Capabilities and Perceptions

Do people perceive you completely different to how you perceive yourself?
Are you more capable than you give yourself credit for?

Currently I work for Probation in an admin support role. It’s a job that I’m more than grateful for, as I fell into it, the pay is decent and I enjoy admin to a certain extent. It isn’t however, the role I intend on doing forever.

The role I sort of set my sights on within this organisation, is as a Probation Service Officer (PSO), which is pretty much the same as a Probation officer (PO), you’re just exposed to less risks. I applied for the role a few months back, but wasn’t successful.

The role has come up again and I was considering it, but part of me was thinking perhaps I’m not good enough… Maybe my experiences and knowledge isn’t quite good enough to provide that level of support to someone, or to help them change their lives in such a way.
I’m doubting myself because I’ve never done it before and not sure if I’d be any good.

I had an appointment with my bank the other week and the lady I was speaking to asked me where I worked. I told her and she looked at me agasp! Apparently she didn’t expect me to work in that sort of area, and she didn’t expect me to be a probation officer. I didnt correct her assumption, perhaps I should’ve, but I didn’t. I liked her assumption. Although she obviously didn’t think I was capable, I liked it.

A few other people I’ve said this too, assume I’m a PO. Some I’ve corrected, others I have neglected to.
I’m not sure I understand why everyone thinks the Probation service is just full of POs and no other staff!

One of my colleagues, who’s the same age as me, fantastic at the job (PO), and who I have a lot of respect for, told me I should apply for the PSO role. One of the police officers I work with, on hearing I was moving to a different team (I’m yet to blog about this), asked if it was to become a PSO. I alerted him to the fact that it wasn’t.

Again, both of these comments made me feel really good about myself and the way others perceive my capabilities, especially people I have a lot of respect for.
Being a PSO/PO isn’t for everyone. Dealing with offenders requires a fair bit of skill. It’s not an easy job! Being responsible for someone’s welfare and wellbeing in the community is a tough task, or at least, I perceive it to be. If you get it wrong, on your head be it,  there’s a lot of criticism, especially from the public! However, there are people who think im capable of doing this even though I have no first hand experience.

So, depending on the requirements, I better get an application in! This has given me the confidence I was lacking. I can bloody do this!

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