No. of Recommendations: 14
Well, I didn't vote, but here's my $0.02. I ret'd after almost 30 yrs. as an investigator work in a large L. A. agency, so I'll throw out some ideas for you to chew on [thinking back on where I was 13 yrs. before retirement], in no particular order:

- 13 yrs. is a very long time. It may be 7% now, but what about increases for Lt. and above?

- You like your job now, but wouldn't you also like doing it as a Sgt.? Isn't it possible to work your way back into Detectives as a Sgt.? You mention it taking 5+ years to get a “better assignment.” That's still leaves you with about 8 yrs to go.

- It's probably a kiss of death, but I have worked with a couple guys who were promoted to supervisor and then gave it up to be “demoted” back to a job they preferred.

- While the work can be very enjoyable and rewarding now, the "scenery" around you changes as supervisors come and go, some better than others. Staying where you are, at some point, you'll undoubtedly get some who are much younger than you and don't know their a$$ from first base. [As I'm sure you already know, this trait isn't confined to new supervisors; it's just that their big ego can make it worse.] The job can become very “un-enjoyable” real fast.

- The idea of promotion toward the end of your career to boost your base pay is good, but after all those years, it can be real hard to accept those “rookie” supervisor assignments.

- Can you be reasonably sure that, remaining a detective, you'll have decent assignments for the next 13 yrs., that you won't be transferred somewhere you don't want to be?

I struggled for years to climb the ladder until the “you're not what we want” concept sunk in. But I was recognized by management as someone who could handle any case that came along, so I had value and was an important asset to the agency. As a consequence, I worked many of the most complex, high-profile cases we had. And I wouldn't trade those years of experiences for a management position. Sure, I regret the pay differential, and I could spend more, but I certainly have enough. I also got a couple transfers to assignment I didn't want, but they turned out to be pretty darn good after all.

In my later years there, I got intensely involved with computers and computer forensics and since retirement have been able to market that rare expertise as a consultant in the private sector. Conversely, you also have some marketable management skills if you retire from a management position.

You've got a pretty long way to go and along the way, and at some point, you'll start seriously considering what you want to do after retirement. By the time I left, in my early 50's, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do for the next few decades and it didn't include a job. My ideas have changed a little, but the basics haven't.

Just keep a focus on minimizing job stress, maintaining your mental and physical health and a happy family, and you'll have great results whether or not you go for promotions.
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