After finishing my A levels at 18, I had to decide whether to go to university or find a suitable job to start my career. My parents both work for Border Force and encouraged me to join too. Neither of them went to university but both started in Border Force at around the age of 20 and have worked very hard to get promoted and achieve their goals. To me, this shows that you will always succeed if you are dedicated and driven to do well.
I began my journey in Border Force in 2019 working in a non-operational role. After 6 months there was an opportunity to join a casework team, where I assisted operational Border Force Officers with live immigration cases. This role inspired me to become an operational officer myself and in October 2020 I got a role working on the primary control point (PCP) at an airport.
I thrive on busy situations and as a frontline Border Force Officer, no two days are the same, so I thoroughly enjoy it. I joined during the pandemic, which was a challenging and ever-changing environment. It was difficult to start with, but within the last 18 months I have embraced all facets of the role and worked with experienced colleagues to develop my skillset.
In my short career, I have been able to detect a few false and counterfeit documents, which has enabled me to refuse entry to people trying to gain access to the UK illegally. And these good results have been recognised by senior management. I have also mentored colleagues on working on the PCP, which can be challenging, but is something I thoroughly enjoy.
There are also opportunities for specialist training. For example, I recently volunteered to become a Safeguarding and Modern Slavery officer, which is an important and demanding, but incredibly rewarding, role.
This job has allowed me to grow in confidence and has allowed me to communicate better with colleagues and the public. If you were thinking about joining Border Force, I would say ‘go for it’ as it is a great job to develop your career, as well as giving you the opportunity to branch out into other parts of the Home Office.