Finding that well p...

Finding that well paid job as an Ex-Squaddie  


Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 3
20/09/2017 10:12 pm  

If we have served we have all heard those blokes who are adamant that they're gonna get a 40K job working for his dad's mate's cousin, or the bloke who's going to walk into offshore security job earning 100K tax-free!! If I had a quid for every time I heard a young bod telling this great tales I could probably retire!

So... How have people found employment opportunities as an Ex-squad? Do employers REALLY see you and think he's an ex-soldier and he must be a gleaming bloke? Can you be an ex-section commander and walk into a management job based on you leadership credentials alone? 

What is the climate in civvie street for ex-soldiers, are employers really clued up to what we have to offer or is that just something the army tells us about our 'invaluable experience'?

Ex-Army Admin
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 17
21/09/2017 10:37 am  

When I left, I went into an office based role designing websites and marketing them online. I went to one job interview and got the job, not because I was an ex-squaddie with NO experience working in an office environment and NO real experience designing websites on a commercial scale, but because I blagged the crap out of it 😀

The company honestly didn't care about my time in the Army or where I'd been, what I'd done. All they cared about was getting someone in to do the work to a high standard and try to keep my wages as low as possible due to a lack of experience. After 3 months I realised they needed me more than I needed them  and got a job elsewhere. When I went in to quit, they offered me an extra £10k a year to stay. 

I think, it's about what you can provide to a business. A company won't care if you were in charge of 12 privates and told them to do things that your seniors told you to do. All they care about is cost and profit. Lets say they charge £2k for a really basic website and I'm able to bash out 8 a month, that's £192k i'm bringing to the company. That's truly all they care about. Well, in this industry anyways.


For 50ml E Liquid head over to Veteran Vape for exclusive prices for Veterans.

Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 4
23/09/2017 7:05 am  

I've heard these stories also James! 

Personally, I think it's not so much the fact you've been in the Armed Forces is what makes you employable, in fact, far from it. By writing on your CV 'I was in the Armed Forces and I did ally s**t overseas kicking doors in' Doesn't mean jack s**t out here in civvy street. It's the skills you have obtained while serving such as leadership and management skills, public management skills, communication skills, organisation and timing skills, more and more and it's how you word them skill to a potential employer. 

"Can you be an ex-section commander and walk into a management job based on your leadership credentials alone"?  

Nope! not unless you translate and tailor the CV for that specific job. It's how you word things. I couldn't walk up to an employer for a manager job and say 'I led section attacks onto the enemy position', you'd have to say things like 'I am capable of coordinating and instructing members of the team in order to achieve the task at hand'. Something like that.

I've been out for five years and have yet to land a job that has paid £20,000 per year, let alone £40,000 but that's not to say it's impossible. With the right planning and preparation prior to leaving the forces, this kind of salary can be achievable. I've just gone about things the wrong way and now I'm fighting uphill to get back on my feet. 

New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
27/09/2017 1:47 pm  

Your CV can be shit hot I have paid twice to have mine done and it was money down the toilet achieved  nothing I have re written it showing it as an achivemement CV more than a Responsibility CV as the experts keep saying 51 CVs sent away in Sep with 3 replies.

Luck and networking is the way ahead and dont make enemies along the way I have burned a few bridges in 10 yrs and find it hard at times to win contracts.

All the media hipe about veterans PTSD and alike are putting empoyers off taking us on board they dont want some Johnny Rambo in their offices when he gets a flash back.

Jamie R Kennedy
Founder & Co-Director at Veterans Network Admin
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 33
27/09/2017 11:01 pm  
Posted by: misha2202

All the media hipe about veterans PTSD and alike are putting empoyers off taking us on board they dont want some Johnny Rambo in their offices when he gets a flash back.

This is an interesting point raised. I would be interested to hear other veterans views on this. 

Jamie R Kennedy

Andy Hampson
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
09/10/2017 8:12 am  

Getting that great job is a challenge, but one that almost all ex-squaddies are up to.

Ive been out since 1994 and I was lucky to practically fall into an offshore (oil and gas) job that I'm still in to this day, albeit at a much higher position.

My advice would be this:

  • recognize your transferable skills (as per Sam Carter above). Business needs leaders, so getting a team to achieve a task on time (and to budget) is incredibly important. All soldiers have some leadership skills. research the correlation between the skills gained in the forces and the civilian equivalent
  • Get savvy on financials, learn about profit & loss and balance sheets and how what you do can add value (this is a big draw for any employer)
  • be humble, believe me, nobody likes a "Dave Dunnit" and they get pretty sick of hearing "When I was in the Army". I fell foul of this a few times myself.
  • Be proud of your service, but don't lean on it, in the main civvies don't care. Different in the US, here in UK there is a lot of indifference and in some cases a lot of jealousy


Good luck in your job hunting