Officers leaving the Army - What do you do now? Advice Plse!

Discussion in 'Jobs (Discussion)' started by hurryupandwait, Jun 16, 2005.

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  1. After having spent five enjoyable years serving the Colours, I have decided to call it a day, but I am having difficulty in finding a job to go to!
    As a mid-20's officer with a good 2:1 degree, RMAS on my CV, various Op Tours and served in a variety of jobs, I feel I have a lot to offer a good company, but I am stuck in a rut at the moment.

    Having spent a good few weeks looking in the papers, internet etc, I am finding it hard to find a job that:

    1. Would offer me a similar wage package (although I know that I would probably drop a few K).

    2. Would give a me a good management / responsibility position (middle-management for example).

    Basically, I feel that I have five years management (leadership?)experience, although it is hard to say whether civvy street would see this in the way I see it. I could leave, join a graduate programme, but take a 50% pay cut and start at the bottom of the rung again.

    So, really, I am asking for advice from ex-officers for how to progress, what jobs they do now (or would specifically suit the skills officers could bring to civvy life) and how they managed to bridge that gap from military to civvy life. Many thanks!
  2. You could easily leave and increase your wage by 50%. It all depends on what you want to do and what you have to offer. What other qualifications do you hold?

    Don't sell yourself short.
  3. I'll offer a radical possibility, one in which your skills and experience would count for a lot.

    Thought about teaching? Management skills etc are valuable. You would start at the bottom professionally, but not at the bottom of the salary scale. How far you would go would depend on your ability/competence etc. I've been teaching for 34 years and have worked with Headteachers of all sorts, including one who was a total bully. My present Head is a real born leader and runs a school that is so good that I shall stay here till I retire - he was a PARA officer. Your potential maximum salary would be about £26k if you never get promoted to something like £90k as Head of one of the biggest secondary schools.

    Also, some schools have CCF contingents and you would be welcomed in that direction too. Most are in public schools, but there are some like mine that operate in the real world of state secondary schools. I've only been a CCF officer, sorry, CCF "officer" for about three years, and like many would welcome the kind of help someone like you could offer.

    Might seem an odd idea, but don't discount it.
  4. Apparently there is a new vacancy as a security consultant at RMAS. Try applying for that :) :)
  5. comes with a free uniform.
  6. 9 GCSE's (all A-C) and 3 A-Levels (BBC), including 2 languages (French / German)!

    I would like to go into some sort of management role. The thing that gets me is when you read an ad in the paper and it says something along the lines of: 'The candidate will need at least five years experience in HR management within a recognised organisation........' Well, to me, the British Army IS a very large organisation and I have done more HR management as a Pl Comd and various other jobs than your local social worker! I don't know whether a company wouldn't even look at the CV as all the management was not within a Civvy St organisation? Maybe I am way off the mark, but I hope you can see where I am coming from.
  7. Abeaumont, thanks for the advice. I have definitely considered teaching, but as my degree is in politics, how could I transfer that into teaching? Have looked on the TTL website so would I be able to teach politics or would I have to 'learn' a new skill to teach?
  8. Service level or project management. Bags of money, loads of different projects starting all the time in different industries (but try for either IT, construction or even conservation!). I'm studying for my PRINCE2 certification. Salary so far since leaving, lowest £15 quid an hour, highest £35 an hour, and LOADS of hours!! Try google and type in either 'service level management course' or 'PRINCE2' or 'project management course'. Have a look at these two examples:
  9. So you've got a politics degree? I'll let you into a secret, so have I. I teach science.
    Many of my colleagues teach a subject that is not related to their degree. It does not matter. Remember that a degree means you know a very great deal about a tiny little part of a subject. Teaching requires that your knowledge of a subject area should have great breadth rather than depth. My scientific knowledge is way above A-Level, but the degree is in a small part of politics, mostly government. If you can get a 2.1, then you would have no trouble coping with just about any subject. Don't forget that you have A-Levels in two languages and that alone would make you a very marketable commodity. Languages teachers are hard to recruit.

    Ask yourself what you want to get out of life - and what you want to put into it... If you are interested in getting the most money for the least effort then teaching is not for you, not because of the pay, but because the young people of this country deserve better.

    Please PM me if you want any information etc about the profession.
  10. The real trick is converting your CV into civvy speak.

    2 years as a platoon commander may translate into something along the lines of:

    "2 years as senior leader and manager within a diverse and dynamic team of 30. Responsibilities included; meeting challenging training and quality objectives, career management, welfare provision and the integration of the capabilites of my team within much larger organisations (150 and 650 individuals)".

    This may sound like bollocks, but you will need to invest a lot of time/take a lot of advice/pay someone to do it for you to get it right.

    PM me, I have an example floating about somewhere.
  11. I agree with Gunny, Project management is what you do as an Officer all the time, and you do it a damn sight better than most civvies. The main IT PM methodology is PRINCE2 and a Practitioner course takes 15 hrs pre work and 5 days on the course. The Bristol School of Management used to run them and had quite a few ex mil on the courses. The training was provided by Spoce and I was impressed by the standard of instruction. Only about 50% pass first time but you should have no problem.

    I left, a little later than you (33) but went into Project Management and have now progressed into Programme Management. Like most people I can give you lots of advice if you want to choose this route.

    More generally go to join and buy a copy, go through the List and copy down the details of anyone you know, from your Regt/Corps or who do a job or work in a company you are interested in. Call them up and ask for advice and 3 more people you can call. Also ask them if you can send them your CV and ask for advice on it.

    People love giving advice (don't put them under pressure to give you a job, if they like you and they have one available they will ask you for an interview). Very quickly you will build up a network. Keep all their details in a table or spreadsheet. Every month or so redo your CV and email it to everyone in your network asking how things are going and that way you will keep them up to date on your position.

    By following this method someone called me up who had got my CV 4th hand and asked me to go for an interview........the rest is history.

    Please PM me if you want more details
  12. Top tip Human resource management might sound right up your street but in practice HR functions in big firms tend to manage payroll, admin and other ancillary stuff like "diversity". Being a HR professional in and of itself is fine but it has more to do with managing the admin and paperwork of lots of people than it does with the business. HR in a bank has more to do with HR than banking - if you follow.

    I don't think it matters too much what you do as long as you go for a blue chip firm, something to get you outside and that carries weight. I'd look for operational roles (weapons not required) in a big firm that people recognise. Get around your mates who have left recently and ask to follow them around work for a day.

    Alternatively this outfit specialise in placing ex-forces guys:

    Jolly nice chaps.

    One option is to go for the Grad programmes of the big firms, banks and consultancies. You'll be in with a load of recent grads but will have loads more to offer - it's a good "in" and the starting money will probably be 30+ which will keep you in nice shirts. They've probably done their recruitment for the Aug/Sept intake but they'll be thinking about next year soon....

    Good luck
  13. Whilst I know from experience that it is very difficult for many leaving the Army to know what they want to do for a living , and to an expent you need to temper you ambition to match what work is available, it does help if you have a clear idea of where you want to end up. Just like any ops, have a plan and mission. The plan will change, but keep the mission in focus.

    "Management" is very broad and unless you plan to run your own business few jobs at "middle management" level are suitable for people without specific skills or those who are prepared to be "trainees" until they aquire them. As is clear from other posts here management skills of one sort or another are required in many jobs, so I would suggest you might try to focus on what area of work you want to be in.

    Most of the traditional "Chartered" professions offer routes to qualification for graduates with non cognate degrees and accountancy in particular is one of the best stepping stones into senior management positions. As has been said "Prince2" is a good qualification if you want to do project management, well respected. I work in property/construction and RICS membership is the thing to have. When you have a clear idea of where you want to end up then the choices should become clearer.

    There are employers, me included, out there who are clued up about the advantages (and disadvantages) of employing ex servicemen and would welcome more ex service applicants. I have to say that my experience has been that the usual forces ressetlement agencies are much good at finding candidates though, so don't rely too much on them.

    The very best of luck to you.
  14. Gwai, many thanks for the sound advice. Have been looking at the Prince2 qual and it seems like a course catered for the type of day in / day out roles and responsibilities we as Offrs carry out and put into a more civilian context. Project management does sound like a good move, but will research further in the coming days