Is being a civvy better or easier than you expected?

Discussion in 'Jobs (Discussion)' started by Speedy, Jun 3, 2004.

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  1. I'm just sat here at work watching some software install and got to thinking about where I have come and what I have acheived in the four years since I left the army, and the more I think about it the more I have to question my motives for staying in for the 12 years I did.
    In the past 4 years I have acheived far more and am better paid, motivated and have far, far better prospects than anything the army could and would ever offer me.
    Don't get me wrong, had I not joined I would not be the person I am now, and would most likely be in some really low end job for life, so for the changes the army has brought about in me, I would like to say a big thank you.
    Since my leaving I have worked hard to reach a senior management position, have met and about to marry a wonderful woman, have been the owner of 2 houses (only one now though), and am very comfortably paid. I can plan my life and have an employer who is paying me through University as I work It just seems strange that in 4 years I have been better treated, and have had my prospects better looked after than 12 years adult service in tha army.
    I'm just wondering what other forum members views of civvy life are like?
  2. Being a Medic and posted to our MDHUs, I see civvie street every day and I personally cannot wait until that day, I too, join its ranks.


    Because, tour after tour on Operational deployment is ruining any chance I have of a life outside the Army. Then there is the fact that in my current trade I can earn £3-4K per year more in the NHS or private sector.

    So although the Army offers excellent opportunities to gain excellent quals, that is badly let down by PAY2000.

    I also feel that the Army/Services as a whole is still stuck in a time warp and behaves in an atrocious manner to any person lower than a commissioned officer.

    But hey, what the hell. Days to do are but few.

  3. I remember several year ago listening to a senior officer describing the career opportunities a commission officer can expect to enjoy or be given the chance at, and proceeded to go into, at great depth about RMCS Shrivenham, and other university placements in to attaining of specialist degrees to aid their careers. When asked by interviewer if 'other ranks' (hateful, hateful term) had the chance to enjoy the same kind of advanced learning the senior officer just laughed and said ‘Of course not’.
    In the many years I served I met many 'other ranks' with degrees, and university educations, all of them had kept their qualifications under wraps for one reason or another, and almost all, were disgusted about the difference between what the army promises, and what it actually delivers, as many had joined as 'other ranks' to enjoy many of the benefits supposedly enjoyed by forces personnel, such as generous leave, sports and adventure training, all of which were virtually non-existent by the late 90's due to operational commitments.
  4. after initial hardships , finding work , somewhere to live etc. now doing rather nicely , the initial jump from being "part of the team" to being on your own can be a bit daunting ,and realising that there's no one to bitch or whinge about if things don't get done certainly makes you take stock.
    that said i probably would of stayed in if i hadn't got sick and tired of 20 year old ruperts turning up in engineer troops with there shiny new degree thinking they knew more about combat engineering than a 20 year staff sergeant (or a full screw come to mention it) then proceeding to say "yes" to every bone job that comes up to further his career.
    i think "options" in the early 90's culled a wealth of experience in my corps that i still don't think it's properly recovered from , but i'm sure the sappers will get by , they always seem to somehow. :roll:
    still , getting back to civvy street , can you take a bollocking seriously??
    not after you've been screamed at by experts eh?? :)
  5. Must admit a civvie tried to ballock me once, I never laughed so much in all my life and in their face, which did their ego no good at all :p
  6. Fix the problem, not the blame is one of my favorite sayings. Unlike the army there is very little back stabbing and umbrella raising out here. Mistakes are rare, but not whan thigs do go wrong the only thing that gets said is 'How soon can you fix it?', followed by a 'Well done' when you do.
  7. Having seen engineering officers checking TM wheelnuts with their fingers, kicking tyres to check they're inflated and worrying that kit might fly off the truck suddenly (after twenty years of not doing it) nothing really suprises me about Rodders and his mates. I spent 8 years nearly ignoring the wife and kids to get my degree via the OU, just to have it ignored by the Army. Doing well now that I've gotten out.

    It's definitely easier if you already have your own place before getting out, it does make it alot easier. I was able to finish on the Friday and start my civvy job on the Monday.
  8. I'll let you know very shortly when I get out.....

    I worked in civvy street before I joined up. From what I can remember, the pay was poorer but at cease work, your time was your own and no-one could mess with it!

    People are noticably better in the military overall, more willing to help and more positive. Trouble is that the odd t*sser in a senior rank can make life a lot more uncomfortable than their civilian counterpart.
  9. I don't know about the 'pay was poorer' comment.
    Every time I see the army's joke of recruting efforts they harp on about how good the wages are, when in reality it is a ver squewed view. I earn the same annual salery of a high banded WOII. for this I work 5 days a week 9 to 5 (with flexi-time) and pay into a bloody good pension scheme.
    For the WOII to earn this he must get paid 7 days a week, often work 6 days a week, go on tour, work long hours, and expect nothing.
    I know who's better off, and anyone who harps on about hanging on for the pension should do the math's about who gets more in the long run. A full army pension after 22 years, or just doing 12 years, getting a civvy pension, and planning for early retirement.
  10. Speedy - You lucky man. I wish the sector of work i find myself in was this understanding and positive. As a project manager / account director in the wonderful world of advertising and web stuff - if something goes wrong or someone is having a bad day - i get the shitty end of the stick every time. As to being able to do a 9 - 5 job - I wish...

    Though saying that, quality of life in general is better as i earn far more than i would if still in and so can afford to do more. Doesn't mean that i don't and won't continue to miss certain elements of forces life - though tabbing across otterburn carrying a milan post and bergin are not high on the list :lol:
  11. I think more than anything, its' a combination of all the little things which the army forbids you from, or makes bloody difficult to do which makes life so much better now.
    I can plan my life, buy concert tickets in the 100% certency of being able to attend.
    Not have to wrorry if I'm 10 mins late for work because of traffic\seond cup of coffee.
    No longer have my bank treat me like a second class citizen.
    Own a house.
    Not be treated like a 15 year old.
  12. the question was Is being a civvy better or easier than you expected?
    i'd say it was about the same as i expected and some things are a little harder (the old ID card was useful for getting credit)
    but on the whole i'm glad i left when i did and now have a very nice 3 storey 4 bed town house with wife and 35K a year job
    not bad for somebody who was only on 26K doing the same job in the mob!
    best thing i ever did was leave after 16 years, sod the pension, you just know when the time is right that you have to go and i did
    helped that i had already bought a 2 bed house some years back and it had doubled in value
    my advice is think about your finance and plan ahead, then if and when you have enough of life in the green machine your transitition to life in the real world will be so much simpler
  13. When I joined the army I wanted to be a soldier.

    I didn't give a rat’s arrse what the pay was - I just wanted to wear a green skin.

    After a few years in, the odd old digger looked at me, nodded and acknowledged I had made the grade.

    Now years later even though I run my own company (not a rifle company I might add) I always measure myself against those I served with as a soldier.

    Occasionally I meet my `comrades' in the street - we shake hands awkwardly, nod at each other and pass - without a backwards look, onwards at our new careers.

    We were good as soldiers and I have no doubt the best of us are fcuking good in our civvy jobs as well.

    So to those of you that saw your service as a stepping stone to easy street – fcuk you, you weak cnuts – that’s not what its all about.

    Re-think what is you believed in when you stood tall and young, your hand raised –pledging feilty …

    Has it all been so bad you now have only bitter memories and reasons to curse the service you gave, are you so sure your service didn’t make even the slightest difference to those we sought to protect …

    I say we have made a difference, in many countries around the world from Sierra Leone to East Timor, people like you and me have stepped forward, taken a deep breath, cocked our weapons and advanced towards the `enemy’.

    Without our collective service, our heartfelt understanding of right and wrong and our dedication to our profession of arms many more people as I witnessed in `darkest’ Africa would have shrivelled and died with no hope of relief.

    Our efforts have been diminished by the sad and corrupt actions of the UN, but I believe for a brief time we helped and if given the chance again I would step forward, Styer in one hand and bag of wheat in the other ….

    My life hasn’t been wasted – has yours?
  14. Nice one Digger.
    I couldn't have put it better myself.
    I am doing ok as a civillian at the moment, but not great.
    I'm glad that I was once a soldier.
    In my book the knockers can knock the Army, but you can't take away the massive MORAL street cred that comes with having once been in green, and what might be expected of you if something hits the fan.
    Lets hope the public carry on thinking well of the British Armed Forces.
  15. I always thought that it is a big mistake for those getting out to pursue a career in civ-div doing exacvtly the same as they did whilst they were in for several reasons.

    1. Very few civvy employers (unless they themselves are ex-forces) rate military experience, partly due to the fact that nobody knows what it is the various trades in army do exactly.

    2. Almost all military quals are not worth the paper they are printed on in civvy street as they are not 'recognised' qualifications.

    3. When doing re-settlement the oppertunity for getting re-trained in a better paid, more future proof job is not one that should be passed up simply by trying to get a HGV licence (you can have mine if you think it's a decent paying job).

    4. When looking for a job you will find employers want either regognised qualifications (which you can get via re-settlement) or job experience (which an employer may not recognise due to the fact it was obtained whilst in the forces).

    Just as a point of note, military HGV drivers were rated very poorly when I was looking for work some time ago, and even though I was more 'qualified' than any of the drivers employed by the companys I was looking at, and vastly more experiences they were quite reluctant to give me a look in, but I'm damm glad I followed my chosen civvy career in IT, with the certification obtaing from my re-settlement course.