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24/7 to 9-5: Finding a Civilian Job after Leaving the Armed Forces

Written by Kimberley Startup | June 20, 2011 | 0 Comments

Armed Forces

Finding a new job can be stressful. But what if your career change involves transitioning to an entirely different work environment? If you’re leaving the armed forces, the transition from military to civilian life can be challenging, especially when finding a job.

To start with, begin your job hunt by searching online job boards. In addition to using general job boards, try ones that specialise in finding jobs for ex-military personnel, such as www.civvyjobs.com or www.ex-mil.co.uk.

Many large companies actively recruit ex-military personnel.  BT, UPS and British Gas have all realised the benefits of employing people leaving the armed forces. “They are highly skilled, motivated and disciplined and have experience of complex engineering tasks in challenging environments,” says Olivia Garfield, CEO of BT Openreach.

If you’re looking for a civilian job after leaving the military, creating a jargon free CV is essential. Many people find it hard to write a good resume so, if you haven’t already, read our advice on writing a great CV.

The key is to translate your military experience into terms a civilian employer will understand. Don’t forget – with your experience in the armed forces, you’ll have the key skills many recruiters look for in an employee – motivation, loyalty, tenacity and organisation.

Many ex-military personnel have specialist training. Whether you have an engineering or logistics background or you’re a medic – an employer would be mad to overlook this training and experience.

Don’t forget to find out what sort of help and advice you’re entitled to. In order to make the transition to civilian life successful, the MoD offers a resettlement service. The charity, Remount, also offers free courses in dealing with the psychological effects of transferring to civilian life.

Although making the transition from the armed forces to a civilian job may be tricky, with your skills and experience, you’ll be an asset to any team.

Are you about to leave the armed forces? What’s your plan for finding a job? Or have you left and found the civilian job of your dreams? How did you go about it? Share your experiences or advice in the comments below.

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