Leaving the army????????

Would you stay in if you where in my situation?

  • Yes

    Votes: 13 41.9%
  • No

    Votes: 10 32.3%
  • Stick it out a little long

    Votes: 8 25.8%

  • Total voters
    31

Mrsheeny

Old-Salt
Stick it out for another 10 years and you’re laughing with your pension, if you are struggling looking at that 10 years in front then re-badge for a new challenge.

The best advice on here was from Sock Puppet about the niche quals, they are what you need if you want to earn any decent cash out in civvy street otherwise your starting off with the mongs on the bottom rung.

What’s your line of trade so to speak? Or what regiment?
 
Even with usable qualifications, its far harder to get a start than it used to be. The large scale entry of women has changed the environment to one which doesn't really allow you to be yourself and the foreign lads made it difficult to get past first base on the jobs market.

However, I think once our feet are under the table we have the discipline and diligence to outperform most civvies and shifting your focus towards family is also worthwhile, as it gives added purpose to keep you sane in a crazy world.
 
The thing is, you'll know when it's time to leave. Long story short, I was in for my 22 and due to leave in Apr 11. I got offered VENG around 2007 which extended my career by two years up to my 24 year point in Apr 13. Roll forwards to Oct 2010 and I woke up one morning with a thought in my head saying "it's time to leave". I wasn't upset or dissatisfied with the job in any way but it just felt entirely the right thing to be doing at that time in my life. I discussed it with my family, did a bit of quiet research to formulate a plan, had a grown-up chat with my OC and banged out. I haven't looked back since.

People are banging on about 'niche quals' whatever they may be: I was an Underwater Knife-Fighting Instructor when I was in!! There is no such thing as a niche qualification - use your current skill-set to your advantage now, or obtain new ones before you make the decision to leave.

What I will say is to do your reconnaissance in detail first and also to consider that if you have a family, it's not all about you here. Good luck!!
 
I left at my 12yr point. It was for various reasons, however II wasn't scared out what was out there, in fact the challenge motivated me more (My caveat is it was 1999 and the UK was a different place)

I embraced all the usual transition workshops and tried to assimilate myself in the civvie world as much as possible. Having my own home in town that I commuted from helped.
Do I regret it? I sometimes think What If?, but then I think of the time I spent with my young family and not sat in some FOB or Bastion for months on end.

To the OP, go with what your gut feel is and more importantly think about how you have conducted yourself in the forces. If you've been cruising and been lucky on roles or promotion, or have been a sportsman, etc. then stay in. If you've been focused and have excelled yourself and have always been driven by doing it better, then civvie street is for you. Work hard, have the right attitude and you can make a really good go of it.

My personal observation:
Those who leave mid-career tend to be better go-getters and more successful (personally, not necessarily financially) than the full-termers. The reason? Perhaps because they have the hunger for it, or maybe because they have a young family or no pension to fall back on, I don't know.

The 22yr+ type that are going for jobs, are in my experience of interviewing plenty, just looking for that job that pays enough with their pension to get by until they really retire. There doesn't seem to be that hunger or drive to succeed like a 10 yearer, for example.

Lastly, being circa 30 with a decade's army life behind you is a huge bonus. You are, as I described myself at the time, a blank canvas to be painted into any role that you wish to follow. Come out at 40 and your opportunities have decreased dramatically.
 
Important to remember that you're definitely leaving the army for civvy strasse.

Perhaps not today or next week, but it's inevitable at some stage, so it's just a matter of timing.

A mucker of mine had the chat from his CoC, that he'd be mad to leave, think of the future, the uncertainty etc etc.

That same boss giving the 'stay in' chat banged out quicker than my mate.
 

NemoIII

War Hero
Stick it out for another 10 years and you’re laughing with your pension, if you are struggling looking at that 10 years in front then re-badge for a new challenge.
Couldn't agree more with this. Probably affect your overall career but promotion and money isn't everything in the world.

Might be hard to transfer and get a trade as a Sgt (If you haven't already got one) but theres plenty of interesting roles that might give you a new found interest.

Best thing I ever did was transfering, but that was at my 5 year point and to be fair I dont see myself sticking it in past 12.

Give it a couple more years to think and you might aswell go the full 22/24, if you have the drive and interest bang out now, if not and you're not sure just hang out for the 22/24.
 

Mrsheeny

Old-Salt
The thing is, you'll know when it's time to leave. Long story short, I was in for my 22 and due to leave in Apr 11. I got offered VENG around 2007 which extended my career by two years up to my 24 year point in Apr 13. Roll forwards to Oct 2010 and I woke up one morning with a thought in my head saying "it's time to leave". I wasn't upset or dissatisfied with the job in any way but it just felt entirely the right thing to be doing at that time in my life. I discussed it with my family, did a bit of quiet research to formulate a plan, had a grown-up chat with my OC and banged out. I haven't looked back since.

People are banging on about 'niche quals' whatever they may be: I was an Underwater Knife-Fighting Instructor when I was in!! There is no such thing as a niche qualification - use your current skill-set to your advantage now, or obtain new ones before you make the decision to leave.

What I will say is to do your reconnaissance in detail first and also to consider that if you have a family, it's not all about you here. Good luck!!
There are niche quals, for instance training as an electrician isn’t a niche qualification but training to joint fibre optic cables would be and there is money to be made doing that.
 
Are you mrried or single and do you have any kids?
Do you own a property?
There's no point staying in a job you don't like, but when you leave you will need somewhere to live. I know a few guys who spent all their gratuity on a house and then struggled to maintain the mortgage. It may be worth staying in a few more years, buy a property and rent it out (get someone else to pay the mortgage). As has been said get as much education as you can whilst it's free.
Be as prepared as you can be for civvy street.
 
There are niche quals, for instance training as an electrician isn’t a niche qualification but training to joint fibre optic cables would be and there is money to be made doing that.
Fair one and wasn't seeking to have a go. However, I think my point was that good money can also be made with more generic quals as well - it depends on the sector. I know it helped me a lot when leaving to think quite broadly at first rather than be too specific, as that can be very limiting when initially stepping outside the mob.
 

Mrsheeny

Old-Salt
Fair one and wasn't seeking to have a go. However, I think my point was that good money can also be made with more generic quals as well - it depends on the sector. I know it helped me a lot when leaving to think quite broadly at first rather than be too specific, as that can be very limiting when initially stepping outside the mob.
I didn’t think you were having a go and yes I agree, even with generic quals you can still make money.

The only thing I’d say to the OP who’s been in the mob all his life is :

‘Companies/bosses will only pay you what they can get away with paying you’ and even if the money starts off good they’ll find a way of making the targets harder to hit and making it harder to make that money. Also, people are full of shi’ite too, you’ll bump into people who have left telling you how great it is and how much money they’ve making and most of the time it’s bollocks. I know one who looks like he’s making a fortune when in reality everything from his Range Rover, house and holiday home is rented and he’s getting debt collectors letters all the time but if you asked how business was he’d tell
you he was flying.

If I were in the OPs shoes I’d stick it out until 22 years at least, albeit maybe a change of cap badge (a change is as good as a break).

Buy a house just after Brexit (they may fall in price) and let it to a company that guarantees your rent so you ain’t chasing after scrotes for unpaid rent and a trashed house.

After 22 years he can do what he wants, there’s a lot less pressure to make top dollar so if he wants to start his own business then there’s a lot less pressure.

Join the Reserves straight from the regulars, even if it’s for a year to see how it is he keeps his rank and keeps his hand in as he may be a little institutionalised, he could do a couple of days a week to supplement his pension whilst he’s building his business up.
 
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Even with usable qualifications, its far harder to get a start than it used to be. The large scale entry of women has changed the environment to one which doesn't really allow you to be yourself and the foreign lads made it difficult to get past first base on the jobs market.

However, I think once our feet are under the table we have the discipline and diligence to outperform most civvies and shifting your focus towards family is also worthwhile, as it gives added purpose to keep you sane in a crazy world.
I disagree; that may have been the case a few years ago, but certainly not my experience of 2019.

All the Service leavers I met on transition workshops and placements this year have all done very well. I'm in my 50s, yet within a month of active job-seeking I got plenty of interviews and within two months three job offers. I've settled in to my current job and enjoying it, but I always have in the back of my mind the advice from the transition workshop facilitator: always keep looking for your next job.

My other advice is not to waste resettlement funding on doing project/programme management training. Unless you have a small firm in your sights, most larger employers will fund programme management training as part of their on-boarding and CPD.

What's it like to be out? No difference, really; there is a bit of corporate Kool-Aid that you still have to drink, and some of the courses involve far too much role-playing with string and post-it notes, otherwise your own time is your own time. No expectation to travel to/from clients on a weekend, or to answer emails after work.
 

Robme

LE
Back in the day, after 3 years of arse ache and crap annuals, I sat down and thought about my options. I had been in 7 years, and had done the courses necessary to be a Sgt. However continued service in my Corps would see me struggling to get my 2nd. Such was my loss of motivation and love of all things green. A major incident saw everything come to a head, so I decided to rebadge (I could of PVR’d but at some personal cost) so I transferred to the Paras. Best thing i ever did, sailed through P Company (Joke, but it certainly re-energised my motivation), my annuals were spot on with comments such as I don’t know who his last OC was talking about but I don’t recognise that soldier, replacing lack motivation etc etc. 3 more years later, post Falklands, and I was offered the mother and father of opportunities that I had ever seen or even knew existed. From then on I never once got out of bed, hating the day ahead. And the Army rewarded me for that Motivation many times over.
My Advice to you is that there is a whole lot more that life in the Armed Forces has to offer the commitment that you could give. Speak to your mates and anybody who you respect, but I wouldn’t leave. Life outside what you have today is nothing like what the forces give you, and often with little opportunity to do anything about it.
Assuming that you will be around 40 when you reach your 22, that is still young enough to build a second career. Post Green stuff, I went to University and obtained a couple of degrees (not that many fellow Arrsers would believe that), planing to be a Solicitor but ended up as a civil engineer. I found that employers were impressed with my life story and career path, particularly as many spoke of pulling yourself up by the boot straps.
Strikes me you have reached a hiatus in your life as a Tom, which all it really needs is some hands to lift you up, stick you on the shoulders of giants, and see that life need not be as ‘trapped’ as you may currently be thinking?
 
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I disagree; that may have been the case a few years ago, but certainly not my experience of 2019.

All the Service leavers I met on transition workshops and placements this year have all done very well. I'm in my 50s, yet within a month of active job-seeking I got plenty of interviews and within two months three job offers. I've settled in to my current job and enjoying it, but I always have in the back of my mind the advice from the transition workshop facilitator: always keep looking for your next job.

My other advice is not to waste resettlement funding on doing project/programme management training. Unless you have a small firm in your sights, most larger employers will fund programme management training as part of their on-boarding and CPD.

What's it like to be out? No difference, really; there is a bit of corporate Kool-Aid that you still have to drink, and some of the courses involve far too much role-playing with string and post-it notes, otherwise your own time is your own time. No expectation to travel to/from clients on a weekend, or to answer emails after work.
I don't disagree with your arguments, but many soldiers do 5-9 years and not everybody lives in a part of the country where these jobs are available... Certainly, if your willing then travel will net a job.
 

Jammy66

War Hero
I wouldn't leave a secure job right now. I can quite easily see us facing another severe recession in the coming year or two especially if we Brexit. Boris Johnson's main financial backer has a bet on a number of major UK companies failing post Brexit.

Who knows what will or won't happen. If Labour get in and Brexit doesn't happen, we are told that all the wealthy people will emigrate and that will crash the economy too.

You can be pretty sure whatever government we get they won't be cutting Army numbers for a while.......
 
When it comes to looking for a job these days (be that sooner or later) your CV and interview technique have to be flawless and confidently presented, and that holds true for quite junior or entry level posts as well.

Now this may not be true for all jobs, I haven't strayed beyond my field to be certain, but from what I hear it does apply to many roles. Make sure you find someone who really knows what they are talking about for help on this, even to the extent of interview practice sessions. These are not things to try and wing or bluff your way past.
 
Just want to say thank you to everyone who has said there view or gave advise. Didnt think there would be that much traffic on this site means alot.


Just more meat to the bone I have been doing RA logistics for 12 years.

Looking at going into that sort of sector as such.
 
A further thought. Whatever you do in life, you will only really succeed if you give it your everything. And to do that, you have to be happy about every aspect of your job. The moment you start crushing for the pension, you’ve really stopped achieving. It’s time to do something new! That could be study or creating a “side hustle” business whilst you’re still in uniform, but don’t just cruise.

if you have an idea of what you want to do when you leave, start reaching out to people who are already doing it. Get on LinkedIn and connect with people in the industry and ask them for help or advice. The ex-services network is global and usually only to ready to help leavers with ambition. Reach beyond your peers and contemporaries; find people in the industry who are doing well whatever rank they reached in uniform. If you do this early, it may aid your decision.
 
Something to consider - most of us who left love our careers and have no regrets at leaving; the ones who are telling you to stay I am assuming did their full 22. Its hard out here, but it is what you make it.

And I'm sure a pension at 40 is great, but then again, I'm sure so is finding yourself in a career that you actually enjoy. You only get one shot at life, think of it that way.
 
Thank you for reading this post first time in doing something like this. I am after some help/ advice on a situation.

I am a current serving soldier at the rank of Sgt in the army (just over 12 years in) and been thinking about getting out for about 2 years now. Keep saying to myself just keep going it will get better, next rank it will get better but it doesn't. All that keeps going on in my head is give it ago your still young enough (31) to start a new life on civi street. A part of me cant see myself pushing another 10 years of this. Some people I speak to say do it best decision I made wish I did it sooner. On the flip side you get the grass is not greener stay in. I have spoke to some of my CoC and got the good old stay in off some and others say think you should stay you have a great career ahead but wont force you. I am not sure what am after from this post or even if this will help but hay it's worth a try.

Thanks in advance

Mike
You say that you've done 12 and for the last 2 you've been considering getting out. It's not unusual to get a bit threaders with a job after a fair few years, a bit akin to the 7-year itch in a marriage or relationship.

You've already identified that some people think it's the best decision they've made and others the opposite. It really is an individual thing and what works for others will not necessarily work for you. You've also stated that you're not sure what you are after and have come asking for advice. From that I would say that you are not yet ready to leave. If you were you'd have made up your mind, which after two years you haven't done, and started the ball rolling.

Just more meat to the bone I have been doing RA logistics for 12 years.

Looking at going into that sort of sector as such.
What is it that's pissing you off? Is it the nature of the job itself or just doing it wearing green?

I would suggest that before you make that leap and sign off, formulate a plan. Do some research about the roles available in civvy strasse and how much they pay. Look at the qualifications and experience that's required to put you on a similar or better financial footing than you're currently on. Look at how much those jobs are paying compared to what you're currently earning and the hours you are going to have to put in to make that money.

Do the qualifications that you've gained in the army equate to civvy ones and are they recognised in the same way because unless you 'know someone who will give you a job' (a claim made by so many who leave the forces) you are going to have to go through the same recruitment process as everybody else and that means getting past the employment gatekeepers, i.e. the recruitment agencies and HR departments, before you ever get anywhere near an interview. If you don't have the right CV, and the qualifications to put on it, you're up against it from the start. If you don't have formal, civilian recognised qualifications it may be worth investing time (and the army's money) in getting some completed, or at least half-way finished, before putting your notice in, particularly qualifications at the higher levels, plus membership of a professional institute.

You say that you are looking at going into that sort of sector (logistics) but that doesn't convince me that you are sure it's what you want to do and sort of chimes with the uncertainty you appear to have over whether you are ready to leave. It's a bit of a step leaving the mob when you don't really know what direction you want to go in and the danger is you could drift along not doing what you really want to do but also not knowing what you want to do. I have a feeling that most people that leave the army (RN/RAF) at the mid-point and are successful in their new career become so because they have a clear idea of their goals and ambitions at the time they make that decision to leave.

<SNIP>
My personal observation:
Those who leave mid-career tend to be better go-getters and more successful (personally, not necessarily financially) than the full-termers. The reason? Perhaps because they have the hunger for it, or maybe because they have a young family or no pension to fall back on, I don't know.

The 22yr+ type that are going for jobs, are in my experience of interviewing plenty, just looking for that job that pays enough with their pension to get by until they really retire. There doesn't seem to be that hunger or drive to succeed like a 10 yearer, for example.
I can understand that. Fewer years to go before retirement and a second income doesn't provide the same incentive that those with no second income and longer to go before retirement have. Especially where a younger family and larger mortgage might be an area of concern.

I was made redundant earlier in the year from my job as an Electrical Project Engineer. I am not driven by money and fortunately my pension and savings has seen me through so far. I am not sucking on the tax-payers' teat by claiming benefits. Even if I did I wouldn't receive any.

I have been quite selective in the jobs I have applied for and have had a number of interviews but for one reason or another haven't found the role that I want to go into. I'm not really feeling the love for what I've done in the past. I'm looking for a total change in career direction and am prepared to start on the bottom rung of the ladder, on a lower salary, and gain experience and qualifications along the way for the type of job that will reinvigorate and keep me interested until retirement. The thing that is counting against me is my age and despite the fact that it is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of age we all know it happens.

When it comes to looking for a job these days (be that sooner or later) your CV and interview technique have to be flawless and confidently presented, and that holds true for quite junior or entry level posts as well.

Now this may not be true for all jobs, I haven't strayed beyond my field to be certain, but from what I hear it does apply to many roles. Make sure you find someone who really knows what they are talking about for help on this, even to the extent of interview practice sessions. These are not things to try and wing or bluff your way past.
When I first left the mob I was advised to apply for jobs, even ones I had no intention of accepting were they to be offered, as a way of practising interview technique. That way there is none of the false confidence you get from a practise or rehearsal interview with friends or family or even a CTP workshop. After half a dozen or so real-life interviews you get a good idea of how the interviews are going to go, the sorts of questions that are likely to be asked and the best way of answering them. Basically what works and what doesn't so that by the time you apply for the job you really want you are as well prepared as possible. That doesn't mean you will be a shoe-in for the job, just that you will have more experience of what to expect, less nervous and apprehensive and be more relaxed when the role you are applying for is something you actually want. It makes it easier to come across more naturally and confident. You still need to do the prior background research and preparation for the interview and most companies will only shortlist three or four people at the most so you're always going to be up against stiff competition.

Different companies have different abilities when it comes to conducting interviews. Some know exactly what they want and how to interview and others haven't got a clue. Don't forget, the interview is a two-way process and not only have you got to sell yourself and impress the hiring manager / human remains, but they have got to sell the job and company to you. That means they have to offer the right salary and T&Cs to tempt the right candidate, someone who's not going to walk away when a better offer comes in. Especially so as it isn't cheap to bring in a new hire.

From ACAS - Replacing an employee costs £30,000, report says, From HR Review - It costs over £30K to replace a staff member, From Quarsh - The True Cost of Recruitment
 
When I first left the mob I was advised to apply for jobs, even ones I had no intention of accepting were they to be offered, as a way of practising interview technique. That way there is none of the false confidence you get from a practise or rehearsal interview with friends or family or even a CTP workshop. After half a dozen or so real-life interviews you get a good idea of how the interviews are going to go, the sorts of questions that are likely to be asked and the best way of answering them. Basically what works and what doesn't so that by the time you apply for the job you really want you are as well prepared as possible. That doesn't mean you will be a shoe-in for the job, just that you will have more experience of what to expect, less nervous and apprehensive and be more relaxed when the role you are applying for is something you actually want. It makes it easier to come across more naturally and confident. You still need to do the prior background research and preparation for the interview and most companies will only shortlist three or four people at the most so you're always going to be up against stiff competition.
Very sage advice. No one can underestimate the value of good interview experience.

Different companies have different abilities when it comes to conducting interviews. Some know exactly what they want and how to interview and others haven't got a clue. Don't forget, the interview is a two-way process and not only have you got to sell yourself and impress the hiring manager / human remains, but they have got to sell the job and company to you. That means they have to offer the right salary and T&Cs to tempt the right candidate, someone who's not going to walk away when a better offer comes in. Especially so as it isn't cheap to bring in a new hire.
Very true. I applied for and attended two interviews for a large UK company for a brand new role.
The initial interview was with the potential boss and the supply chain manager. I quite liked the old boy, recently Ex-RAF, and laid out exactly what he was after but was more vague with the details of the role.

Second interview was with his boss. She spent the first 10 minutes going through her resume. When she finally got around to the vacancy, it felt like she was talking about a completely different role.

I was getting mixed signals and left not knowing exactly what they were after. I called their HR rep a few days later and withdrew my application.

The job was advertised again a few weeks later (mid March) under a slightly different description and job name. Strangely I saw it appeared again a few days ago, but again in a slightly different job role. The job now feels toxic and I feel I missed a bad 'un.
 
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