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Best Job in the World


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I've been meaning to post something in this section for a few months now. I wanted to write about my recent achievement because I'm super proud of finally getting my dream job, and also because I've seen talk of people giving up on their own dream and I really hope that I can maybe provide a bit of encouragement.

I recently became a Wholetime Firefighter with Cheshire FRS after seven years retained with Humberside, and spending pretty much the entirety of this time applying for wholetime, with application after application to various brigades in every country in the U.K.

I found that with every application, I learned a bit more about my own strengths and weaknesses and more about the application process itself. I began to get better and better with every attempt I made. Even adjusting to the changing recruitment methods of each service, going from the PQA based application forms to the now more popular online psychometric testing that a lot of services are using. Not to mention the endless post code restrictions in place by many services, some of which were my first choice brigades in the whole country to work for, that I wasn't even able to apply for.

When it came to the psychometric tests I would always excel in the English based tests but my maths would always let me down. I paid for a membership to the website jobtestprep.co.uk and practiced as much as I could. Not to mention the practice I got from several recruitment processes. I practiced using online tests that were available (google them) as well as through books I purchased. I made sure I knew how to work out things such as percentages and volumes and that it was fresh in my mind before sitting the tests, as I found I needed to be in the right frame of mind if I was going to score competitively enough to move on to the next stage of the process.

When it came to the interview,
I bought books on the subject and read up on interview techniques even down to body language. I learned the PQAs inside and out and drew on as much experience as I could from both professional and personal experiences and made sure I had enough examples in my 'armoury' that I could apply one or more to each PQA and tailor my answer to the question.

I spent a few years working my way around different jobs within the Fire Service, never being totally happy with what I was doing, and after getting in to double figures with the amount of applications I'd put in over several years, and making it to various different stages with each application, I was offered positions with 2 different brigades at the same time.

I think what I'm trying to say is that I believe there is a right place right time kinda deal for everyone. So stick at it. It will pay off. I know people who have joined in their 30's and their 40's and even know one guy who transferred from retained to wholetime at the age of 51, and at 58 is still going strong! I would also recommend applying for any and every recruitment possible even if it's not somewhere you particularly want to work, as the experience of just going through the process is invaluable.

I absolutely love the job and can't ever see myself doing anything else. I wish I'd found this forum sooner as I might not have had to wait as long as I did for the best job in the world!

Thanks for reading,

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James, thanks for sharing, and also well done, it certainly sounds like you had to put the work in, which paid off by you getting the job. I hope people take note of the process you went through as it clearly shows the commitment you had to provide to achieve it. 

Im sure like me, you have seen the many people not getting through the stages here and posting their disappointment. However, I am also seeing a lot of people posting "Ive got and Interview, has anyone else" or "Ive got a test day, has anyone else" which is great, but not many are posting about what that test days comprises of or what that interview will look like. 

As I say, I hope people take note and start to take the advice such as yours and they will reach their goal. Some are lucky and sail through, but not many. 

Well done again, and thanks for sharing. 

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Thanks fellas, much appreciated. And yeah sometimes it felt like it was all for nothing Carl but to tell you the truth I don't think I would ever have stopped trying. I think I appreciate it more having had to battle for it. I hope others take the same approach!

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