Landing the right role – Careers with HSBC

After a career spanning 20 years in the Royal Marines, Steven Lee is now a Delivery and Assurance Director at HSBC. He joined us to discuss his transition timeline and the range of recruitment opportunities available at HSBC ahead of the forthcoming recruitment day HSBC are hosting.


Since joining HSBC in 2014, Steven is now in his fourth role within the bank, and has broadened his scope and levels of responsibility. He also founded the HSBC Military Network which was set up in January 2016 with the aim of filling the gap for a significant number of veterans and reservists within the organisation who were missing a support network to touch base with.

Steven’s decision to leave the Services was fuelled by a desire for new challenges and a change of focus and environment as well as the appeal of domestic stability but he still wanted that professional contentment he had found in the Services. And how best to go about reaching for this outside of Service life?

His view is that it’s fundamental for military leavers to understand the transition process is not about landing ‘a’ role, it’s about landing ‘the right’ role…

Steven put his military honed planning to good use with the creation of a transition timeline offering key criteria he could follow before embarking on the all-important job seeking process. The transition sequence consists of three different phases:

1. The Shape Phase - Know exactly why you are leaving, what you are good at, what is essential to you and what success looks like. The aim of the shaping phase is to get you thinking about who you are and this can prove an introspective and reflective course of action to take.

“The point of the first phase in my transition plan was to force me to get my head around where I was at and where I wanted to go”, says Steven. He adds, “It served as a reminder of my reasons for leaving the military throughout the transition process and I found that approach to be quite a revelation.”

2. The Inform Phase - Once you’ve reached this point in your re-settlement; ensure that you establish your network, the search involved, what is available and your options. Once Steven completed his first phase, he was ready to step out of himself and start meeting new people as a way of developing his own job seeking experience. Getting in touch with acquaintances and people you know as a way of easing yourself into the networking world is a great step if you find the prospect of introducing yourself to new people daunting – when you’re comfortable with your approach, you can then begin to network confidently.

3. The Decide Phase – Now you can be targeted and decisive with your approach. “This phase should come toward the end of your transition process”, says Steven. It’s all about identifying who you want to work for. Explore the different sectors and companies. Be clear on what you want – what level within a role do you feel you would be suited to? How much money should you be asking for? Are you looking for a temporary or permanent role? The location and start date are extremely important too.

A lot of individuals don’t consider a comprehensive and deliberate plan upon leaving the Services. Most just launch themselves straight in, registering with job sites and applying for roles that are completely inconsistent. “Most apply with CVs that read well to them and nobody else - It’s no surprise that these people rarely get invited to an interview”, says Steven.


• HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

• They serve around 48 million customers in both emerging and established markets.

• Their global network covers 70 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, North America and Latin America, with the United Kingdom and Hong Kong serving as their two home markets.

• They support and enrich the ambitions of their workforce by building a culture where all employees are valued and respected.

• They provide an open, supportive and inclusive environment where all employees have opportunities to grow and achieve their potential.

• Their international presence and global connectivity mean they can offer their people unrivalled exposure to a professional network and a dynamic marketplace.