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Leaving the military? Here’s what to do next

If you’re considering leaving the military and transitioning back to life on civvy street, there’s a lot to think about.

What type of job will you apply for you? Do you have the right experience? Are the skills you’ve picked up during your time in the military transferrable? And will you ultimately feel fulfilled and satisfied with your decision?

Moving back to civilian life after years of service is a huge step, so it’s only natural to have a lot of questions about life after the military – which is why we’ve put together this practical guide to outline your next steps!

Six things to do after leaving the military:

1. Undertake Transition IPPD

Transition Individual Planning and Personal Development (IPPD) is the offer of support, advice and education to support your personal development and long-term planning. It should be undertaken throughout your military career to enhance your professional portfolio and career prospects, as well as prepare you for your transition to life on civvy street.

The information and opportunities on offer will provide a firm foundation for personal planning and development, helping you to become more independent, resilient and confident.

Transition IPPD is also the vital preliminary activity to resettlement and will help you prepare for the challenge you will face upon your return to civilian life by preparing you for your transitions.

So, it’s really important that you have made the most of this service and commenced your Transition IPPD at the beginning of your military career, rather than deferring it to the end.

2. Get the most out of your resettlement period

Successful resettlement requires clear aims, effective networking and an intelligent approach to employment – so be sure to take advantage of all the help and resources that you have available in order to make the most of your resettlement period.

All military personnel are entitled to an amount of resettlement support which includes training, upskilling and career advice.

Having a plan in place and considering how you will engage your resettlement process can really help you to stay on track.

One such way to acquire extra skills is by using some of your Graduated Resettlement Time (GRT) allowance to complete a period of sector specific work experience. Find out more about the different tiers of resettlement support available here.

3. Consider Civilian Work Attachments

A Civilian Work Attachment (CWA) involves undertaking unpaid work with an organisation in order to gain insight into a particular industry and ‘try out’ a certain job role.

It can be taken at any time during your last two years of service and can range from a quick taster day to a longer period of work experience to gain evidence for an NVQ or undertake employer training. 

You won’t be paid during a CWA as it is technically a resettlement activity and you will still be employed by the military – but think of it as an investment in your future, enabling you to gain experience, impress potential employers and secure the beginning of your new career. 

Along with on-the-job training, CWAs also ensure that employers and employees are well matched and assess suitability for employment.

Undertaking a CWA means that you can see whether your skills and experience are a good match to the job and see whether you are a good fit for the organisation in question.

Even if you don’t end up working for the employer you undertake the CWA with, you will still have gained vital experience that can aid your job search in the future.

4. Access the available support

Additional support for service leaders is available via the Career Transition Partnership and the British Forces Resettlement Service.

As the official provider of resettlement, the CTP has supported Armed Forces leavers for over 20 years, whilst the BFRS is a social enterprise that was created to work in support of the Armed Forces Community. 

There are a huge number of benefits to registering with the CTP, from skills workshops, vocational training and transition guidance to individual career advice.

Courses available include engineering and logistics courses, whilst the BFRS also hosts careers fairs and recruitment days, as well as offering a variety of training courses too.

5. Get your CV in order

During your time in the military, you probably won’t have had to concern yourself with a CV as all your qualifications, experience and promotions will have been kept on file with JPA. If you are considering leaving the military, however, you need to put all this information on a CV.

Having a well-written, up to date CV helps potential employers see whether or not you are right for a role – and in today’s competitive job market, it’s really important to highlight your experience and skills that might give you an edge over other candidates.,

If you’ve never written a CV before, it can seem a bit daunting. But here at M&E, we’ve got years of experience in helping ex-military professionals prepare for life after the military, so be sure to check out our top CV writing tips here and find out how to make yourself more marketable after the military in this blog.

6. Decide on the right route for you

If you’re unsure about what route to take after leaving the military, the good news is that plenty of the skills you have picked up can be transferred to civilian employment - in fact, your military experience could even give you an advantage over other candidates, especially in roles such as supply and logistics, maintenance and engineering and transportation.

Armed Forces leavers have an exceptional work ethic, an incredible level of commitment and the ability to work in truly challenging conditions. This makes ex-military personnel an asset to any company, whilst skills such as communication skills, organisational skills, leadership skills and problem-solving skills can all be transferred to civilian life and can bring a lot of value to an organisation. 

If you’re stuck for ideas and aren’t sure which employment route is right for you, have a look at the exciting and varied roles we are currently working on here.

How M&E can help

At M&E Global, we have over 20 years of experience in defence contact recruitment and are experts in helping place ex-military personnel into civilian roles.

We are also proud to have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and uphold its principles such as offering work and veteran support to veterans through the recognition of military skills and qualifications and maintaining a close relationship with the Career Transition Partnership and the British Forces Resettlement Services.  

From CV and interview tips to bespoke personal advice, our friendly team are here to support you in your resettlement and job search.

With expert help and guidance, life after the military has the potential to open new doors and provide opportunities you might never have thought possible. So contact us today to find out more!

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