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Firefighter retiring...any advice
Old 10-25-2011, 01:19 PM   #1
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Firefighter retiring...any advice

Hi everyone,

I am retiring after 21 years in the fire service, and I am having some anxiety over what to do next. I will be 45 and want to do something after I retire to earn income to supplement retirement. I am at a loss for what to do. It is a little overwhelming to be honest. I do not feel as though I am very marketable in the job search because of the "niche" type of career in the fire service. This combined with the fact that it is hard to find fire service related jobs when relocating has me at a loss. I am leaning towards working for myself, but could use some advice and outside perspective. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:56 PM   #2
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Welcome. I don't have any career advice, but would suggest that you relax and give yourself at least a few months to think, research, adjust and generally chill.

The answer will come grasshopper.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 402engr
Hi everyone,

I am retiring after 21 years in the fire service, and I am having some anxiety over what to do next. I will be 45 and want to do something after I retire to earn income to supplement retirement. I am at a loss for what to do. It is a little overwhelming to be honest. I do not feel as though I am very marketable in the job search because of the "niche" type of career in the fire service. This combined with the fact that it is hard to find fire service related jobs when relocating has me at a loss. I am leaning towards working for myself, but could use some advice and outside perspective. Thanks in advance.
Maybe you should become a firefighter, put in 21 years and retire at 66. lol
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:31 PM   #4
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Welcome to the board!

Where are you relocating from and to?
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:05 PM   #5
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Not sure why there would be any anxiety. You have a generous pension and shouldn't ever need to work again. Therefore, if you decide to work it can be when and where you want, doing what you want. No reason to rush into anything.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:12 PM   #6
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There are many things you can do. Things you are ideally suited for and should enjoy.

Become a safety trainer. I have met several people in my professional life who were retired firefighters who started a small business providing fire training for industry. Companies in the hydrocarbon business will contract to send their new hires and to refresh training to firefighting and industrial safety training. I would suggest finding out as much as you can from the companies themselves, trade organizations and other trainers. You may be able to start out working for a training organization. Other aspects of this are chemical handling safety, first aid, toxic spill training. If you want to stay in the saddle, large refineries, oil sands mines, etc, have their own fire and safety teams. The mine I worked for in northern Alberta had their own firehouse. And the oil boys pay well.

A very rewarding occupation.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:53 PM   #7
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I once started on obtaining my life & health insurance licenses. I did not finish as a job in my computer career came along that I could not pass up.
Most of the investment is your time studying for the exams. You could hook up with a larger company like MetLife and they will show you where to begin and train you on how to sell.
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:29 PM   #8
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You could hook up with a larger company like MetLife and they will show you where to begin and train you on how to sell.
And make your friends and family hate and disown you when you pound on them to meet your first quotas.........
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:31 AM   #9
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Thanks travelover, I will meditate on that like a good grasshopper until I am able to snatch the pebble from your hand..haha
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:33 AM   #10
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Daryl, I am currently in Vegas, but want to get back to the southeast where family is. Florida, Georgia, Alabama.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:34 AM   #11
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Ed the Gypsy, wow thanks for the great pointers and tips, never really considered all of that. I truly appreciate it.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:37 AM   #12
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Freeatlast, thanks for the advice, I will look into that line of work. I regret not getting fire investigator experience in my career. A buddy of mine was an arson investigator for two years before retirement, and now works as an AI for private insurance.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:13 AM   #13
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No help here I retired and became a Wildland FF, mostly tender duty.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:34 AM   #14
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I sort of ran into that issue (what to do next) after 29 years in police work. For the moment ,I stumbled into a security job that is easy to do, pays an absurd amount for what I do, has little paperwork (which I loathe) has good hours for me and a "brutal" 3.4 mile commute. But I earned my KMA hat long ago so if they annoy me I can just quit.

If that happens there are a couple of other things in the works. I'm taking some short photography classes and the instructor was impressed with some digital restorations of old photographs from the 1920's or '30's that I did and said that he did some of that for a while but quickly became swamped with orders so the market for that is huge. I did those with pretty basic equipment/software. So that would be an avenue to explore

Anther is that there are a lot of estate auctions around here and stuff can be bought very cheaply and resold on EBay. Several locals do that full or part time. Since I may have an undeveloped ability in photography that may be an option.

The important thing is have something in mind to go to. I didn't do that and it took a while for me to realize that was a mistake. For me. YMMV.

Saying that, there is no reason to not just kick back and take a sabbatical for a year or so. I did that and it was a good thing to do.

Suggested reading: The "fog of work"
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:21 PM   #15
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Walt34, wow thanks for taking the time to help out. Those were great ideas also. It is amazing how narrow my thinking has been and then put this out there and BAM great ideas from you guys.
The photography gig sounds great if you enjoy it. I took Photography in HS and really liked it, maybe its time to go take a class and see.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:22 PM   #16
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Grasshopper, I actually looked into that out here awhile ago for seasonal work. If I remember right the tender job can be great if you own your own tender and contract out. I believe you have to compete or bid those jobs, is that right?
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:25 PM   #17
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I sort of ran into that issue (what to do next) after 29 years in police work. For the moment ,I stumbled into a security job that is easy to do, pays an absurd amount for what I do, has little paperwork (which I loathe) has good hours for me and a "brutal" 3.4 mile commute. But I earned my KMA hat long ago so if they annoy me I can just quit.

If that happens there are a couple of other things in the works. I'm taking some short photography classes and the instructor was impressed with some digital restorations of old photographs from the 1920's or '30's that I did and said that he did some of that for a while but quickly became swamped with orders so the market for that is huge. I did those with pretty basic equipment/software. So that would be an avenue to explore

Anther is that there are a lot of estate auctions around here and stuff can be bought very cheaply and resold on EBay. Several locals do that full or part time. Since I may have an undeveloped ability in photography that may be an option.

The important thing is have something in mind to go to. I didn't do that and it took a while for me to realize that was a mistake. For me. YMMV.

Saying that, there is no reason to not just kick back and take a sabbatical for a year or so. I did that and it was a good thing to do.

Suggested reading: The "fog of work"
Oh and by the way, I am looking forward to the use of my KMA hat also..
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:02 PM   #18
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402-

Another FF here. You're a few years ahead of me, so I have no personal experience here, but I know quite a few coworkers who have retired and found good jobs.

First, are you by chance a paramedic? There are a wealth of good part-time/second career options if so... er work, doctor's office, insurance physicals, etc.

My guess by your username is that you're a driver/engineer. You mentioned relocating to Florida. I've known some retirees who got
gigs "delivering" firetrucks by driving them cross country from the factory to the customer. E-one has a factory in Ocala, if you end up anywhere
near there.

All the best,
LB
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:50 PM   #19
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I have no suggestions whatsoever--but I wanted to say that my signature on the Weight Watchers site for the last decade or so has been--

"If there were justice, the salaries of NBA players and firefighters would be reversed."

Okay, flame on, folks.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:22 PM   #20
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Leftbucket, hey brother thanks for the tip. I am an EMT-intermediate never did medic school. As for driving apparatus, I have been an engineer for the better part of twelve years now. I am extremely familiar with Pierce in particular. Been involved in several committee purchases and met some great peeps from Pierce. I always thought about your idea for Pierce but so cold up in them parts. EONE sounds like an option if they are looking for drivers, I will put that right up there on the list. Thanks for the help, stay safe, enjoy your ride.
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