Preparing to Become a Civie

Discussion in 'Diamond Lil's' started by slim, Jun 12, 2007.

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  1. It seems from some posts recently that some are finding it difficult to plan for the transition from matelot to civie. Hopefully the information below may be helpful.

    Preparing for Civvie Street

    When Should I start?
    From your joining date ideally you should be preparing for life as a civilian. Of course very few do this.

    What can I do?
    Whichever trade you are in will have some elements which are useful to civilian employers. Try and identify these elements and build on them.
    Look at the local evening college prospectus and try to determine any civilian qualifications worth pursuing. Those in the electrical branches will definitely enhance their prospects by completing C&G 2381 (16th Edition). Don't forget everyone has an educational allowance which can be used to offset some of the course costs. There will be other courses suitable for other trades.

    No matter which branch by the time you have reached leading hand or above you will have gained supervisory skills and possibly administration skills. Don't think that because you are in a certain branch you have to remain in that line of work for ever. Think laterally, try and identify all skills that you have acquired during your service time.

    Use your education officer. If he doesn't know he should be able to find out. Use the resettlement service, do as many courses as you can manage during your final; two years.

    Work on your c.v.
    Try and identify the civilian elements of your job and word your c.v. accordingly, a prospective employee (unless his is naval orientated business) will not know what a seaman specialist or writer actually does. A good c.v. is the thing which opens doors to interview, make sure it is well presented, no spelling mistakes and concise.

    The Interview
    You're ex RN so it stands to reason that you will be on time, well dressed and clean. Try to speak clearly, answer questions truthfully and remember to do a bit of homework on the company.

    Not many employers offer a company house so ideally start thinking about housing yourself and your family at an early stage in your career. If you intend moving back to your original area make sure that you get your details put on the council waiting list at the earliest opportunity. If you can afford to buy, then buy as soon as possible. House prices are rising far more quickly than wages.

    Please feel free to add to this list of tips.
  2. When choosing your new direction don't be afraid to be radical, just because you haven't done it before doesn't mean you can't do it.

    Definitely puss any supervisory/management/admininstrative experience you have, many companies do not train for this so people with training and expoerience can be very desirable.

    Interview them as well, do they do in house training, do they support external training. If it is basic with some form of bonus what percentage make the 'target', and how long do they expect a new start to take to be able to make the 'target'.

    Be careful about small to medium sized family run companies, blood is thicker etc and old friends will always take precedence.
  3. All good points and tips Slim..I found that the C.V. thing was most important.
    But be prepared to send out many job applications and only recieve very few replies!! Some companies don't even bother to say on yer bike!!
    Was told it was dog eat dog when I left in '88 and it sure was, but then I had never worked (as such) in civvie street, joined from school, so was all new to me. A real eye-opener I can tell you!.....
  4. Great advice on the family run business Peter. i worked for a family owned business in Henley on Thames for about 9 months. Nepotism ruled.
  5. I was a Scribe and left the mob in '82. It's useful to identify some civvy association/profession that you might want to be apart of in the future.

    For example - for writers - is a good place to start as a means of transition into civvy accounting. This can lead to higher qualifications if you so wish to pursue such as Chartered Accountancy to specialise in corporate accounting/private accounting.

    To give you a further idea and example, the AAT is very active in Hong Kong so you would be part of a global membership to broaden your horizons so to speak should you wish to work abroad.

    Never underestimate the power of your CV (mentioned above) - especially translating it from pusser speak to civvy speak. I'm sure there are plenty of members here who could help you with the translation with your particular branch.

    You would be lucky and very fortunate if your future employer was an ex-pusser so expect blank looks on their face at an interview if you keep the pusser jargon on your CV.

    Hope this helps.

  6. One of the biggest helps I found was mates & family keeping their eyes and ears open for me, I've had four jobs since leaving the mob and three of those were leads from friends. So don't be afraid to ask about to see if anyone knows of any jobs going.

    The offshore industry is looking for people a lot nowadays as the workforce on the rigs is getting on a bit, I think the average age at the moment is about 55. Worth taking a look at, I currently work in the industry, there's slots going for all sorts of trades, mechies, greenies, writers, cooks, stewards.

    Hope this helps
  7. Ther certainly seem to be plenty of jobs at the moment and if you are prepared to put the effort in the money is good too. Mind you most of the people I have knopwn who have done it dont stay at it too long, work hard get a pile of cash and then find smething that gives you a home life.
  8. the_matelot

    the_matelot War Hero Moderator

    Don't think that if you get computer qualifications like MCSE or CCNA that you're going to walk into a job on £30k a year.

    Companies are getting inundated with people with 'paper qualifications'. They may get you the interview but you'll soon get found out if you've got no practical experience other than doing a boot camp.
  9. The same applies to NEBOSH certificates in H&S, despite what the training providers tell you, it is only the bottom rung of the H&S ladder
  10. I think to be fair this applies to any course you can do without having worked in the envionment it supposedly qualifies you for. There do seem to be a lot of them arround preying on the redundant and giving them something to splash part of the pay off on. I would only go for one of these courses if I either had a good offer of a job that I trusted, or the company could prove to me they were good at placing their students.

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