The Case for a Probation Officer Career

Probation officer jobs may not seem like the most joyful careers to hold in the world, and to some degree you may be right. But at the same time there is a lot to be said for them, and an awful lot you can get out of them. You may be working with some troubled individuals throughout the probation process, no matter which area you end up specialising in. But, in this article I want to focus on some of the more positive sides of probation and show what makes it such a rewarding job.

Firstly, a not so exciting positive side of the job is that it is usually a stable career, with probation officers often being in short supply for the demand that is needed. Therefore, if you choose this as a career, you are likely to have a job for life. Which given today’s, often volatile, job market cannot be ignored.

You are also playing a significant role within the law enforcement process. You are in many ways the cornerstone for offenders to assimilate themselves back into society, and can be the difference between someone being a functioning member of society rather than slipping back into old habits. Of course, this can feel like a lot of responsibility and it might not always be one success story one after another. A lot of the time, more often than not, the level of success will be out of your hands and not something that will be constantly held as your responsibility.

The excitement and the variety of the job cannot be understated. Each case you work on will be different, each offering their own problems to solve and different reasons which make it rewarding. You may have to meet with various different family members of offenders, go see them in their place of work, and build relationships with community programmes that can help part of the rehabilitation process, and much more.

Finally, and in many ways most importantly there is the fact that you are making a genuine difference in someone’s life. Support might not be the first thing that comes into your head when you think of probation officers, however, for many you are the first and most significant point of contact with offenders who are trying to rejoin society. You are there at times, to quite literally ‘lay down the law’ but a lot of other times it will be getting to know various different types of offenders and helping work through various problems such as employability, rejoining a family and various mental health issues that can arise due to the large change in environment. Solving these issues can often be what makes the job so worthwhile.

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