Lisa Jones, an OA Career Consultant and former Army officer, shared her top transition tips with BFBS Radio.
The time goes faster than you think. One year may sound like a long time but it will fly. Equally if you are in your last two years’ of service, start thinking about the future; the earlier the better! Plan your time by looking at dates for work placements offered by companies, career events you want to attend as well as considering that periods like Christmas and the summer break will be slow.
2. The big picture
Consider what you want from your new career. What are you priorities? These may include stability, income and work-life balance. Involve your family and partner in the decision process. Also create a household budget so you know how much you need to earn.
3. Get the right support
Look at your entitlements so you know what support is available and the funding you can access. This will help you use your credits wisely, and be aware that popular courses may get booked up. Seek advice from other organisations, such as the OA, CTP, WEA and RFEA.
Where will you be in your final year? This may impact the transition support you can access. However, if you are posted abroad there is still remote help available. The OA runs weekly online webinars and regularly posts career articles on its websites.
Start building your network. Joining LinkedIn is a good start, but try to attend career events, because the best networking is done in person. Your network is a great way of gaining professional advice and hearing about opportunities which may not be advertised.
The OA does a weekly careers advice series for Service Leavers, which is broadcasted on BFBS Radio. Listen to the careers advice podcasts.
Want more transition tips?
Then attend the OA Employment Symposium in York, on Wednesday 11th July. Our flagship career event in the North brings together transitioning and former officers with employers and industry experts, so you can take your next step towards a new career after the Armed Forces.