Is being a civvy better or easier than you expected?

I did a full 22 before embarking on a second career. The experience, confidence and style the I learned in the Army made my move into Civvy street a doddle, I worked the last three months of my gardening leave and two years on am going strong. My pay is comparable to my final salary and with a pension to boot, things are pretty good.

OK no support services out here when the gutter falls down, but never thought they were that good anyway, plus I can decorate my house in whatever way I chose.

I don't miss the Army, but do have nostalgic yearnings evry now and then, and once you have been there you never forget. The occasional reunions, visits to ARRSE, and phonecalls and visits to one or two lifelongs friends take care of this.
Dun Grunti; 4 repeat posts! I think you have made your point :wink:


Did my 22 in speedys mob ,and my HGV works fine thank you very much :wink: I got out on opptions 1 with a big wedge and pennsion ,got a nice place before i got out (now worth 4 times what i paid for it) and now spend my working day trucking round the emerald isle ,not a great wage but its paying the bills ,theres no pressure no one looking over youre shoulder all day, and as long as you dont kick the arrse out of it theres overtime to be had when you want, and where else can you get a job where a bed and brew kit come as standed :D But back to the thread army life was great made some good mates who still keep in touch after all these years and as mentiond there are the reunions and arrse to keep in touch, as for what was better Army or civie?I miss the social side of Army life but the job was going down hill fast when i got out ,and the civie side?I think ive made two good mates who i would go for a drink with(may be im fussy!) But the jobs the dogs gonads.So you can keep youre IT and Office jobs give me the open road and 400 bhp(and an expence sheet)and i'll show you a happy man


War Hero
Interesting thread this.

Is civvy street easier, depends on many factors in my opinion. First thing to understand is that no-one will come up to you on leaving the mob and offer you a half decent job unless you have done your homework and prepared yourself thoroughly for the transition.

Leave 'on a whim' or on the back of a mates promise of work or some other bollcoks and you run a huge risk of being let down.

I loved my time in the army, wouldn't swap it for the world, still in regular contact with a good twenty odd blokes after fifteen years out, but the time was right to move on. It was hard graft at first, wife and son, finding a home, shitty jobs, but things got better, furthered my education and am doing OK now.

All in all civvy street is not the easy option some people may think, you get rewarded but you have to work for it.
Dun_Gruntin said:
Sorry, according to my browser, every time I clicked the submit button it reported a fail.
Yup, I get that also, but then I check the forum any way.


Dun_Gruntin said:
Sorry, according to my browser, every time I clicked the submit button it reported a fail.
Thank God for that!!

I thought you had done 110 years in the forces. :lol:


Dun_Gruntin said:
Sorry, according to my browser, every time I clicked the submit button it reported a fail.
Thank God for that!!

I thought you had done 110 years in the forces. :lol:


Dun_Gruntin said:
Sorry, according to my browser, every time I clicked the submit button it reported a fail.
Thank God for that!!

I thought you had done 110 years in the forces. :lol:


BU66ER Thats 330 years now!!

LOL :lol: :lol:
Speedy said:
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.
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).
that would all depend on what you did in the mob?
if like me you had a decent trade to begin with, (with properly recognised qualifications etc) then why not carry on doing it on the outside?
it would be foolish to expect after 16 years that a couple of weeks on a restlement course would give me any experience that would give me a head start in looking for a completely new career, hence i stuck to what i knew and got a better paying job doing it! :D
and no its not all about the money, but it has brought a better standard of living and way of life that i could never have sustained on pay2000


Old digger are you prehaps Aussie?

For my ten pence worth I don't regret a moment of my ten years service, I had a great time, ok there were some not so good times but thats only the same as civ div, the only dissapointment for me was on my last day the RSM's parting comment was "so your off to get a job at Mc d's then!!" which he found hilarious and the OC was busy having "tea and toast"

Well four years later I m doing very well with a good salary and good prospects AND I acutally get to see my wife on a regular basis and can plan my social life!! The big thing that I thank the Army for is the work ethics they gave me, taking a pride in your work and seeing it through to the end whatever the obsticales and conditions, If anyone reading this takes these ethics with them into civ div then you will do well as these are the qualities civvy employers like and respect...
Something I have found is that you military "ethos" will serve you well if you elect to take an even bigger step and set up on your own.

The way that the "get it done no matter what" mentality is drummed into you during your time in green will serve you well as a business owner as that is exactly what the punters want.

The willingness (even though you don't always "willingly" do it, it's just part of your inbuilt work ethic) to go that extra bit further in order to actually deliver what is asked for.

Hence tw*ts like me sitting up at 2 in the morning still working :?


This is related but slightly off topic; how do folks in the TA compare work with army life? How many folks who have left the army have joined the TA because they need the green 'fix'? (I know of a few).

Personally I have found the two complement each other sometimes, and contradict at others! Getting used to switching between STAB head and civvi head can be tricky, esp on Monday mornings at (civvi) work.

Funnily enough, coming back from Ops (working with Regs) is easier; I had no problems going to work the day after coming back from Op Telic 1. Maybe the regs have a more 'civvi' attitude to the job than the TA do? Risking being (more) flamebait, I've found some TA senior ranks (SNCOs and officers) seem to be far more old-style (Wellington era micromanaging martinets...) in their approach than regulars....

Am I (over)using brackets(?)


Having spent a year in the TA after leaving regs I noted two things:

1. Most of the guys in my unit were as keen as mustard

2. The seniors/rodneys would play the role then when beer o'clock came at the end of a drill night be buying you beers in the bar and chatting like mates

I liked the mentality of the TA Inf as it was nearly as good as doing it reg style but without the day-to-day BS you would usually get in a reg unit. Most of the guys in my old unit have now been on or are on op telic.

Anyhow I digress...back to life after green!!
Can't say if the transition is difficult as it is just another phase of life, we all have to get on with things. May be thats because my career in green made me adapt easily and get on with the task in hand.

After 25 years man and boy, I now have an easy civvy job, with no responsibility for others and earn a modest wage topped up by my pension (which I dont use) and a lovely wife who earns more than I do so now life is sweet.

I would not be who I am or have what I have if it were not for my life in green, sure I would change a few decisions but the end result would be the same, I had a ball and enjoyed my carrer.
Ive now been a civi for nearly two years after 5 years as an Infantry Officer. I found it harder then I expected in the short term, but easier in the longer term. (hope that makes sense)

Initially I was temping and took a couple of months to find a permanent job. I now work for a FTSE 30 company which is very successful and looks after people fairly well. The first thing I found on my desk when I arrived in the job was a state of the art brand new laptop. (After 18 months as a Company 2iC the Army never managed to provide me with a PC) In the longer term I now find my day-to-day job easy. Some of it is quite intellectually challenging every so often, but it is not really challenging.

In addition, because the Army (at all ranks) instills confidence and bearing in you from the word go, you impact on people the way that most ordinairy people do not. You stand out from the crowd because you:

1. Arrive on time
2. Look, speak and act professionally
3. Are mission focussed

Basically Civi street (in certain areas) are crying out for military people. If you do leave and stay focussed you are capable of being very, very succesful. And depending on the industry, making a lot of money.
It took a while for me to convert and that was only after nine years, although I did join as a Junior so I really had no clue about the outside world

I made hundreds upon hundreds of mistakes and found it very difficult to hold down a job where there was a person in authority who you simply didn't respect and deep down knew you were 100 times better. Civvies also don't react to being cracked for being a cnut like a squaddie does :D

In the end I decided to go on my own, best thing I ever did, you know your own limitations yet you still try to exceed them by going a step further. So long as you aren't frightened to make mistakes, but more importantly learn from them you won't go far wrong.

I have been at rock bottom with no money and facing a reposession, once you hit that and climb back you make damm sure that no matter what you dont arrive back there again.... at any cost.

Bottom line is this... If a pair of clueless halfwit clowns like Aunty Stella and I can make a half decent job of running a semi successful business then there is hope for anybody.

Climbing out of the gutter will take more hard work, sweat, confidence and drive than any run, tab or route march than you will ever do.
I concur with what Aunty Stella and MDN said about the work ethic you live by in the military has got to be one of the biggest factors in making a success of self-employment (although I'm no where near as fabulously wealthy as either of those two.......... 8O )

Be very careful before you go self-employed though - honour and integrity and keeping your word mean very little to the people you will end up negotiating with! But the fact it means something to you will be one of your biggest plus points, ironically.
Having been in the TA for a very long time, been an employee and and self employed and having over several years compared various packages I'd like to add my thruppence worth.

By and large compared to civDiv the pay and conditions are better. I have had to do several comparability reports over the years and so long as you don't lve in Londan this has held true since 1977.

Valuation of regular personnel has always been a tricky thing. Some firms love svc personnel and some firms haven't a clue about their potentiality. I worked for a firm that employed many ex RSigs tech trades and they were, in the main, excellent, we then employed an Admiral as head of management development and he proved to be a total tosspot.

By and large I found both in civvi and TA life that the rank on leaving meant a great deal. We had men come into our TA company as OC or CSM having had long Army careers. They failed. We had others come in having left as senior captain/junior major, thirty year old Sgt, and they tended to succeed. Same in CivDiv. The best two COs' I served under had left the Regs at the 16 year point and then did 10 years TA before getting command.

Incidentally having worked for a firm that valued my military (albeit TA) service, I then went to work for one whose Ops director (my boss) made the statement that my being in the army I knew how to take orders (as a coy Comdr I think I knew more than that).

The forces provide a system of training that is structured and holistic. I know my way around both systems and can take advantage of this.

Latest Threads