Service to civillian life easy or not??

Discussion in 'Diamond Lil's' started by stan_the_man, Apr 20, 2008.

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  1. I have been out (the navy not the closet0 for 8 months now and have found the transition painful to say the least. After 34 years hand in the ID card pick up my veterans badge ans of you go you old fecker find a new life and don't come back.
    It seems to me that some guys find it very easy and others struggle - just look on the streets to find how many servicemen didn't do a good job of it.
    At last I have found a decent job but the rejections for other applications were deeply hurtful. I think the resettlement process is 10 years behind civillian trends and my experience of civvies is they will take any opportunity to knock you down and they appear to take a great delight in telling you ="welcome to the real world".
    Is it just me how did you guys manage painful or piece of piss??? :threaten:
  2. Sorry guys computer playing up last night didn't think my previous message had posted :rambo:
  3. Stan i have found that if you can apply the same level of determination to get the job done you will find things alot easier.
    I have found employers do not realise this quality often found in ex forces personel as it is not so abundant in our civilian counterparts.
    Even to the point where my boss has asked for me to keep in touch with similar branch members who are contemplating the jump.
  4. It's almost 23 years since I left after completing my 22. I was extremely lucky in finding a job as a field engineer with BAe, so for the next six years spent much time amongst matelots carrying out weapon installations followed by harbour and sea trials.
    Perhaps it may be possible to do something similar.
    Six years after leaving I was made redundant and moved out of the naval world completely. However I am convinced that my work within a service environment helped me break into the civilian world.
    When you were serving it is possible that you had contacts with civilian contractors and service providers. It may be worth contacting some of the companies.
  5. Well for me it was a piece of piss. Walked out on Friday, offered two jobs on Monday. But then I only did 12 and lots of employers reckoned time served was time well spent.

    You don’t say which branch but after 34 years you must be pretty near the top. In some trades this means nuffin! Technology moves so fast by the time you’ve read this it’s out of date. In other trades experience will count – but only to an extent, say if skills are in short supply. If not then, sadly, you might just be looked on as too old.

    You probably realise that different values exist (prevail) in the civvy world and in many cases time served means nothing (or indeed counts against you).

    Unless you are going for a job specifically seeking ex-service personnel then you need to re-adjust !

    This means recognising that you are no longer top dog and that there maybe (definitely are) better ways of doing things.

    This may sound trite but you have done many, many things the same way for most of your adult life. This will change. Accept it or fight it – in the end happiness is where you find it.
  6. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    I'm in the position I never thought I'd find myself (as I only intended to stay in for 3 or 4 years) - I'm now pensionable, on the cusp of promotion (so I keep being told [and I fall for it every time]), have a great skill set and lots of experience but have started to doubt the longevity of an RN career. Consequently I'm looking at civilian jobs, joing the RAN or just holding out for promotion (I know - foolish).

    Lots of my peers, who are all good friends, are in similar positions but some have made the bold decision and jumped with their immediate pensions/lumps. None have had any problems getting really good jobs with good salaries and excellent prospects. The one thing they all did was plan exactly what it was they wanted to do and had targetted companies/business sectors well in advance of leaving plus they had created a huge network of contacts (try

    As has been mentioned it really does depend on which sector you're interested in, what trade/branch you were and what skills/qualifications you have.

    Hope all turns out well.
  7. Guys
    Never really planned to be in this position, I was off to France and living on my pension mortgage free, sadly I have been caught out with the housing slump and stuck here in UK, pulled my finger out after chrimbo and now I have the offer of a really good job, so I have found my feet and will probably move abroad with the job and rent the house.
    I just found it a real shock that my 34 years service didn't mean shit to most employers - wake up Stan eh.
    Thanks for all your advice this website enables me to keep in touch even if some posts wind me up!!!
    Doesn't help I have PTSD and have good and very bad days.
    Long story maybe one day I wll spin the dit.
  8. I think that's the clincher, it doesn't really matter how long you did, and that applies anywhere, but what you did in that time.

    Personally it took me three years to leave, in that time I developed a clear idea of what I wanted to do, positioned the work I was doing to support that direction on the CV and did some of the courses that are almost pre-requisites in the marketplace.

    I made the decision to get out of the defence game completely, so it took a fair amount of effort to represent what I'd done in meaningful terms.

    The things that bothered me were more incidentals; dentistry and medical centre on site. On the other hand the support I get within my employer is far better than in the service. HR know what they're on about and recognise that they are there to help me, rather than seeing any questions as an inconvenience, hassle free expenses, travel and accommodation bookings that are actually cost effective, pragmatic and convenient. I never really appreciated just how pitiful the quality of HR service in the RN had been, throughout my career and regardless of where I was based.
  9. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I escaped the defence game too and feel it was the best thing I did (you know that of course because you helped :thumright: )

    I've taken out private health insurance, the move stimulated me to do this for myself and my wife (who is serving and has been subjected to the total failure of the interface between service & NHS which is just another bureaucratic and communication nightmare (I should probably expand by saying that all the fault lies with the services not the NHS, the additional layer of information transfer is a farce) the cost to be honest is fairly insignificant less than a half days pay per month for both of us.

    The HR point is under played I feel, the very fact that my HR department stress that they are there to help me is alien, I never felt that way in the service, my current HR dept go out of their way to ensure I am content, they help me with tax, company car, travel and expenses, pension etc etc in fact there has not been a single question I have asked which hasn't been answered whether or not it was their responsibility... it is fantastic and a totally different concept, they are great people who do their job very well; a resource for humans (funny old thing) Nothing is impossible either: eg I phone up " do we have an account with any hotel chains, this is becoming a bit of a bind paying out and then claiming it back" answer " would you like me to set up any for you?" 2 days later I have business accounts with two top end hotel chains!! two days! no forms, authority, cost centre arguments etc......... just one phone call!!

    The RN has a lot to learn about service and efficiency, decentralising and giving people some autonomy to make financial decisions would be a simple fix to half the problems that frustrated my last couple of years in.
  10. I think the main problem with employers today is little if any are familiar with the military. My father was in the Army from 59-65 so when he came out after doing his 6yrs the majority of his bosses were either ex National Service or in some cases WW2 veterans.

    These days very few people have had any contact with the military. Since leaving college in the early 90's I have only worked with about 4 people who had either been regular or reserve. Hence many employers are not aware of the value an ex-serviceman/woman can bring to their organisation.

  11. Of course it is not easy but the RN or any other enclosed order is not the real world.
    You now have much more unstructured opportunity open to you and my only advice is to grasp it with both hands and move forward.
    I left the RN in 78 with no job, nowhere to live and in a time of high unemployment. I can tell you it was hard, very hard, even after the few years I served.
    What served me best was the discipline drummed into me before I joined the services and the sense of self sufficiency learned from my parents (who had both died before I left the service).
    Give yourself time and you will adjust is all I can say and fall back on your basic instincts.
  12. One of the key things is that spending time in uniform doesn't automagically endow one with some mystical quality which employers will want. It's up to everyone in the job market to express their skills and experiences in ways which demonstrate their value to a potential employer, and the job-hunter has to do the thinking, not expect an employer to do it for them. That's particularly pertinent when one already has an understanding of how the military works. Of course within the service I've had to employ people I wouldn't have done through choice, and sacking someone is a very long, drawn out affair that's more hassle than it's worth.

    Someone with 8 years experience as a steward is a very different beast from someone with 8 years experience as a stoker, or a marine.

    What really illustrated that for me was the need to do some interviewing recently. The inability to communicate in attractive terms was pretty common.

    I would agree with the comments upthread about the quality of support from the resettlement people. They seem to be fairly reasonable if you want to go out into one of the well trodden pathways; HGV driver, security industry etc, but pretty stretched for other directions. The quality of CV writing is questionable and IMO that's where they should be making most difference to leavers.

    The ability to sell yourself in the job market is far more significant than time served.

    In one of my earliest interviews with a recruiter, nearly 2 years ago now, I said that I had x years of experience in the RN. The response was so what, how much do you achieve in that time! that prompted me to change my pitch, quite significantly.
  13. onI tend to agree with Karma's comments I had more success with interviews once I started to concentrate on what the employer wanted and not what I had done in the past and only brought it up on occasion.
    I am tremendously proud of my service career but I have stopped thinking that the world owes me a favour. I intend to give my medals a polish once a year (if I can find them) and attend the annual Remembrance Parade to pay my respects.
    Am I alone in thinking that in someways this website does allow you to spin the occasional dit and still feel a small part of the finest fighting service in the world despite what the politicians have done to it over the years.

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