Top Tips For Resettlment
What tips would you give for resettlement?
I personally wish I had researched a lot more into civi street and come up with some sort of a plan. I also wasn't aware how to use my learning credits correctly or what exactly I was entitled to. I basically used my last 6 months as free time getting away with as much as I could and dossing about when I should of been doing the complete opposite.
I'd be interested to see what other people done and what advice they would give ?
I was just fixated on leaving to go into the web design and marketing industry so I didn't even think about using ELC.
Don't listen to the lifers who are too scared to leave. They will tell you all the things wrong with civi street because they don't have the skill sets required for outside the forces. Many people I spoke to before getting out just couldn't imagine their life outside the forces and I think they can't comprehend your decision to leave.
Don't Listen To Your Mates Who Have Left
A few of my mates left around the same time as me and I honestly had to call bullsh*t every time I spoke to them. They were finding it hard to adapt, struggling with the pay and not enjoying their job but made it seem like they made the right choice. I nearly made the wrong career path when leaving due to a friend feeding me B.S about where he works. Telling me that his pay is amazing and he's living the life of riley. Turns out his pay was about £400 a month less than he said but wanted me to work where he did.
Research The Job Market
Don't just go on a job site, type in what you want to do then think the pay is amazing. 99% of the time, you will never get the top value pay packet when you first join a business. I started off £7,000 less than what was advertised for my first job on civi street because of a lack of experience. Most companies will exploit the fact you are ex-forces and try to chip away at your starting salary in your interview, especially for an office based role such as web designer. Do your research and try searching in different areas to where you live and find the "average market value" of what your role will be.
I was too eager to sign off! I actually had a civilian employer write a letter requesting my early release and the Army let me leave six months before my actual end date. All sounded gleaming at the time because I was so eager to get out... then fell on my arse!
Wish I took more time and care in planning and preparing for the transition to civvy street!
So I guess my advice would be exactly that - take your time to plan and prepare for the transition from service to civilian. Don't rush it, no matter how eager you may be to leave the forces, be patient.
Like it or not, most civilian employers are hard over on certificated qualifications and less impressed by all the transferable skills that you have. Many international (particularly Middle East) employers will not touch you without a Bachelor's Degree as that is the baseline qualification to go into work in many countries. Often they will not accept years of experience as equivalence and some will reject online / distance learning Degrees as they perceive them to have less value than campus-based programmes.
I would echo the points above, research and network like mad, but above all, get qualified for what you want to be/do.
Use your ELCAS and resettlement grants wisely. There are many training providers who will happily take your money for a course that may not be of great benefit to you entering your desired sector. I was amazed when a rep from BFRS recently told me that only 25% of service leavers use their ELCAS.
I left from a busy staff job at Army Headquarters and in hindsight, remained far too committed to the Army at a time when I should have taken care of my own needs. Planning and preparation is key to success. I took a job overseas as it was the only offer I had received, it was good money, but presented challenges on the family front.
There are a lot of blue chip companies that now have ex-military hiring pipelines; Amazon, JP Chase-Morgan, deLoittes and Black Rock spring to mind. In the healthcare arena, Barchester and Nuffield Health also seem to value ex-military personnel. You may perceive these as ex-officer sport, but don't dismiss them out of hand - keep all options open but with a grounding in reality (if your only qualification is GCSE Woodwork, you are unlikely to make it in investment banking).
If you have not yet signed off, ensure that you really have thought it through and do your homework. Delay your sign-off if you need to - another six months of service while you really get your house in order is better than years of struggle. If you have not networked and do not make use of all the contacts and help that is out there, you really will be on your own once you hand in your ID card and walk out of the front gate for the last time.
Some great advice there, I've heard of a lot of companies training people in qualification's that are not recognised in the respected industry. Veterans Network actually talked about it within close protection in a blog not long ago.
Your point about these big companies is correct. I know several people I served with that our now employed within Amazon or working within the banking industry. Project management seems to be a popular one that is taking off with Veterans.