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I switched my career to protect children with the National Crime Agency

Sarah Blight, 43, is deputy director at the National Crime Agency, who switched her career in management to fight crime.

I am responsible for leading the National Crime Agency (NCA) response to child sexual abuse (CSA), working with a range of partners to find solutions to this type of crime. It is challenging but rewarding work.

What my job is like day-to-day

I work to develop initiatives and strategies to tackle a range of threats; from the sharing of child abuse images on the dark web to online grooming and exploitation, to offenders travelling the world to commit abuse.

I also monitor the national response system to CSA, which means ensuring that those with a key role – law enforcement, government, private sector companies and charities – are working as effectively as possible.

My previous career

After university, I joined a graduate scheme in the private sector and had a successful management career, but I felt like something was missing.

I knew I wanted to make a difference, so started to look at careers in the public sector, which is where I came across the Serious Organised Crime Agency (the NCA’s precursor).

Fifteen years on I am still thoroughly enjoying it. Most recently I worked in security, which is an area where the Government is keen to increase diversity and the number of women.

Why you should join the NCA

If you are looking for an exciting career where you can really make a difference, then apply.

As a working mum, there are also great options available for flexible working that enable me to juggle childcare and my career.

Take a look at our website and the huge variety of roles that our officers perform. Also, be open and honest during the vetting process – it is there to protect the organisation, not to catch you out.

Read more: Working for the National Crime Agency as director general

My advice to my younger self

Trust your instincts, find your passion, and, above all, do not change who you are: you will find exactly where you are meant to be.

Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.
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