Tips for a retired firefighter to crush the job hunt
Our job search should be short, for who could deny a retired firefighter employment?
Feb 1, 2015
By Michael Morse
As a firefighter, there is nothing that we can’t do, no obstacle we will not overcome, and nothing we fear … except, maybe, what to do when it is time for us to re-join the workforce after “retirement.”
When our time in uniform is through, we’ll put all of our experiences together, put on our finest civilian suit and hit the pavement — resume in hand. Our job search should be short, for who could deny a retired firefighter employment? Nobody would be dumb enough to let one of us walk out the door once they realize just how much they need us and our unique skill set.
Be sure to punch up the ole resume, highlighting your skills.
- Easily motivated — as long as all hell is breaking loose.
- Punctual — simply install tones in the office, we‘ll respond.
- Self-starter — just watch us move!
- Works well with others — especially if they are unconscious.
- Excellent problem solver — nothing a charged line and an axe can’t solve.
- Works well under pressure — although when there is no pressure, not so much.
Every potential employer dreams of the day that a retired firefighter walks through their door looking for work.
Be sure to rehearse the following answers to these important interview questions.
1) “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
“I live in the moment,” you’ll respond, knowing from experience that life changes in an instant.
2) “What special skills do you bring to the table?”
“I make a hell of a pot roast,” you’ll reply, knowing everybody loves pot roast!
3) “How do you handle a difficult co-worker?”
“Slap him in the back of the head,” you’ll reply, having dealt with dozens of FNG‘s over the years who simply needed a good kick in the butt to set them straight.
4) “And if the difficult co-worker is female?”
“Your point?” you’ll ask. Firefighters are firefighters, nobody is treated different.
5) “And what makes you believe that you are the right candidate for the position?”
“Well, sir, I can wrestle snakes, pull plaster ceilings away from their lats, drive fast and efficiently, squeeze 1,000 gallons of water a minute through an old pump, don a SCBA in four seconds, force doors, evacuate buildings, walk on water, run through flames, crawl into windows, stay low, climb icy ladders, chop holes in roofs, pull kids from frozen lakes, bodies from mangled cars, perform CPR, start IVs, defibrillate dead people, push meds, wind boxes, stretch line, dress hydrants, carry people, check smoke alarms, pump basements, stop bleeding, restore breathing, start hearts and put out fires.”
6) “But can you sell trinkets?”
Fortunately, selling trinkets is not the only thing to do when retiring from the fire service. There are a ton of employment opportunities for middle-aged, grey-skinned, grey-haired people who spent the previous twenty-plus-years waiting for emergencies and then responding. Opportunities for crusty old jakes who are used to people getting out of their way when they come charging through abound. The workforce is in dire need of people set in their ways, who do things right, and are not afraid to get dirty doing it.
Now, all we have to do is find an employer who understands the need for the first hour of the day to be spent hanging around the coffee pot discussing politics, sports, the opposite sex, food, the morons from the previous shift, the morons from the present shift and the morons who will be relieving them. Add to that our willingness to clean up after ourselves, scrub toilets, cook, sweep, and take out the rubbish. We present the prospective employer the total package.
As a matter of fact, no sense pounding the pavement looking for work. Let’s just sit back, find the remote and wait for the work to come to us. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!