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Transitioning out of the army? We answer your top FAQs

14 Sep 09:00 by Myles Kendrick

Transitioning out of the army? We answer your top FAQs

Leaving the army can be a tricky time.

Let’s face it; being in the forces isn’t just a career, it’s a way of life – and after living in the regimented lifestyle of the army, moving back to life on civvy street is a big change.

It’s therefore completely understandable that a lot of people feel nervous about finding a job after leaving the military.

If you’re thinking of transitioning out of the army and moving back to civilian life, this blog is for you. In it, we answer your top FAQs on transitioning from army to civilian life to help you decide your next steps...

Top 10 FAQs about transitioning out of the army (plus our expert answers):

1. When should I start to think about my transition?

It makes sense to start thinking about your transition from army to civilian life as soon as possible. In fact, when it comes to life in the forces, only one thing is for sure – one day you will leave the army, so it’s important to start planning for your transition as early as you can.

The earlier you start planning for your future, the less stressful your transition will be! What’s more, some of the support on offer such as Transition Individual Planning and Personal Development and Civilian Work Attachments are only available whilst you’re still serving.

2. What is a Civilian Work Attachment?

A Civilian Work Attachment (CWA) is when you undertake unpaid work with an organisation in order to gain an insight into a particular industry or try out a role. It’s technically a resettlement activity, and it can be undertaken at any time during your last two years of service.

CWAs can range from a one-off taster day to full-on work experience, and although you won’t be paid, it’s a great way to gain experience, impress potential employers and start to invest in your new life outside of the forces.

3. How can I make the most out of my resettlement period?

Successful resettlement requires forward planning, clear aims, and an intelligent approach to employment – so be sure to take advantage of all the help and resources that are available.

No matter how long your service, all military personnel are entitled to a certain amount of resettlement support which can include training, upskilling and bespoke career advice.

4. How do I make the transition smoother for my family?

If you have a family to consider, it’s important to plan even more effectively for your transition to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

There’s a lot to think about, and it’s not a linear process. However, key things to think about to get the ball rolling include where you will live, where your children will go to school, and where you will work. Which leads us onto our next question

5. What sort of role should I apply for?

At M&E Global, we have plenty of opportunities for army leavers – and contract work can be one of the best ways to ease yourself back into life on civvy street.

You could consider a supply and logistics role such as a warehouse worker, a forklift operator, a supply technician or even a logistics specialist, or you might find that maintenance and engineering roles are the best fit for you.

We recruit maintenance and engineering personnel across the land, aviation, and marine sectors, so you’re sure to find a role that works for you.

6. Will my skills be transferable?

Absolutely! In fact, one of the best things about undertaking a defence contract role after leaving the military is that not only are the skills you’ve picked up transferable, but they can also give you an advantage over other candidates, too!

For starters, you’ll have an exceptional work ethic and be used to working in challenging conditions, whilst the communication skills, organisational skills, leadership skills and problem-solving skills you will have picked up in the military will all bring plenty of value to civilian jobs.

7. Can you help with my CV?

During your time in the forces, you probably won’t have updated your CV. But a well-written, up-to-date CV is essential for potential employers to see whether you are right for a role.

Don’t worry, though – we’re experts in CV writing and have years of experience helping ex-military personnel craft their CVs. You can learn some great CV writing tips from our experts in this blog.

8. How else can I promote myself?

It’s important to get yourself out there as much as possible when searching for a civilian job, so as well as putting together a CV, we’d also recommend looking at your online profiles.

Have you got a LinkedIn account? If not, now’s the time to create a LinkedIn profile to highlight your experience, successes and what you can offer to an organisation.

You can also use LinkedIn and other social profiles to connect with colleagues, build your professional network and follow any companies you are interested in working for. Find out how to use social media to market yourself here.

9. How does M&E support the military community?

At M&E, we are proud to support the military community and have more than 20 years of experience in helping place ex-military personnel into civilian roles.

That’s why we’re proud to have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and ensure we always uphold its principles such as offering work and support for veterans through the recognition of their military skills and qualifications.

We also maintain close relationships with the Career Transition Partnership and the British Forces Resettlement Services too.

10. Where else can I find information, support and advice?

Helpful resources and further information on leaving the military and transitioning to civilian life can be found here:

Next steps

For further help and advice on how we can help make your transition from army to civilian life as smooth as possible, contact our team today.

Whether you’re ready to start your job search or are just looking for some advice on how to make the most of your resettlement time, we’ll be more than happy to help!


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