There are different reasons people become a firefighter and also choose to promote.
It took me awhile to understand this concept.
I thought everyone had some type of strong calling to do this job and the benefits to the job were only bonuses.
If you want to learn how to deal with what you think are rank chasers then read this article.
The following is my backstory of how long I spent in each rank. I spent my first 11 years in the fire service as a Firefighter. The next 5 years as an Engineer and the past 4 years as a Captain.
At my department, you are only required to spend 3 years in each rank before you are eligible to promote.
Some have promoted right at their 3 year mark to the next rank every time, while others took a different route.
So who is doing it the right way?
Everyone takes their own path in life and in the fire service. Often we see people get frustrated because someone else promoted quicker than them.
Each department sets the standards on what a person needs and the amount of years they need to promote.
You may not agree with your departments standards, but those are the rules of the game.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.– Epictetus
Let me tell you a quick story about a time when I felt disappointed and exhilarated about not being eligible for a promotion all in the same day … and what you can learn from it.
My department recently had many openings to fill in our administrative staff. One of those positions was Division Chief of Training.
Its the only position that I had some interest in.
I was nervous though because I love being a Captain. I enjoy running calls and I especially enjoy going to fires. I also like the schedule of shift work.
I found out I did not meet the educational requirements though when the positions posted. I lacked a Bachelors degree and my Fire Officer II certificate.
I felt disappointed that I could not even interview. I felt relieved though that I would not have to make the decision to take it or stay a Captain.
The person who got the position had 11 years on the job and 1 of those years as a Captain.
Is this person wrong for taking the position?
They took an opportunity that was available to them.
Just like everyone else who promotes when the opportunity presents itself to them.
Every position has its pros and cons.
I was told a long time ago to never promote past a level of happiness in the fire service.
I’m actually afraid to go any further than I am right now. Thats how much I enjoy it.
The thing I want you to take away from this is we all have different motivation and expectations for this job.
Follow the path you want which makes you happy.
Don’t get frustrated or bitter because someone else took a different path.
They may have took a path that lead to quicker promotions or higher positions.
Who’s to say you would have enjoyed the path they took though?
So what this means to you in your life is don’t let your ego influence your behavior.
Promote to the level of happiness you want.
Accept others to the level they choose also.
So here’s your next step as it relates to what you and I just shared: joining our FREE facebook group here.