When do I start actively looking for jobs

Discussion in 'The Afterlife - Resettlement and Jobs' started by angry_mac, Mar 13, 2010.

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  1. Got three years to do, I'm a WE tif currently working MDSS (medical and dental service support). When do I start putting my CV out there, is there a reasonable amount of time left in service when I can really start pinning down jobs. To be honest I will do anything to pay the mortgage, but would prefer staying in engineering, technical support. Im starting an Msc in clinical engineering in september, would this be too narrow a field, or would an Msc generally be just great on a CV, which brings me to EVTs, Im pretty qualified as it is, what would be great EVTs that aren't job specific. Advice would be greatly appreciated.
    The option of 2OE has been removed from us WE Chiefs now, so its been a sort of boon that there is no chance Ill have that safety net to waver my decision to join civilianship.
  2. I'm sure there will be others along shortly who will be able to talk engineering with you. I left in 2004 and went into the IT security field. I can give some general pointers which did me ok;

    I started looking around at 4 years to do. I thought I could have still done with more time looking though!

    Start looking on the job websites for what is going. What are employers looking for? Use the quals you have as search words. If you know what the civvy equivalent is use those. Use the ISO or BS standards you have learnt they tend to bring in responses as well. Remember that some of the job vacancies are not written by the technical expert, they are written by HR who only know how to read from a script. You can get job descriptions that have no reliable technical terms in at all.

    Suscribe (or get free subscriptions) to trade magazines of fields you know you can go into and those which vaguely appear to be connected. The latter because it never hurts to discover that you can do something else, or more to the point you don't want to go down that route. It worked for me I went from IT administration to the security field.

    A degree. If you have a relevant one and the experience I think it fair to say that you will be snapped up by employers.

    Be realistic. You don't always have to take a pay-cut. I dropped £250 per year to get the job I wanted. I was lucky but the pension makes a nice safety net at first. Take the cut if it fits in with your plan.

    Have a plan of where you want to be heading. I wanted to be a senior consultant and earning over double what I was earning on leaving the mob. Its taken effort and some tactical job moves but I actually exceeded it in the 5 years I set myself.

    Remember that loyalty from your civvy employer is pants. They will drop you like a hot potato if they think it will help the bottom line. Keep that in mind and always have an escape route planned. Be friends with good recruiting agencies. learn which ones know their subject recruiting ground, this also helps you if you ever need to find someone for a team. Be prepared to change jobs, treat it as as going on draft! Try to leave on good terms, you may find that you are applying to that company again for better money in the future. If they know you are good they will have you back.

    If your chosen profession has trade show's try to get to them. I did some as resettlement and had the travel paid for. The ones to go to are free. Take CV's, talk to the folks on the stands. You will also get a feel for what the trends are for future requirements and learning.

    Learn civvy speak! make sure your RN trade quals can be understood by the civvies. Try not to talk in TLA's (unless you know they are known by all in the industry).

    No Commercial knowledge. Be ready to counter this old chestnut. Be able to say that you understand the requirements of project management, delivery to cost, budget control etc and give examples of how your time in has given you an understanding of this. You will need to learn the latest buzz words, however dirty you may feel when using them on occasion.

    Have a generic CV available with about 9 months to go. In my area of IT most people are locked into 3 month notice contracts.

    Remember that you can work for the RN and a civvy employer in your last month, this effectively brings your Tx date forward by a month and you get the bonus of a month on double pay. Nice, especially when your gratuity and first pension payment hits the bank at around the same time.

    Look at what work you want to do and if it is available in the area you want to live. This is an important one. I am lucky I can work from home and never spend more than 1 night away from home wherever in the country I get sent. Quality of life can be impportant than the amount you earn.

    Hope this is of some use. Always happy to try to answer questions if you think I can help with anything. A lot of ex-service guys helped me when I was preparing to leave and I am happy to keep the trend going.
  3. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    You need to start researching the job market now. I was in a similar situation but at least had done 2 years as an Officer recruiter so had put my CV out there.

    The big one is building contacts with people in your chosen area. Word of mouth is important. Joining associations or similar industry organisations help as you can network with those in the know.

    Speak to the resettlement people, defiantly look at what the White Ensign can offer and also watch job adverts. These will give you an idea on what quals you will need.

    Hope that helps.
  4. I think the best advice is to do the resettlement research yourself, don't expect Pusser to help out.
    I set up my own company, but used to go to the resettlement workshops in Nelson, utter pants, would travel down from the North, (no MMA) only to arrive and find the workshop cancelled, 8 SR's and Officers sat like lemons waiting for the VAT man to show up.
    Remember pusser has finished with you and you are wasting their money...do everything yourself, 3 years to go will whizz by. Good luck
  5. Forgot to mention,

    Taking up on Guns point about networking. It is vital. Even sales reps will happily take your CV to show to their HR. Most companies run a bounty scheme where you will get a lump sum if you bring to the attention of the company someone who is looking for work. potentially you get a job, they get a lump sum and the company does not have to pay a recruiting agency.
    Make sure you keep in contact with your old muckers who you know are leaving in the not too distant future. You may be able to get the bounty as well.
  6. That all supposes that companies are actually hiring. They're a bit short sighted at the moment, a lot of my customers are hanging on by their fingernails.
  7. You still running that mountain climbing business Streaky
  8. Oh, my ribs!
  9. Got three years to do, I'm a WE tif currently working MDSS (medical and dental service support).

    Anything to do with Autoclave servicing and certification and such like?
  10. Lot of truth in the pusser resettlement thing as quoted --do it yourself .
    The main thing in your three years is to get yourself recognised with a civilian qualification --Join an engineering institute that covers your training and trade description --then you will need to get accepted for a british engineering council standard level by submitting with referees an application for acceptance via the institute .
    You get to use letters after your name after that!!

    I actually joined an engineering trade union aswell--very handy for keeping up to date with all the various work regulations and employment
    rules etc etc. in civilian life . Better to keep that to yourself though --lots of employers aren't keen on unions !!

    Finding a job----well if you are specialised at the moment on as you say
    medical /dental equipment and want to stay on it --apply to the manufacturers ----field service engineers are well paid lots of perks aswell.
    Mention about ''jack speak'' civvies are different -and they don't have a
    very good sense of humour either -------
    remember --engineers rule you no fix they are fcuked :lol: :lol:

    I started work during my terminal leave ---- Tax man hits you hard though because you are still employed by the RN --I needed an emergency code
    for a second job .

    Engineers at the moment are in short supply so you should be Ok .

  11. Cheers guys great advice from you all. Yes Topstop autoclave servicing forms a part of my job but as Eschmann still have the contract to do this we only service autoclaves when deployed i.e. Camp Bastion, RFA Argus.
  12. As said above, try to get courses, Eschmann, Prestige, SES, Utrawave etc. There is work to be had servicing equipement for Dentists, Chiropodists etc. Since the regs 08 finally came into force this year. With 3 years to do you should be cultivating contacts so they know you are keen and going to be available, with your experience and a few courses you will be an asset to them. Mobilis, canonbury, DTL have service depts and may be of help.

    The "Education" allowance can be used(or it could)for these or you could chat up the boss and convince them it is "necessary"for you to do them.
  13. Use as many contacts as you can generate. Talk to the service engineers from Topstop Autoclave.
    I was a field engineer working on Phalanx for BAe, I installed the system on the Cardiff and my old mate Mike [email protected] happened to be the Phalanx chief on the ship, he was also due for release in nine months or so. I took his C.V directly to my boss and had a chat, nine months later we has another Phalanx engineer at BAe.
    In house contacts short circuit the process of job hunting. :p
  14. Join Linkedin.com

    It may work for you, but until you try you won't know.
  15. You will be offered a Career Transition Workshop sometime during your last year. Some people find it useful some don't. The course can vary hugely depending on the area you are in and the quality of your instructor.
    Personally I used the course to get my CV in top shape. I found the three days very useful and had some really decent one on one CV advice from the instructor. A few sneaky tips she taught me:

    Use a recognised CV template, these are easily available all over the internet, if you can find someone else's CV who has similar experience to you, it is worth looking at their's for some ideas.

    If you are applying to a large company (like BAE) it is highly likely they will use computer software to select the best CVs. The software works by picking out keywords. In the smallest print possible, put loads of relevent keywords at the end of your CV, even if they don't apply to you. Change the colour of the words to white, that way they will show up to the filtering software but not to the human eye. It's sneaky but it might just give you an advantage.

    Have more than one CV, tailor them specifically for the job you are applying for. A generic engineering CV is a good start but it is far better to have one that is specifically relevent to the job. For instance, if you are applying for a job with a more electrical bias, concentrate less on your mechanical engineering experience.

    If you have achieved something good, put that into your CV. Many CVs are just people's contact details and a list of their work experience, at the very least you should be aiming for that plus a list of your key skills and qualities. Although not something that I achieved alone and I only had a very minor role, I have mentioned on my CV under special achievements, that I was part of a drug bust in the Caribbean, where over £60 million worth of cocaine was seized. It makes it stand out and adds that little bit extra that most CVs won't have.

    As mentioned before, don't expect civvy employers to understand anything about the mob. Most matelots take it for granted that we are all good team players and good communicators, you should spell this out in plain terms so that civvy employers understand this e.g under key skills: ''A fantastic team player, having lived and worked with others in high pressure situations.'' Also: ''An excellent communicator, with extensive experience presenting concepts and ideas to subordinates, clients and members of senior management.'' These are simple skills that we expect from any member of the Forces but many civvies will be lacking, use them to your advantage!
  16. I did an avionic design engineer course in Feb 2008, was offered a job at the end of the course but did not leave untill Oct 08. The company I work for were happy to wait, I think it just depends on the company.

    People generally say that companies will not entertain you with more that 6 months to go, take the resettlement advice given is the best bet.
  17. Also when looking for jobs, you don't just have to apply to companies that have a specific position available. It is worth compiling a list of firms you would like to work with and sending them a CV and a polite letter asking them to consider you for any current or future vacancies they may have.

    I did just that and a year later I was the General Manager of one of the firms I contacted. Sometimes it works.

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