Studying for your firefighter promotional exam can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. Find yourself a mentor, someone in the position you are applying for (or higher), to guide your firefighter promotional exam prep, as well as and your long term career goals as a firefighter.
A mentor is an invaluable tool when it comes to preparing for your firefighter promotional exam. This person can take you under their wing and tell you about the position you are applying for and help you throughout the promotion process. They can share with you their real life experience they have gained through working in that position. Your mentor may also be able to demonstrate some of the hands on skills you are expected to know that are only shown in books. Your mentor can even help you when you have questions regarding your studying and places you are struggling along the way. Mentors can help you build your leadership skills as well which is so important as you move up the firefighting ranks.
You do still need to read the textbook if you want to pass your firefighter promotional exam, I know bummer, but having a mentor walk you through the process and learn more about the position is invaluable.
Getting in the officer mindset will help you have more confidence come promotional exam day and help reduce anxiety. There is no better person to help you build that confidence than a mentor who knows the job better than anyone else. Going in with the officer mindset will reduce your overall stress level and lead to a better score. The best way to get in this mindset is to know your stuff. Know the job you are applying for by using your mentor as a sounding board. Let them tell you every nitty gritty detail of their job and absorb it all. Know your textbook and online study guides inside and out. Ask your mentor to quiz you and help you study. Make the most of your mentor, if they agreed to be your mentor they want to teach you and most importantly they want you to succeed. Going into your test as if you already have the job is a good thing as long as you remember there is a fine line between confident and cocky. Going in with a positive attitude is super important, but don’t take your studying for granted just because you think you already have the job.
Mentors also represent another person to hold you accountable. Your mentor should motivate you, but also be there to support you if things don’t go the way you had hoped. Having a support team is so important as you begin the firefighter promotional exam process. You will need people on your team to help you when you are feeling overwhelmed and want to give up. A mentor is the perfect person to encourage you and support you throughout the promotion process.
Make sure you find someone who is really interested in helping others move up in the fire service and is willing to devote as much time and attention to you as you may need. If you want to get the most out of a mentor make sure they have experience. Try to avoid asking your buddy who just got promoted to be your mentor. Sure, your friend is a great resource for help as well, but a high ranking firefighter with many years of experience will have more knowledge and skills to share with you. Lots of people in the fire service are willing to be mentors, you just have to find the right person for you.
Find someone who you look up to and has had success then don’t be afraid to ask them to become your mentor as you start your firefighter promotional process. Having a mentor to support, encourage, and teach you will be invaluable, not just as you prepare to promote, but for your entire career.