Career Planning: From Academy to Retirement

Career Planning: From Academy to Retirement
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Resources
Recorded on: 2018-09-04
Unit 1 Workbook: Career Planning
Unit 2 Slide Deck: Career Planning: From Academy to Retirement
Unit 3 Recording: Career Planning - From Academy to Retirement

For some, being a part of the law enforcement field starts as a childhood dream. Once you graduate from the Academy, how to jumpstart that career? If you are now a full-fledged police officer, how do you maneuver through it? What are the tracks available? And when you’ve worked a significant time in the service, what’s next?

You can get lost, confused or overwhelmed at about any stage you are in, and that’s why Thomas Dworak of the Virtus Group joins this Justice Clearinghouse course – to help you pave a track that can only lead to success. Thom is a retired sergeant who served 31 years in various roles with the Chicago Police Department. He is currently a consultant for the Virtus Group where he shares his knowledge on myriad law enforcement and leadership topics.

On this course, Thom discusses the stages in the law enforcement career and useful resources for every phase, including:

  • An overview on the importance of career development in any organization.
  • Universal Development Questions that you can use to self-reflect on to align, keep motivated and establish your mindset.
  • Growth mindset versus fixed mindset, its characteristics and manifestations.
  • The early years of one’s law enforcement career characterized by:
    • FTO and Onboarding that starts the process of doing the job and is the application of the theoretical knowledge gained from the Academy.
    • The top 10 skills to learn and apply to get ahead in the game.
    • The importance of practicing emotional intelligence and its five pillars.
    • The significant skills of decision-making, sensemaking, critical thinking, and accepting failure.
  • The “assignment years” when specialized assignments are being given and how to be successful in this phase by:
    • Finding a mentor to guide your career trajectory.
    • The different specializations available to excel in.
    • Creating a career resume where you enumerate all your training, education and successful cases.
    • Tapping on resources like books and leadership training.
  • The promotion-ready stage and preparing for it through attending promotion orientation session, taking practice tests, and brushing up on the recommended reading list.
  • Getting ready for the retirement phase by planning ahead, tapping on learned skills, staying flexible, and continuing to dedicate time to further learning
  • Some of the questions raised during the webinar’s Q&A are:
    • The presence of career development programs in agencies
    • The significance of networking
    • Preparing for the promotion boards
    • The importance of college degrees in getting hired and promoted


Resources Mentioned During the Webinar:


Additional Resources
5 years ago
After the Webinar: Career Planning from Academy to Retirement. Q&A with Thom Dworak
Webinar presenter Thom Dworak answered a number of your questions after his presentation, "C […]
5 years ago
Hiring Great People: What Best Predicts the Performance of Law Enforcement Personnel
An organization is only as good as the people that comprise it. It is critical to hire the right peo […]
5 years ago
Lifetime Career Planning: An Interview with Thom Dworak
For many of us, our careers are part of identity. But just as many of us evolve over our lifespans, […]
6 years ago
Bringing Your Best To A Promotional Process
One way to keep employees engaged is by ensuring that they experience growth in their role. One of t […]