REME, The after life

#1
While in the service, there was always this uncertainty about leaving the "comforts and security " of the army and venturing into the unchartered waters of civillian life. Very ,very rarely did we get to meet up with some of our mates who had taken the leap into Civvy Street. The was very little feed back on the transition. Some of us delayed those fears by constantly signing on.
It would be interesting to hear first hand accounts of how ex REME bods managed to bridge that gap, if only for the benefit of those still serving.
 
#2
If you want to know what we all do once we get out, come to the Army Navy game. That is the place to catch up with all those like me who are now on the dark-side.

The best advice I can give some-one is make sure that if you sign up with an Employmnet Agency they understand what it is you do/have doone and what job you are looking for.

Left in March 01, now working in my 3rd job since leaving (almost treated it like a posting) and loving it.
 
#3
Employement agencies are a waste of time. They will only bother with you if you are in a position to earn their cut from you.
In my experience they ring you up, give you the big sell on how the employer is looking for someone of your ability, tell you you are more than qualified. They forward your CV to the employer, then if your not selected for the next stage they just give up on you. At this stage they will not be getting any money out of you, so why should they bother. There have been times when I have waited to be called for the 'dream job' only to phone the agency and be told the position has been filled.

IMHO agencies are not worth it!

I got my job by trawling the industry magazine job section.

I am de-kitting this morning, so will let you know how life is on the other side in the very near future.

All the best!
 
#4
SuperWhiteArmy said:
Employement agencies are a waste of time. They will only bother with you if you are in a position to earn their cut from you.
In my experience they ring you up, give you the big sell on how the employer is looking for someone of your ability, tell you you are more than qualified. They forward your CV to the employer, then if your not selected for the next stage they just give up on you. At this stage they will not be getting any money out of you, so why should they bother. There have been times when I have waited to be called for the 'dream job' only to phone the agency and be told the position has been filled.

IMHO agencies are not worth it!

I got my job by trawling the industry magazine job section.

I am de-kitting this morning, so will let you know how life is on the other side in the very near future.

All the best!
I hope you handed in the shreddies, the red and white PT shirts and the blue PT shorts. Otherwise, you would be depriving some poor new kid of those invaluable accessories!

Litotes
 
#5
I was diffy

2x blue pt shorts
2 x long johns
1 x japanese fighting suit

I did hand in the red & white pt vest, been in my sausage bag for the last 22 years! :cyclopsani:

Though I was sad to see the barrack dress trousers slung into the hopper :frustrated:
 
#6
Keep everyone posted how you get on Superwhite, I'm about to make the transition myself.
Did you find you got naff all help from those above??
I had to get hands on (as I should I suppose) to get anything cos the CoC washes their hands.
 
#7
Turn your back on the Army completely for the first 3 years at least. This will help you think like a civvy and be prepared for the unbelievable amount of backstabbing. Loyalty is virtually non-existent. Get a house while you are still serving and if pos get rid of the mortgage early.
Get all of your medical and dental problems sorted out before leaving, the NHS is very overstretched and you don't want to be taking annual holiday just to visit a hospital.
Get a job that you can enjoy doing, just cos you've left as an ASM doesn't mean you have to try for the hyper responsibility market. There is no rank in civvy street.
Last but not least, start taking anything that isn't nailed down.
TB
 
#8
have an open mind when you come out and don,t be afraid to try something you,ve got no experience in,most squaddies are versatile enough to throw their hand at anything.get on the property ladder asap preferably when still in and look after number one because as tytus has said theres a lot of back stabbing,your sense of humour will come in handy as well! :frustrated:
 
#9
SuperWhiteArmy said:
I was diffy

2x blue pt shorts
2 x long johns
1 x japanese fighting suit

I did hand in the red & white pt vest, been in my sausage bag for the last 22 years! :cyclopsani:

Though I was sad to see the barrack dress trousers slung into the hopper :frustrated:
Ah but I bet you didn't have puttees to hand in? yes those were the days. I am dekitting now but only have to hand in webbing, helmet and body armour.

I could fill up this entire page with advice for service leavers but everyone has different priorities so I'll just generalise for the time being.

Assuming your going out to civ div at trade your first priority is to get your qualifications squared away - start this at the 7 year to go point (I aint kidding either) This should allow enough time even for those who wish to study a degree. Make sure you take full advantage of the education allowances - speak to a good clerk who knows the score. The quals will get you in the door only but from experience you receive alot more job offers as usually it is used by personnel departments as the first filtering stage.

Your next stage is to lay the foundations for a good financial plan targeted at leaving - this might involve buying a house, investing money or similar. You will develop this regularly up till the time you leave and as new details emerge.

Develop your CV by stealing best practice from others - the net is a fantastic resource - make sure you get rid of all "military speak". Once your happy with it push it out on the net to job agencies just to give you more feedback on it. Dont expect job offers to come rolling in because they wont. Do this as early as possible.

Do not underestimate the power of networking. I got my dream job this way despite being highly qualified. Make sure you stay in touch with all your old mates whether still in and particularly if they have already left. Their information is priceless and could stop you making the same mistakes as they did (some at great expense I may add).

Turn your back on high profile jobs in your last 2 years (if you can) you really need this time to concentrate on YOU your future and your family.
Better if you have a good boss.

Ive been through this loop twice now so have honed it pretty well - If you need to drill into the detail on any aspect of the above then you are more than welcome to PM me. More than happy to help out anyone finding the experience daunting and make no mistake it is a big change.
 
#10
Bertha,

Well put fella.

I had the nowse a few years back to look at I wanted to do when I got out. A good tip is to look at the jobs you want to do and see what qualifications they are after. I did this and tailored my resettlement/NVQs towards these.

I had 3 job interviews just after the new year and got offered 2 of them. I had a difficult time deciding which as they both cancelled themselves out in terms of pro's and con's, however I think I have chosen the right one.

Luckily I got into the housing market over 12 years ago so atleast I don't have to worry about that.

I have met a few quite senior SNCO who with only a few years to do filling out their application for council housing which is quite worrying.
 
#11
I had always promised that after demob I would lazy around for about 4 months. After that break I went job seeking, my first job was with an industrial company manufacturing plastic goods. That job lasted 12 hours before I jacked it it. Next I answered an advert from a company operating a small fleet of vehicles who wanted a "diesel mechanic". That job lasted 20 minutes before I took up may tool kit and walked out. Two more applications followed. One Manager advised me , not to be any body's grease monkey for a few attractive dollars, as my REME and other qualifications and experience should land me in a better position. He did give me a contact at a Power Station,where was I told the same thing.You can do better.By the way the Power Station guy said, "Do you know we operate a relatively large transport fleet at our other location, why not apply there?"
I applied , there was no vacancy, but as the imcumbent was due to retire in a couple of years, a position was created for me, with a very attractive package.
This year I'll be celebrating some 28 years with this company, doing a job which is the equivalent combination of an ASM and an MTO.
I left the REME a VMB Class 1. What I've learned ,is never to sell yourself short. The REME training is more valuable than many of us have credited it with.
 
#12
Hi all

What i did was get a job as an expat in the oil industry working in North Africa. Went on a 6 month contract and it lasted 11 years, met quite a few ex service people in all different jobs in different locations around the desert. :thumright:
 
#13
chelsea63 said:
Hi all

What i did was get a job as an expat in the oil industry working in North Africa. Went on a 6 month contract and it lasted 11 years, met quite a few ex service people in all different jobs in different locations around the desert. :thumright:
Chelsea check your PMs
 
#14
I have found it tough, the Army have not helped at all, though i never thought they would. You will only ever be a good bar story!!! im looking for something in Norfolk had no luck yet.
 
#15
Mr Befeater,
Im no employment guru but if you want any good websites for jobs pm me. I have a decent VM cv if you want to use it, it has got me 5 interviews in the last 3 months. What is it you want to do?

Norfolk is a bit a bit different mind, however if you are prepared to commute, jobs are out there.

Good luck fella!
 
#16
My advice to anyone venturing into civvy street is to strive to get off the shop floor. They are openings for Workshop Managers /Foremen etc. and if you have been or are an NCO in REME, you are well on your way . My last two postings provided valuable training and exposure in the transport discipline. I was out on a limb as a Cpl in charge of the attached REME of a Field Ambulance unit.I had to learn to make decisions. Prior to that I spent 3 years with a RCT Squadron often as a Troop Fitter . I often thank my lucky stars that I was never posted to a Field Workshop, except an Aircraft one , which in all intents and purposes , we acted as "REME Attached to REME"
 
#17
Some good advice floating about here.

I retired after 22 years in January 1995, ex Infantry/RD W.O2.
Two months prior to my discharge date I did my resettlement course. Unlike the majority of REME personnel, I had no technical skills. Not much call for 'Tarmac Technicians' in Civvy Strasse!

The course I chose was 'Health, Safety and Environmental Management' which was carried out over a four week period at Plymouth College, and on completion of the course and examinations got me a diploma in supervisory management and the NEBOSH General Certificate. I was then eligible to join the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in the Associate grade. The next thing was to find a job, armed with my new qualifications and scant practical safety experience!

On one of my resettlement briefings, a bloke told us to go on the dole for six months, and join the 'Job Club' at the local employment centre, as he so rightly said, finding a job is a full time job itself!

I did just that, attending the job club every morning, from 0830 through to 1400. At the job club, in the days of snail mail, we had free postage stamps and stationary to send off applications, help and advice with CV's and someone there to type them up, practical forums on interview techniques, access to all the local and national newspapers when their 'Appointments' issues came out, guest speakers on a variety of job seeking topics, and all the support and guidance we needed. I also met and made some mates in the civvy community.

During this time, I was applying for HSE jobs, and getting a lot of interviews, then.....nothing! Feeling frustrated at this, I asked myself ...why? During a group discussion it came out that I still acted and spoke like a CSM. Solution, get something as far from the military mind as possible.

I signed up with a construction labour agency as a temporary labourer. I had a great time, started in spring and worked on through the summer all over Hampshire on a wide variety of projects.

'Hat, dig a hole here. Hat, put the kettle on mate. Hat, just clean up this debris and put it in the skip."

Marvellous, no decisions to make, no reports to write, just a bit of gentle micky taking because I used to turn up for work with polished boots every morning!

As autumn approached, and I still hadn't got an HSE job, I answered an advert for....yup...the dreaded Security work. It was paying three quid an hour more than labouring! So I donned the plastic plod uniform and patrolled the premises of IBM Head Office at Winchester. By October I was getting very depressed. I must have sent out over 200 applications, attended numerous interviews, but then it happened. I attended an interview at Fawley oil refinery with a mechanical engineering company who had the maint contract, and that afternoon the manager called me back and offered me the position of trainee safety officer. I took it, within three months was promoted to safety officer, working under three senior blokes. In eighteen months, I took over as the company HSE manager.
Three years after arriving at Fawley, I was offered a contract in Dubai, UAE,working for a Brit engineering consultancy constructing a power plant. I pondered long and hard.....for about one pico-second...before I accepted. That was in 1998. Since then I have worked as a contract HSE manager in Dubai, 2 years, Malaysia, 2 years, back to Dubai, 3 years, Abu Dhabi, 15 months, now six months into my second contract in Abu Dhabi.

The separation is hard, but my family like the UAE and come out to visit every time the gold souks have restocked from their previous visit!

Having avoided the taxman all these years, I am in the position to semi-retire in three years time at 55, with the mortgage paid off, and a bit in the bank, and be a van driver for my wife's florestry business!!

So, advice? Listen to the resettlement briefings, use contacts and network, above all persevere in getting into your chosen position, but don't be too proud to do the more menial jobs while you are applying. Oh yes...forgot to add....maintain a sense of humour!!
 
#18
I think The_Hat's post is a good one. it's amazing how bizarre the job market can be.

Sit down and think what skills you have, not just the practical ones but the others you have learnt. A lot of the Management/engineer jobs will be targetted by Graduates straight out of Uni. You need to push the skills that you have that they don't, the teamworking, the practical experience, the background knowledge etc.

There are a huge number of jobs which you can get just because of the experience you have, let alone the skills you have on paper....if you are willing to sell your soul to big business then you have BAE, QinetiQ, Westlands and a whole host of other Defense contractors who don't have enough ex-military in them.

Also as The_Hat says the old boy network is worthwhile....personally I wouldn't give you a job because you are ex-REME but I will give you an interview which is the first step (generous aren't I).

Also remember that perseverance is key, I was lucky, but I have had friends with PhDs who have spent years searching for the right job.....just remember the job is a means of earning money to allow you to do what you want in your real life......so anything is better than nothing.

S_R
 
#19
With 6 years left now, i have started to look into the job market i start night courses for my NEBOSH General Certificate, and then on from there, also day release for maths and english. Ive owned a house for the past 8 years so no problems there.
But and i say But im still not sure what to do, so im just filling the time with courses at the mo, i would sujest to any one star as soon as possible.
 
#20
If you can get into it checkout the Computer Industry. You will need to re-skill at a few levels but form someone who has worked within it at various levels there is one skill that it is devoid of.
COMMON SENSE. Not something to put on the cv though
 

Similar threads


Latest Threads

Top