My name is Katherine, and I’m the Regional Director of Border Force Heathrow Region within the Home Office. I have been in this role for around a year and moved into it after 26 years in the RAF, where I had a varied career as a Personnel Officer. This culminated in working as Station Commander where I was responsible for the basic training and leadership training of all airmen in the RAF.
I am hugely proud of my career in the RAF and had a fantastic time there, but when a leadership opportunity came up within the Home Office, I thought my skills and experience were well suited to it. I applied and, after a sift and interviews, was offered the job!
No two days are the same for me. I shift between thinking strategically and reacting to operational events. I’m always trying to develop my knowledge as I had no idea just how extensive the roles and responsibilities were within Border Force before I joined. It really offers people the opportunity for a full and varied career.
There are also a lot of similarities between Border Force roles and the skills and experience gained in the armed forces so it can be a great place to transition to after a career in the services.
Much like my career in the RAF, the work I do within Border Force has a direct impact on border security on a daily basis and is really making a difference. To me it’s a vocation rather than a job. I relish the responsibility that comes with the role, I really enjoying working with such a diverse group of people and I am getting a lot of professional and personal satisfaction from the job. I am immensely proud of the work that my team does, and it is a privilege to lead them.
For anyone in the armed forces considering a transition to a new career or who has already left, I would highly recommend the Home Office as a place to work. There are a huge number of different roles and career types, many of which lend themselves to service leavers in terms of the skills and experience required. If you are looking for a role where you feel you are making a difference to people’s lives and are making the UK a fairer and safer place to live, the Home Office, and indeed the Civil Service, has a wealth of opportunities that come with great benefits such as additional shift allowances, flexible working options and an outstanding pension.