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Everything you need to know to adjust to professional life after the military

Skills or speciality aside, making the bold leap from military to civilian life involves enormous change. Naturally, civilian life is worlds apart from the military, which can make the transition daunting.

But there is life outside the military— and with the right mindset and enough preparation, living and working as a civilian can be incredibly rewarding.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our step-by-step guide below, including how to approach your mechanic CV, getting your finances in order, finding your first role and more...

The ultimate guide to transitioning into civilian employment

Leaving the military and re-entering the civilian world can be a shock to the system, but it happens to every serviceman and woman at some point during their career, whether through retirement, discharge or a desire for change.

If you’re wondering about what to do after the military, don’t be despondent: there is a huge variety of choice out there for people with your experience...

Find your next role

Before you leave: resettlement, accommodation and family life

Maximise your resettlement time

Before leaving the military, you will be allocated a Service Resettlement Advisor (SRA), who will arrange a meeting with you to discuss your options for before and after you leave. Most personnel, regardless of rank and length of service, are entitled to resettlement support, which includes financial advice, training and upskilling and career advice for your future.

Learn more here

Find accommodation that suits your circumstances

With military life comes the advantage of housing in many roles, taking away the stress of finding private accommodation. Leaving the military means you’ll need to find your own housing, whether that’s privately renting until you have certainty in your future location and career or buying a house yourself.

The army offers its own advice on renting or buying accommodation. Written by HQ Regional Command, the useful material is laid out in a way that is familiar to service personnel and gives a wealth of information on planning your next move into civilian accommodation. You can find guides on their website, which covers a variety of themes as well as housing.

Get more details

Support your family through the changes

Any decisions you make should be discussed thoroughly as a family, so you can weigh up the pros and cons together. Only you know what is right for your family, but it’s worth noting that the Army Families Federation has a wealth of experience in helping with family matters and can provide free and impartial advice should you need it.

Discover the AFF

Leaving the military: finances, mental health and moving on

Get your finances in order early

During your transition period, before you even make a start on your aviation, technician or mechanic CV or applications for other military roles, it’s a good idea to get your finances in order. You may want to enlist the help of a financial planner to get your affairs in order, but there’s a lot you can do yourself to set yourself up for success...

Find out more

Assess your mental health needs

Mental health and wellbeing is a huge part of overall health and just as important as physical health. Regrettably, it is often not discussed until service personnel or their families are forced to confront it, but it’s important that if you feel low or in need of help that you seek it as soon as possible.

Discover the SSAFA helpline

Make sure your record is up to date

Before you leave the military, ensure that you have ticked off all the steps needed as part of your service leavers’ timeline. This includes having a final medical, dental exam and resettlement officer interview.

Learn more

After the military: writing a CV, new employment, new challenges

Write a stellar CV

To apply for roles outside the military, you will need to write a CV that outlines your experience, qualifications and personal attributes. This is probably something you haven’t needed to write for a long time, as with the military all of your employment details are stored on JPA.

If you are considering a mechanic role, you might want to take a look at another of our downloads on writing the perfect mechanic CV:

Get the free guide

Seek new employment

With a whole new world of civilian employment at your feet, it can be hard to know where to look. You will have had the opportunity to discuss potential career paths during your resettlement, but it’s a whole different experience when actually applying for your first roles post military service...

Explore different roles

Relish the new challenge

Whether you choose to take a contract role overseas in a familiar military environment as a civilian or head off on an entirely new career path, you should see this transition as a positive!

Your military service will always be regarded well by future employers – so it’s up to you to show off your skills, experience and personal attributes to your best advantage...

Find out how

Want to get the full know-how on transitioning into civilian employment?

Download the full guide above