Finding the Path to Become a Skilled Emergency Manager emergency management network podcast

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Finding the Path to Become a Skilled Emergency Manager

I wrote a piece called The Hard Truths: Addressing Endemic Challenges in Emergency Management Hiring Practice. It was critical of the current hiring process of choosing underqualified individuals at best or outright unqualified.  I call upon the emergency management industry to look at its hiring criteria to better align with the specialized requirements of the field.

Since I published that piece, I have had multiple people reach out to me and ask me what they needed to become emergency management professionals. I commend them for that, and they got me thinking about what an individual needs to move from one profession to another. It can be a lonely journey when trying to become an emergency manager.

Like any good academic, I want to state the thesis. The need for emergency management. It has never been more pressing to have qualified individuals leading emergency management than today, given the complexity and diversity of challenges our world faces, from natural disasters to health crises. 

The pursuit of professionalism and establishing robust standards within the realm of emergency management has been a frequent topic of discussion. Last week’s article discussed how we must improve hiring practices to ensure qualified professionals are at the helm of emergency management organizations. The piece inspired a subscriber who recently entered the field to contact me. We had a wonderful conversation, and he described his journey and explained his steep learning curve. This provided a moment of reflection for me. Beyond those transitioning from public safety roles, many professionals from various sectors see the allure of emergency management and its significance. 

With their diverse experiences and backgrounds, these individuals often wonder about the roadmap to integrate seamlessly into this sector. Therefore, to guide these aspiring professionals, here are some structured approaches to equip oneself for a role as an Emergency Manager. Emphasizing the fulfilling nature of this job, I urge anyone who aspires to be an emergency manager to seek the necessary training, immerse themselves in the field, and stride confidently toward becoming a cornerstone in the emergency management profession. Nobody wants to spend the first nine months on the job trying to find footing. The demands of emergency management require us to be proactive, efficient, and competent from day one.

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