Service to civillian life easy or not??

Discussion in 'The Afterlife - Resettlement and Jobs' started by stan_the_man, Apr 19, 2008.

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  1. Guys
    Not sure about how to put this without sounding like an anchor faced whimp.
    I left last year after 34 years and I personally am finding it hard to make the break, "Jack dreams" most nights, struggling to find a job and pissed off after every rejection. Would welcome feedback and other ex service experiences. I felt it was time to go but feck do I miss the banter and the mates.
    Not sure if this has been posted before apologies if it has.
  2. Stan, after 34 years I am not at all surprised that you feel so.I was lucky & got working after 3 months.Have you joined any local ex forces association etc.Definitely no wimp -- just a human being.
  3. wow thats a hard question to answer Stan your not a reject not by any means , nobby is right joining ex service organisations is a great way forward. What you have achieved with 34 years is a credit to you and an inspiration to us .
  4. Stan. That brings back memories of my experience in 1975. Walked out of Jago's, negative ID card, after 24 years from age 16. Suddenly realised that I would have to walk round the outside of the Dockyard rather than through it, and felt suddenly bereft. That feeling stayed with me for years, and I still have "Pusser" dreams. I managed to alleviate it a bit by joining the TA, but can only really describe it as being akin to bereavement.
    I too had a hell of a time finding a job - was fixed on staying in the Guzz area, but eventually moved up country to find work, and settled. My No 1s stayed in the wardrobe for years "just in case", but were never worn again.
    Your predicament has brought it all back to me mate, and I wish you well in your endeavours.
    Best wishes,
  5. Like the others have said get in contact with the Regular forces Employment association

    These guys get the jobs before they are put in the papers.

    The employment office is not much use as many of the jobs are low pay or low skill.

    Good luck mate. I left at 52 years old and it took me some time to adjust.

    you will get over the navy in due course....
  6. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I've every sympathy Stan but I haven't shared your experiences, I also haven't really made the break as my wife is still in and I still live and mix with the same people I did when I was in, the only change has been the location of my office.

    I left last month after 25 years, I have a great job with lots of perks, to be honest it's far more than I really expected to get (financially and personally) but I do work hard in a very isolated environment; nobody works for me as such (I employ contractors who are experts in their field to satisfy my clients needs, then I get on at them until they get their job done; I'm a middle man really but the job description is Project Manager) I only meet up with my boss about once a fortnight so work relationships are not existant; I do miss the banter and chats in the crewroom, I don't miss the politics and penny pinching.

    I think it's important to reflect on why I left and put that into perspective, I smile all the time now, my last year or so in the mob consisted mostly of furrowed brow and anger as the next ridiculous statement from some impotent cretin who actually believed he was being constructive was whispered past my ears.

    I chose to leave because I was extremely unhappy with the mob, this is my opportunity to find the person I used to be not reflect on the times I enjoyed in my last job, there were plenty but not recently! I loved my time in the RN, there was a time when I never thought I would leave, I did though and for good reason, I suspect if you really reflect you will come to the same conclusion about your time.

    The job thing is a bugger, getting a decent job has a high element of luck and I think you have to just throw your CV out there and network as much as possible. Personally I don't think much on web based jobsites they did me little good, talk to civvy friends ask if there are any jobs going or about to be advertised in their companies. If you know what you want to do research all of the companies in your area who provide those services, check out their websites for vacancies or cold call with a good CV and covering letter. Getting directly into a companies HR department increases your chances of getting a job by about 80% ( I made that up but it's about right)

    I have a good CV mostly because some good people (some on here) were willing to give up their time and help me sort it out, if you need a good template and layout for a more mature/ experienced type then pm me and you can have a copy. If you are interested in working in the engineering construction industry I may be able to give you some leads depending on where you live and what you are qualified to do, pm me if you are interested.

    Personally I think the best thing I did was break completely from defence and the aviation industries ( I was a WAFU) everything is fresh and new and I have a real interest in everything I do. I'm respected because I have a fresh opinion but I also have a lot to prove because the people I deal with have been in this industry for their entire lives and know what they are doing, I am learning all the time and haven't had too much time to dwell in the past :thumright:

    Sorry for the long post, just wanted to let you know it can be better than your current experience, saying that my old man left the marines after 22 and had a hell of a time. He went through job after job but did settle down very happily after about 5 years. I think the novelty of being able to say feck off and walk away from a job was just too much fun for him.

    Good luck.
  7. how true chief tiff, i came out in 71, when jobs were plentiful, in my first year i had 12 jobs, if someone upset me or said the wrong thing my attitude then was poke it, and by the follwing day i had another job. i couldn't settle down missed all my drinking buddies, the civvies didn't appreciate the dance of the flaming ar** hole, to me it was still great even if i was the only one laughing. but eventually things change, i can't afford the pub so often. i don't have a decent drinking mate. no real comradeship. oh to be 16 again i'd do it all over again.
    best of luck for the future.
  8. Hi Stan,

    It's not easy although it should be! I completely understand. I am going through resettlement at the moment and discovered that it is pretty impossible to find a job when everyone wants industry experience or simply doesn't understand your skills or experience. That's the main reason for starting up a business to help people like you and me! Civvie street needs to wake up to what great people there are in the military and just what they are missing out on! And we need to learn to sell ourselves better too.

    I basically help military leavers from all three Services to match their CV to an appropriate job and do the 'selling' for you. It's all free to military people and all you have to do is send us your CV so that we can hunt for the right sort of employment to match your skills and experience and look in the area of the country/world that you want to resettle. Although the site doesn't go fully live until 1 Sep, we are taking CV's and matching now.

    So if anyone out there is leaving or thinking of leaving, we might be able to help you. We are all Serving or ex-serving military ourselves so understand what you are going through.

    Hope we can help you....

    All the detail is at
    Good luck!
  9. So you have no track record as a pimp? One wonders what you're going to say to potential employers and candidates to demonstrate that you understand the market.

    What have you done, in the service, which makes you attractive as a potential headhunter for me as an employer, or potential pimp for a service leaver looking for a job?

    Look on this as an opportunity to develop your pitch. :D

    It's not up to potential employers to make the effort to understand the skills and experience, it's up to the person trying to find a job to make their skills and experience look credible and valuable to potential employers. Not making the effort to do so significantly restricts the range of employers who will bother to speak to you, probably to those who factor your ELC and pension into any reward package they're going to offer.

    The job market is pretty healthy at the moment, there are enough people around to fill jobs that the civilian environment doesn't need to make any effort whatsoever in doing so.

    Exactly. This is the only really significant point this far. I've worked with a number of service leavers to help them articulate their skills in terms that potential employers understand, and can compare with others in the job market. It's not easy, it takes time and some personal discipline. I've also interviewed a number of ex service people for a range of opportunities. Some make more effort than others, and those who take the view that as ex-service they have some indefinable quality which they can't articulate in civilian terms but makes the decision a no-brainer, are indeed correct; the decision is a no-brainer ;)

    Ex-service personnel do have a lot of good skills and qualities, much broader than they might imagine in the first place, but they need to put some effort into communicating that.

    I wish you every success with your venture.
  10. I have every sympathy. I chose to go before I got really bitter about the service, so it means I can look back and realise that there was a lot about it that I enjoyed. I had a lot of fun in my career, saw things and did things that many can never understand or appreciate.

    I did make the decision to go a while before I did it, and milked everything I could from the system. I spent a lot of time on my CV, really putting a lot of effort into researching the industry I wanted to move into and working out how to articulate my experience in the right way. I managed to get into an excellent firm and whilst I didn't reach my target salary straight away I was able to compensate for that in other ways.

    I got out of the defence game completely, realised from my last two jobs that there are a lot of bitter and twisted people there scrabbling around for what little cash there is. It's just not worth it, I left the service partly because of the lack of budget and the culture that was cultivating, I didn't want to be on the other side of the same fence and experiencing the same frustrations, but with a hefty and unachievable sales target.

    There are many things I miss, but then I think I was missing them in the last couple of years anyway. The service changed over the length of my career, and it wasn't somewhere I wanted to be any more.

    I'm sure you'll find something that suits, but it may take some time.
  11. Hi Karma,

    Yikes! You sound like some of the employers I applied for jobs with! No track record in a particluar industry does not always mean 'no good'! We all start somewhere and often have hidden talent that we only discover by giving it a go! And we have done just that, having first conducted much research and keeping the experts close to us! And after all, the service is free and the proof will be the matching...if we match, then we have succeeded and helped a military leaver find a job! They have nothing to lose and we prove ourselves!

    And as for what makes us attractive and demostrating our understanding, that is easy; we all either have been in the military (working in the HR specialisms and others in order to understand the different sector industries) or are HR specialists with many years experience in recruitment...and we ask our customers! We are also about to become recognsied members of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Federation) which is the recruitment industries' biggest lobbying voice, source of knowledge, monitoring standards etc.

    And no, you are right, it is not up to industry to understand our skills, however sometimes, even making the effort is difficult if you don't know how or perhaps lack confidence. That is where we try to help and do the 'selling' for them.

    Yes, the job market is healthy in some industries, but certainly not in others. Talent in some sectors is highly sought after with shortages in both the construction and engineering industires, along with banking and IT in the City. And let's not forget that not all Service leavers wish to seek full time employment...the contract and interim market is rising and of course there is a need to offer military personnel an insight into self employment too, which again, we can offer assistance with.

    I agree too that communicating your skills is key - Armed Forces World assists with that once a CV is submitted.

    Thank you for your careful response, it is most welcome and I hope to be able to assist some of the RR customers.

    Kind regards,
    Tatty at Armed Forces World
  12. Indeed, but first impressions do count, and having that crucial statement about what benefits you bring is a part of that. What I need to know, from both sides of the pimping relationship, is what you bring that I can't get from someone else.

    What you will find is that many places have well established relationships, and breaking into that can be a challenge, particularly if you've got no sales experience.

    As I would hope ;) no pimp should be charging the individual, the profit comes from charging the potential employer. Again, why spend that money on you? I'm merely prodding you to get your pitch clear :)

    I had a client pitching for some business earlier on, and indeed was pitching for some business myself this morning, it's all about that crucial issue of what's important to the client; cost effectiveness and differentiation.

    In that I'd disagree, and did get my fingers burned on this particular point. If you do present a candidate to a client, then you prevent that candidate then re-approaching the client for anything up to 12 months, although in general it's 6. You do run the risk of restricting candidates opportunities, so I hope for their sakes you have a well understood value proposition.

    Who do you see as your customers?

    Good, endorsements and recognition by a trade body is always a good thing.

    Indeed, although that becomes a two stage process if you're working in an associate model. You need to get onto the associate register. Take a look at Harvey Nash for example, to get onto their associate register is difficult, similarly getting onto my firms associate register isn't easy. Most indy's end up on several associate registers, so it's worth having some rigour around how you're going to approach that.

    On the interim market in defence it's worth getting a relationship with someon on the Catalist framework, so that you've not having to spend money on actually getting into the marketplace in the first instance.
  13. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Civvy street have woken up believe me, your second point is very valid.

    Tatty, I have pm'd you with some info you may find interesting.
  14. Guys
    Got myself a real number at the moment but fcuk I miss the lads and lasses earning more now than at WO1 but its not about money eh is it - take my advice anything to do with agencies advertising employment for ex service people are so fcuking out of date ie RFEA the woman I spoke to put me in touch with an estate agent that would sell my house for me at 6% fecking hangers on shoot the fecking leeching lot.
  15. I agree with lots of posts on this topic. Did 27 pension time and not far off 30 years counting boys time .

    If you have a trade skill then you shouldn't have any trouble converting to
    civilian work practices. Jobs are there and also being a member of an institution and with Engineering Council recognised skill level the CV doesn't have to be too explicit .
    Got a work placement no problem ---one interview mainly to be told the
    perks and a look around the site. Didn't want defence industries .

    Yes I do miss the RN --but at the time I left my feelings were that I had had enough --time to find me again . Civvy job was ace --breath of fresh air up to date technology and getting to use my brain again.

    Advice ---------join the RBL ,RNA and now I'm with the Submariners Association . Every meeting is like being back in the mob --- good laughs
    and lots of old pals . We all miss the RN and need the ditties and memory recalls . Civilian humour is not the same !!

    :nemo: :nemo:
  16. Left in 2002 after 22. Decided to cut all ties with the mob, didn't join any Associations (was already a member of the RNA). Even tried to grow my hair long - but it was too much of a pain in the A*** waiting for it to dry! Got on with building up my company. Then last year bumped into a old mate and decided to see what was going on mob wise, joined the SA and this forum. Now I feel fully intergrated into civillian life but still miss the mob. The guys and girls I work along side are great and there is a "esprit de corps" amoung us, we have get togethers to discuss the industry - normally end up pissed in a Glasgow nightclub. Still apply for a staff job now and again but haven't been offered one as yet but "Fcuk 'em its their loss not mine".

    Enjoy your time now your outside and remember you are still one of the best and if some snotty nose git doesn't take you on "its his loss".
  17. I did a few things after leaving the mob but my current job takes the biscuit.
    I now drive trains working a 35 hour 4 day week for a basic of £35k.
    With overtime that can rise to over £60k if you want and I kid you not!
    The other good thing is that the commeraderie is just like the mob where we all have a good laugh in the mess room. There are quite a few ex service types too.
    Once you are qualified you are pretty much your own boss and get to see parts of the country that you never would and of course have the best seat on the train.
    On a final note, it is also a job for life as long as you don't screw up and gives a better pension than most firms as well. Here is a link that should help;
  18. Civvy street is very much what you make of it, I have now been out for far longer than I was in, but have never beeen uneployed, and have enjoyed much of my time. Yes getting the first job can be tough, I wrote over 100 letters, and that was in the days of manual typewriters and typex. I got about 6 interviews out of that lot and two job offers. There are plenty of companies that employ ex servicemen, and even some that actually look for them. One company I worked for had never employed an ex serviceman before, when I left the went and looked for and found another ex submariner.

    Be positive, try to learn the way they think, write your applications to get the interview, not the job, and then sell sell sell at the interview.

    Good l;uck

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