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My first job out of the military – where do I start?

Transitioning into civilian life after serving in the military can be nerve-wracking, to say the least.

What are the good jobs to get when coming out of the military? Are your skills transferable? Will you find a role that’s the right ‘fit’ for you?

It’s only natural to have questions as you get ready to adjust to life on civvy street, which is why we’ve put together this blog to help you figure out your next steps.

So, from what to do when you’re approaching the end of your service to making the most of the support on offer and asking for expert help, if you’re searching for your first job out of the military and aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s are 5 essential steps to take when searching for your first job out of the military:

1. Make the most of the support on offer

There is lots of support available for army leavers to help them transition back to civilian life. In fact, all military personnel are entitled to an amount of resettlement support which includes training, upskilling and career advice.

Find out more about the different tiers of settlement support outlined by the MOD.

There’s also Transition Individual Planning and Personal Development, which offers advice and education to support your personal development throughout your military career and help you prepare for life on civvy street.

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

There are plenty of benefits to registering with the CTP, from skills workshops, vocational training and transition guidance to individual career advice on good jobs to get when coming out of the military, so be sure to check it out!

2. Boost your skills

One thing that many army leavers are concerned about is whether or not they have the right skills for civilian roles.

Rest assured that plenty of the skills you will have picked up in the military are extremely transferable – however, there are ways to boost your skill set should you want to prepare yourself for civilian life as much as possible.

One such option is a Civilian Work Attachment (CWA), which involves undertaking unpaid work with an organisation in order to gain insight into a particular industry and try out certain job roles.

A CWA can be undertaken any time during your last two years of service and is a great investment in your future.

It enables you to gain essential experience, learn new skills and even impress potential employers – and even if you don’t end up working for the same employer you undertake your CWA with, you will still have gained a vast amount of experience to help your jobs search in the future. 

Finally, there’s also the option to take courses at a local higher education facility as part of your Graduated Resettlement Time too.

3. Narrow down your interests

Next, you need to figure out what it is you actually want to do! Have a think about what areas interest you, as well as where your skills and education lie, and begin your job search from there. If you’re unsure 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.

However, if you’re stuck for ideas and aren’t sure which route is right for you, an expert recruitment consultancy such as M&E can help provide advice and ideas. Why not have a look at the roles we are currently working on to get you started?

4. Sort out your CV

So, now that you’ve figured out what you want to do, it’s time to start applying for roles – and to do that, you need to make sure your CV is up-to-date and ready to wow. During your time in the military, you probably won't have updated your CV, but now’s the time to do so.

Your CV is the first thing an employee will see when you apply for a role, so it’s important that it’s well-written, informative, and highlights your skills and experience.

If you haven’t updated your CV in a long time, it can seem a bit daunting – so be sure to discover our top CV writing tips to help you out, or learn how to make yourself more marketable after the military.

5. Consider a contract role

One potential option to help you transition from life in the forces to a civilian job is undertaking a contract role. For starters, the working environments are very similar, and often the skills that you have gained in the military transfer seamlessly to contract work.

You’ll also meet like-minded people and possibly even be posted to familiar destinations, and there’s also often the opportunity to work at the forefront of defence technology on exciting machinery too. Don’t miss this blog to discover if contracting overseas is right for you.

Next steps

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

We are 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 we also maintain a close relationship with the Career Transition Partnership and the British Forces Resettlement Services.

So, for more information on good jobs to get when coming out of the military, our friendly team is here to help every step of the way. What are you waiting for? Contact us today to find out more! 


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