Have you planned for this weekend?
If the answer to the title is YES, Brilliant but please read on anyway. Next question, Have you planned for the day after you leave the military? I didnt, well not properly anyway.
I regularly deliver a brief/talk about managing expectations to those about to leave the Military. Admittedly its to mainly Army personnel with the occassional RAF and so far nil RN (That tells a story in itself in my opinion). The brief is a jaw dropper for the majority due to the fact its life true and relatable.
Below is an overview of the brief:
Individual/ YOU Join Military - Often with zero Civilian experience and becomes a RECRUIT at 18?
I am using 18 year old as a recruit starter helps with figures.
Recruit = ££ Salary. with a starting well above UK minimum wage
HOW MUCH do they earn?
Taken from the 19/2020 pay scales published above.
Recruits (in initial training); £15,671 a year
Experience = Promotion more responsibility more knowledge.
Promotion = £ Salary. Not in line with Civilian role (Higher) ie 'SGT' lower scale range £35,151 - £39,114
You Complete the 22 year career. Lived the dream!!:
22 Years = Retire = Lump Sum = immediate pension = life of luxury !!?? (AFPS 75, there are now pension changes i know).
You have completed a full and rewarding career gaining valuable experience in the Military and slim to nil Civvy experience. Only then to be given advice from a text book or the local knowledge from an advisor who is in a civil servant role (Salaried). This is covered in a very short time usually. It was in my experience anyway.
Then there comes a series of events. Job search for that £40k a year job with all the benefits, Company car, Loads of holidays, discount schemes and every weekend off, because YOU can live on your pension and the 'Lumper' will last ages.
Barrier = CV Fail. Due to lack of civilian qualifications and or expereince
Issues arrising: In the mean time a few weeks/ months have passed due to the 'Dream 2nd career/job' not happening :
You need to Register with a Doctor never done before ? Regiseter with the Dentist yep! Then Bills. Council tax, water rates,gas, electric, electoral role.
Your money and time are now being spent on training courses to re learn what you have already learnt in the military (jargon free training with new Three letter abbreviations). All this as mentioned takes time and Money whilst eating into your LUMP SUM and your pension. This leads to frustration within your family.
Why frustration: Well. When most depart their military career they do three things.
- Pay off mortgage or place a huge deposit on a house
- Go on that 10 day expensive holiday and have a blast.
- All debts or buy a new car. (one or the other, sometime both)
Training for Jobs is great, however there is time and money to be taken into account. If you are on a training course as a civvy you are not in work. Not in work means no pay. no pay means wishing you had not paid such a large amount off the house, or kept with the perfectly fine car. Then comes the easy options. Join the Reserves, apply for that amazing job on the gates local to your home.
There are many soldiers on the streets or in CRAP jobs (in my opinion to be honest), regardless of rank achieved. Who have been out a short while, split from the family due to lack of funds and debt as a result of mistakes made by "Planning for this weekend".
I have been working tirelessly for almost 10 years to help with advice, guidance and Compressed training courses, I studied and became qualified in Recognition of Prior learning and Education and Training and have the ability and the accreditation to help any veteran who contacts us. Not a charity but have access to funding to help. it needs to be in the early stages. My company will do what it can to help you. There are now approx 14000 per year leving the Armed forces. I will tell you the truth. trust me its from experience. If i was a betting man i would bet that many who have read all this will understand the journey i have detailed above. Dont jump on the same band wagoin guys. your better than that !!
Finally, Have a great weekend !!