Leaving the armed forces can be both exciting and daunting at the same time, trust me I have been in your shoes when it comes to leaving the armed forces and deciding on the best future.
There has obviously been some form of catalyst for leaving the services for the civilian world and starting the armed forces resettlement process, whether family reasons, career goals or you just felt it was the right time to move to the next stage of your life. One constant that should always be part of leaving the military is planning, in that we really do need to plan the exit process otherwise this can make transition quite difficult.
Have a plan
Ideally, you should give yourself at least 12 months to plan ahead and the more time you have to plan then the easier you will find transition into civilian employment. This planning stage also includes time taken to attend courses ready for any new employment, and remember some resettlement courses could be quite long winded so give yourself enough time to complete. There are also varying levels of courses which can take shorter to complete or are more flexible in their approach and delivery. iSMTA courses for example, can be completed in your own time as they are e-learning and this helps a lot around family and other ongoing military commitments.
Too many people leaving the military move into an area of work that they ‘think’ is right in terms of what their role was in the military and in some cases this may be fine, although try and identify what interests you now and where you would like to see yourself in the short and long term. The military is an all encompassing job and lifestyle, whereas your job in the civilian sector may just be a normal Monday to Friday affair, although if you land in a job that you dislike then even those 5 days per week are enough to lower your morale. So, think big and look into areas that interest you and excite you, it may not be possible to acquire your perfect job although there may be other opportunities close to it and ones that may lead to your perfect job in the long run.
Once you found an area of interest then conduct as much research as possible into that job role and also the industry, things to consider would be:
– Type of industry
– Common roles in that industry
– Qualifications needed
– Experience needed
– Pay rates relevant to that industry
– Recruitment levels
The above are just some queries that you would benefit from knowing the answers to, this level of research can be as simple as going on the internet and searching, or actually speaking to a company about the role and what the likely-hood of employment would be in the future. Don’t be shy in speaking to a company as this will provide you first hand information and should answer any queries you have, these days most employers should be welcoming to questions.
Your resettlement centre should provide you with all the guidance you need, and point you in the right direction in terms of training courses available using your military funding. These such courses will mainly be residential or centre based courses and will more than likely form the main part of your resettlement training, although you should also think about undergoing courses that compliment this training. For example, some service persons leave the military and move into Close Protection. They may be looking to work in the UK or overseas in more challenging environments, in addition to the Security Industry Authority Close Protection training then potential employee’s should ensure that they make their selves stand out from other service leavers by bolstering their CV with other security related courses and these include e-learning courses which are industry related and accredited.
Armed forces resettlement can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it, meaning that the more planning and thought that you put into it, then the easier and more knowledgeable you will be. It is also recommended that you speak to as many people as you can and this includes those that have been through the process their selves, you can learn and start to understand what works and what does not.
The iSMTA are also open to providing impartial information and guidance to service leavers, so feel free to contact them via the contact page.