John Lees, a leading career strategist and author of several career advice books, including ‘How To Get A Job You Love’, shares his career top tips.
People often panic and take their next career step too soon, without making a proper assessment of their options. Instead, spend time talking to people who are already doing the job to see if it is right for you. Research the company before applying for a role, so you already know you could be a good fit. Most importantly, identify what you want from your new job, especially in terms of values.
You need to translate the skills and experiences you gained in the Armed Forces into terms that civilian employers understand, value and can get excited about. Hiring managers need to understand your career story and see why the role on offer is a sensible next move that draws on your strengths. Your personality is as important as your ability when applying for a role, so communicate energy and enthusiasm in everything you write and say.
Service leavers have developed many skills in the military that have strong commercial value. You are trained to be adaptable and flexible in rapidly changing circumstances. You are highly organised, and can work under pressure to achieve goals with tight deadlines. There is a misperception that Service leavers do not have soft skills, but you know the opposite is true, so make this clear to employers accompanied with strong examples.
Finally, go beyond thinking about what you are good at, and consider what you enjoy doing.