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Management Positions

Some people think 'management' is just wearing pointy shoes and an Asda suit.
Don't forget poring over the self-help books. I sometimes wondered if I was missing out by not being engrossed in Sun Tzu and the Art of Lean on the train in the morning.
 
Thank you for all the responses , theyve been a lot of help and have decided it would probably be beneficial for me to study for a degree part time whilst in the forces.
A very sensible move to study for a degree.

The posters above have it, but aside from perhaps opening a few doors initially, rank doesn't really matter once you leave the forces as you will quickly be found out if bluffing your case.

In the current climate, there are very few 'free lunches' available and I have seen quite a few leaving the forces who have been surprised at businesses expectations on the individual and the lack of formal training in a lot of tasks expected of you. Those who retired at Lt Col and above may have lost the ability to directly manage without a 'bag carrier' or two which is a luxury a lot of employers cannot afford. Line managers can expect to have to deal with everything from a crying single mum with childcare issues who wants to adjust their hours to building and delivering against a budget. A lot of businesses have stripped out HR so more and more rests on your shoulder as a line manager without any training to provide the background.
 
I have seen quite a few leaving the forces who have been surprised at businesses expectations on the individual and the lack of formal training in a lot of tasks expected of you.
Yep - this surprised me when I joined my first bank - whereas the army trains you for everything, they just said "Achieve this. Let me know if there are problems. Here are the relevant guidelines / rules".
 
I'm lucky enough to be in a fairly senior role nowadays. When meeting with clients my company like to emphasis my Military background as a big plus (I totally agree ;-) ). If the client is ex Mil and they ask what cap badge I was then I know we'll get on. If they ask what rank I was then I know we won't.

Your former rank is irrelevant once you have left.
 
I read somewhere about how ex officers would get offers of well paid management positions simply cause of the leadership skills they developed in the army. I wondered if anyone else has heard of similar positions and if they think a sergeant/ corporal would also be considered for such a position as they too would have had leadership training
It's possible. I ended up in a fairly senior management position, apparently off the back of the leadership skills I gained as a STAB sergeant. Though I work in a very specific field.
 
Tell that to
Wholeheartedly agree; the best investment that you can make.
Tell that to the thousands in mundane jobs if they can get them paying back fees and cost of living debt

Why the clamour for Management

If I could have my time again I would have trained as a Plumber / Electrician / etc when I left the Army

Where I live those in the biggest detached houses are the self employed tradesmen

Archie
 
How will people know if someone is a retired officer or not?
Incidentally, I did come across an ex officer having a swift one in the bar before my wedding. I knew he was one because it was the second thing he said to me after commending me for my well bulled brogues. I didn't have the heart to tell him they were patent leather.
 
Tell that to

Tell that to the thousands in mundane jobs if they can get them paying back fees and cost of living debt

Why the clamour for Management

If I could have my time again I would have trained as a Plumber / Electrician / etc when I left the Army

Where I live those in the biggest detached houses are the self employed tradesmen

Archie

It depends what you study - not much demand for Media Studies, for example; re. your final sentence, I know someone who fits that description and he has the mortgage to match.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Your former rank is irrelevant once you have left.

That was the point I took. As a reservist in a defence-themed employer, most people shrug "oh, you're part-time Navy?" and may be interested in "what I do" or how that could be helpful to our tasks - my lowly rank is of no great interest, even to other reservists.

A newish colleague, I knew was ex-Army (good sort, knows his stuff, helpful) - that he made it to SO1 before joining us, emerged late and almost by accident. He got the job because he was able to shift gears and adapt to the new role environment, at which point his experience and knowledge became a useful asset; not because there's a primrose path from a SO1 post to a civilian Principal Consultant job.
 
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Even compared with a few years ago, there is a wide recognition of the skills that all military service gives, and a lot of the prejudices towards SP (violence, drunkenness, shouty etc) have slowly evaporated.

I'd be interested to know what skills are recognized at more senior positions. For juniors I agree, that they are used to being where they should on time, doing as they are told and not whining to much when they have to do some extra work. It might give them an advantage against civvie peers when working. But I'd expect that as standard for more senior positions in civvie street. What does the ex military have that gives them an advantage when looking at more senior roles (Compared to civvies)

I can’t speak for the other services, but the Army instills both management and leadership skills.
I disagree except at the most junior level, when you are trying to encourage young people with no experience to show what leadership/management skill that they have but have never used.

From then on generally the Army just expands your current skills, good leaders become better leaders and bad leaders become worse.

I think in a lot of ways the Army can set people up to fail and its more apparent the higher up you get when you try for a civvie job.

Years of telling a subordinate to "make it work" rarely translate to civvie street.
As an OC/CO you can be set a task/mission and **** it up, but rescue it because you have a pool of manpower who are paid a set rate to do anything you like, in any conditions. People who paying the wages tend to get arsey in civvie street about that type of thing. Yet the OC/CO can claim he was in charge of 150/650 bods on X-task,

You said at the start of your post "The individual", I reckon that about most of it (once you get past junior ranks/young people). If someone is any good at something they will probably succeed in civvie street or the military, if they are bad at it, they have a better chance of covering it up in the military than in civvie street.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
I'd be interested to know what skills are recognized at more senior positions. For juniors I agree, that they are used to being where they should on time, doing as they are told and not whining to much when they have to do some extra work. It might give them an advantage against civvie peers when working. But I'd expect that as standard for more senior positions in civvie street. What does the ex military have that gives them an advantage when looking at more senior roles (Compared to civvies)


I disagree except at the most junior level, when you are trying to encourage young people with no experience to show what leadership/management skill that they have but have never used.

From then on generally the Army just expands your current skills, good leaders become better leaders and bad leaders become worse.

I think in a lot of ways the Army can set people up to fail and its more apparent the higher up you get when you try for a civvie job.

Years of telling a subordinate to "make it work" rarely translate to civvie street.
As an OC/CO you can be set a task/mission and **** it up, but rescue it because you have a pool of manpower who are paid a set rate to do anything you like, in any conditions. People who paying the wages tend to get arsey in civvie street about that type of thing. Yet the OC/CO can claim he was in charge of 150/650 bods on X-task,

You said at the start of your post "The individual", I reckon that about most of it (once you get past junior ranks/young people). If someone is any good at something they will probably succeed in civvie street or the military, if they are bad at it, they have a better chance of covering it up in the military than in civvie street.
It's certainly the case that your civilian employer only sees a very narrow band of you and your activities - and scores you on them; that's to say, those things you do and say at work during working hours.

In the military, not only are you under greater scrutiny for other behaviours outside work, the context of your work will vary wildly, from active service, to exercise, to normal jogging, to things like AT (remember that?) and other semi-duty stuff.

Dependent upon your employment, the military, or your 1RO, will put varying degrees of emphasis on the various things you do and that way it's possible for someone who's great in the field but an insufferable prick on camp, still to have a worthwhile career; alternatively, a bluffing big timer can make sufficient points where he's comfortable, that his inadequacies elsewhere will be papered over.

In civilian life, while you're necessarily more constrained than in the military and have - usually - to pay more attention to process (and seeking forgiveness rather than permission can be a high-risk strategy), at least it's quite clear against which standards or metrics your performance is being monitored. There's the added bonus, for ex-military types, that even an industrial-grade fuckup will only, in a worst case, leave you being fired, no-one's going to get killed.
 
The difference between management & leadership...

Routine management = efficiently co-ordinating troops, vehicles, guns & hangers-on as part of a company deliberate attack. Bonus points awarded for catching your Brigadier's eye in the debrief.

Genuine leadership = Persuading your ANA company to get out of bed & repurchase their equipment at short notice from the local bazaar & herding them to within 500m of a given grid reference. All while enabling their own officers to take credit. Bonus points awarded for the survival of at least 50% of any suspected Taleban encountered.

Steady promotion & a decent career transition come to those who achieve the former. The most successful post-military careers belong to the small number who somehow, miraculously, achieved the latter.
 
How will people know if someone is a retired officer or not?
On one memorable occasion, some guys workng for me on a project returned from a fraught meeting with a local bigwig and described him to me as being flushed of complexion and red of trouser. They passed me his business card which included at the end of a long list of (gen) post-nominals "TD". A quick google identified him as a retired officer from my own regiment. I'll live the embarrassment down one day.
 

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