If you live in the state of Indiana and are planning on becoming a homeland security officer, there are some good indicators you can look for to determine your probable level of success in the field. The first and most important thing, however, to determine is why you are going into the homeland security field in the first place.

If you are only doing it for the high level of pay, the good insurance and other benefits, or for the prestige, then you likely will end up disappointed with your career choice. While the pay and benefits certainly are good, keep in mind that the work is incredibly demanding, difficult, and often even dangerous.

If you are going to truly enjoy it and keep from getting burnt out, then you will need to make sure that you are going into the career field for the right reasons—because you love and are interested in the field and all that it entails.

Aside from having the right intentions as you enter into the career field, you also have to make sure that you choose the right job for you. Not doing so can lead to dissatisfaction with your job or a lack of real interest in the work you can do, which in turn leads to poor performance.

The only way to pick the “right” job is to know what all of your options are. This can be accomplished by researching the homeland security field and the many, many different jobs available in it. Whenever you find one that sounds like it could possibly be a good fit for you, you will want to research it in even more depth, honestly assessing whether or not it is a job you would enjoy and be able to do well.

The more work you put into finding the right career, the more likely it is that you will.

While picking the right job and for the right reasons is, obviously, quite important, it’s also important that you possess certain innate qualities that make for a successful homeland security officer. The first is a strong sense of ethics and discretion.

Homeland security officers are often asked to deal with sensitive information that could affect the future of our nation. As such, they must be able to keep such information on a need to know basis and to practice good ethics in all work related matters.

It is also important for homeland security professionals to be hard working, but capable of not letting their work overwhelm them. A good homeland security officer should be able to deal with difficult work-related matters during the day, and then leave it at work when they head home.

This separation is necessary for self-preservation and to avoid getting burnt out. Good officers are also able to mentally and physically handle the stresses and possible dangers of the job without breaking down.

This is why those who enter into the career field are expected to undergo extensive psychological and physical testing.

There are also some practical matters to think about when becoming a homeland security officer. If you have criminal charges on your record, for example, know that you will not be a likely candidate for the majority of homeland security positions.

You also have to live a relatively healthy lifestyle, free of drugs and alcohol, and you should be emotionally stable and intelligent. Some of these traits are ones that you can develop on your own, but others you either have or you don’t. Generally, the more essential traits you possess naturally, the higher your chances for success.