a number of colleagues that found jobs at sites such as Monster.com. Placing a résumé on such a web site results in many opportunities that would otherwise be unknown to you via conventional job searching.
This era of terrorism has spawned many things, not the least of which is a mega-sized Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and along with it a glut of jobs. Thousands of people have been, and will continue to be hired by DHS, which means they will need to be trained. That's where you, as a successful trainer with a proven track record, expertise, but more importantly, the desire to want to train others, come in. You have something that is a perfect match for them, something that allows you to hit the ground running as soon as you are hired.
So retirement from your career doesn't necessarily mean that your professional life is over. On the contrary, a new passage in your life's book will begin. This chapter can be just as rewarding and perhaps more enjoyable, since it comes with fewer distractions and responsibilities. As trainers, our vocation is to prepare and teach others to succeed and accomplish tasks. The tangible evidence is the students' successful completion of a course or task. However, it is the intangible element that motivates us and causes us to do our very best each day. It's that feeling of success, accomplishment, and the satisfaction of knowing that because of our dedication and expertise, someone is going to be the best they can be. We can still reap those rewards, even in retirement. So get off that couch and get back in the game!