Three Steps for a Smoother Transition into a Civilian Career

There are many ways to get job ready when you leave the Armed Forces, but here are three effective approaches that worked for these former officers.

Book an OA career consultation
A career consultation is personal, being tailored to your requirements. It can help you identify suitable job roles, and the steps needed to achieve your professional ambitions. The OA Career Consultants are former officers, and able to understand many of your transition challenges. They can also help you to identify your transferrable skills and communicate your potential commercial value to employers.

Neil Williams is a former Royal Marines officer, who is now the CEO of Crucial Group – a recruitment agency. Neil said: “Thanks to the OA Career Consultant advice and support, I understood my career options and identified the job roles I wanted. […] Clive Lowe, an OA Career Consultant, encouraged me to network and helped me to identify business management as my preferred career.”

Network, network, network
Meeting people is the most effective way of gaining information, discover opportunities and meet potential employers. Asking for advice and guidance can be daunting, but many business contacts will help if approached. The OA offers many networking opportunities, including a full calendar of events and the OA Network Contact List, which has some 600 former officers offering industry and networking advice.

John Kerner, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Logistic Corps and now a director with Highways England, said: “Put effort into building your network(s) early on, as doing so allows you to use them purposely when job hunting. LinkedIn is great for professional networking online, but works best when used alongside face-to-face networking events such as the Liquid List. Finding the best networking combination to suit your circumstances takes time, but my advice is to make use of every opportunity. Networking might not get your dream job, but it will help you get one step closer.”

Online job boards
A jobs board can act as a shortcut to finding suitable roles. Recruitment agencies and employers will often have their own online jobs board, usually on a dedicated career site. Search jobs boards that have opportunities relevant to the industry or type of role you want. The OA Executive Jobs Board is a trusted source of civilian roles targeted at serving and former officers.

Angus Hutchinson served in the Royal Horse Artillery for eighteen years, and is now a Global Training Manager, Commercial Banking at HSBC. Angus said: “I saw on the OA Executive Jobs Board that HSBC were looking for relationship managers. At first I dismissed the role, thinking that banking was not for me. However, I was encouraged to speak to the recruiter and then realised I could be a suitable candidate. After applying, I got an interview and was offered the job. I’m still working for HSBC 14 years later.”

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The OA offers one-to-one career consultations, an exclusive jobs board, employment events and expert advice.