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Advice on leaving

#1
I thought it would be a good idea for those that have already made the leap to civ-div to impart nuggets of info that the RO running the resettlement center wouldn't tell you (simply because he's never had a job outside of the army) which would be vital when choosing the correct re-settlement course and settling into civvy life.

My first one one be that you should never jump on an employment bandwagon when choosing your re-settlement as by the time you leave the job market has been flooded.
I left in 2000 and just about got a job as a systems manager after taking some pretty tough courses. A few months after I got my position the IT job market dried up.

My second would be (if you are single) get really, really drunk for a week.
It just helps.
 
#5
I'm a systems manager for Lancashire County Council. I wasn't going to make the mistake of doing the same thing I did in the army as my civillian career.
I am now very happy, quite succesful and glad I got out at my 12 year point.
With almost constant deployment (be it tours, firemans strikes etc) many I served with are now getting out at their 12 year point as they cannot get grabbed for tours. And any advice that that could make things easier for them is surely not a bad thing.
The getting drunk for a week comment is purely aimed at getting the point across that after they sober up they no longer have to go back, not 'I'm going on leave for a week and plan to spend it propping up a bar'. Becoming a civvy is not easy after spending so much time in the army and as someone pointed out in another thread it can take upto 5 years to fully rehabilitate into civillian life from the armed forces and any help we can give to people is going to be one piece of information more than I ever got.
 
#7
Its not an easy one to answer to be honest, I never lost contact with my civvy mates while I was in so this tended to keep my feet on the ground regarding life out in the real world. As such the change was relatively painless.

Depending on your time served I would encourage people to take a long hard look at the skills they have to offer, research the job market generally and specific sectors within it well before you leave (two years at least)

Some advice off the top of my head .

Unless you have done serious BG or CP work while serving forget about doing it on the outside. The serious stuff is all taken.

Don't blow any pension or lump sum on a dream of running a shop or business, look at the stats of SME that fail in the first few years of opening.

Look at retraining or further education when you get out (not sure how much credence is given to army education in civvy street no matter what the army say, this goes for tradesmen as well)

Don't expect too many favours from having been in, it does not give you a God given right to a job, the majority of employers couldn't give a shit that you were a soldier.

Don't aim too high.................you will not step into a 'managers' post just like that, be prepared to graft.

On the positive side, I found that having served gave me the determination to do well in whatever job I took, in time this has helped me and I now hold down a half decent job...............an no its not a petrol pump attendent :lol:

Awaiting some smartarse reply............MDN
 
#9
Back a horse with 2/3rds of your gratuity and get pissed up for 3 months on the remainder............if anything, you've enjoyed the last three months! (and if your horse comes in.........start again!) 8)
 
#10
Look at retraining or further education when you get out (not sure how much credence is given to army education in civvy street no matter what the army say, this goes for tradesmen as well
To right. It's amazing that you can watch a careers worth of qualifications and experiance become irrelevant overnight. But still the politicians think that former soldiers are qualified to the eyeballs.
 
#11
Convert your quals into recognised civvie quals (City & Guilds, Associated Examining Board, management organisations). Your AEC can advise on what you can get for your trades. For example, an EFP certificate itself equates to..........nothing! in civvie street. Show that an employer who has no mil background and he or she will ask one hundred and one questions about what/when/why. An EFP converts into two City & Guilds quals (communication skills and numeracy).

If your a HGV driver, ensure your licence doesn't run out in the first few months your in civvie street. The civvie med exam alone costs upwards of around £70. Present your med centre doc with a med form from DVLA on your final medical and he'll stamp it for free.

Lastly, ENSURE your CV is not littered with squaddie talk, i.e: 'Can set up a CP complete with 353/DMU and 320 comm's, plus use an ML handler'. You'll scare the civvie employer looking at it. Attend the resettlement briefs, as they have a civvie on hand who will look at your CV and break it down and build it up with civvie speak.

And the big one. Relax on any interviews. Smile. Your not in front of the RSM or CO, so don't sit bolt up right with fists clenched on knees (you'll look like you want to shiit). I telephoned and asked my interviewer why for learning purposes, I didn't get the job, and the reason was because he said I was like a robot the way I marched in his office, sat ridged and the way I spoke (yes sir/no sir). If you get the job, smile, say thanks, shake hands, and ask him or her how they would like to be addressed.

Good luck and don't lose faith. I spent 11 long months on the dole. I had to do black economy jobs to survive as the dole money is shiite. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, lying in bed til 2-3pm, staying up til 3-4am, drinking, getting more and more dependant on state hand outs. Have something to do in your spare time when not job hunting that doesn't revolve around drink and your flat/house.
 
#12
If anyone is thinking of taking on a pub when they leave feel free to Pm me and I can point out some pooh traps you don't want to fall into. I can also pass on some useful contacts of ex-mil who have made a successful transition into the licensed trade.
 
#14
Gunny's advice on interviews is good. I am occasionally involved in interviewing job candidates, and can add some more:

If you have tendency to use a particular word or phrase a lot, try not to! For example, 'yeah', 'know what I mean' etc.

Avoid trite phrases such as 'at the end of the day' etc.

Turn negatives into positives. For example, many employers ask what your bad points are. Try saying something like: 'I'm told I'm sometimes too much of a stickler for punctuality'. You've answered the question, but no-one can say that always being on time is a bad thing.

Lastly, and I think this is where many fail, sort your appearance out!

It may be that you are going for a job where how you dress doesn't matter, but in general appearance does count. Remember that people form an opinion within the first 15 seconds of meeting someone; research shows that they tend to stick with that opinion. It follows that you need to present the best possible first impression. I am amazed at the state some people, including ex-military, pitch up for interview in.

- Make sure everything is clean and pressed
- Avoid cheap, fashionable items - they never look right. A M&S suit may seem a bit old-fashioned but it's safe, it's reasonably priced and it will last longer than a Bond-villain six-button jacket with zippy pockets from Top-Shop.
- Wear plain, pale coloured shirts - don't dazzle or distract the interviewer - you can wear the Thomas Pink purple stripey thing once you have the job.
- Service/regimental ties are fine - you may even be asked to explain the crest etc., but avoid comedy ties of the type so beloved of LE Unit Welfare Officers.
- Make sure your tie is well tied, is long enough, and covers your top button.
- Plain dark socks are best.
- Shoes should not be wildly fashionable (ie they should not look as if you need a prescription for them), and should be clean.
 
#15
ViroBono said:
I am amazed at the state some people, including ex-military, pitch up for interview in.

- Make sure everything is clean and pressed
- Avoid cheap, fashionable items - they never look right. A M&S suit may seem a bit old-fashioned but it's safe, it's reasonably priced and it will last longer than a Bond-villain six-button jacket with zippy pockets from Top-Shop.
- Wear plain, pale coloured shirts - don't dazzle or distract the interviewer - you can wear the Thomas Pink purple stripey thing once you have the job.
- Service/regimental ties are fine - you may even be asked to explain the crest etc., but avoid comedy ties of the type so beloved of LE Unit Welfare Officers.
- Make sure your tie is well tied, is long enough, and covers your top button.
- Plain dark socks are best.
- Shoes should not be wildly fashionable (ie they should not look as if you need a prescription for them), and should be clean.

I turned up in a G-string flip flops and a Sex Pistols T-shirt and I got the job.........................mind you that was when I applied for the army :lol:

In all honesty, all of what has been posted is good advice, a lot is common sense though.
 
#16
A lot is common sense, the thing is that most people who leave the forces still act as if they are still in them when trying to get civllian jobs. As someone above said it is quite amusing to watch former SNCO's\officers trying to walk into management positions. To be fair to the officers I did my re-settlement with several captains from the infantry. They were all young (and sensible) enough to realise that they needed training in employable skills (in this case IT) rather than relying on the dimmer officers 'But I'm a officer I can do anything dontcherknow'. Out here everyone starts on a level playing field.
 
#17
Its never to early to start preparing yourself , its a bigger move than when you actually left civvie street to join the military, persomaly I did 24 years and my time was up , but even so only 43 at the time, had great dreams of being able to enjoy the life of a kept man LOL the wife has lots of gualification's , with the pension and all thought done my time why not enjoy life now.............. but you know what BOREDOM knocks the sh*t* out of you after about 6 - 12 months, it took me about 5 years but I now have a great job lots of responsibility, it feels good sense of achievment and all that, but I still at times wish I was back in the fold, the bad times fade into distant memory and the good times become more present in your thoughts.......... good luck to all who have made the decision to leave especially before the 22 year point,
been lots of good advice given in this thread, my two pennies worth ,

BE ABSOLUTELY SURE YOU WANT TO LEAVE.
 
#18
tigger_c/s_30 said:
BE ABSOLUTELY SURE YOU WANT TO LEAVE.
Best advice yet

When I left I didn't look back on the job and miss it. I looked back on the secure web, the friends and the way of life, it hits you hard when its not there.

Another thing that hurts is when you spend your last tenner and there is no Acc role to go and sign and get a sub.

Civvy street can be hard but get it right and you can out earn any general.

Civvy Street is what you make it, put in the hours and hit on the right business and the world is your oyster, or stag on as a £4 an hour security guard and reminiss about how crappy the army was.

Arrse is a valuable tool for guys looking back and thinking whether or not they made the right move when leaving. I missed the banter and an audience with a similar sense of humour to mine, some squaddie jokes don't go down too well in civvy st, and you can find your self in hot water for showing your nob to a workmate or secretary.
 

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