Frontier Risks Group was lucky enough to feature a key part in SSgt Ben Hughes MBE resettlement journey.
I left the Army October 30th 2018 after 24 years, of what was an exciting, enjoyable career. This short note is to share with you the journey I took and the tips I can pass on to help you position yourself hopefully in the place you want to be for your resettlement.
Time – Plan it well. Although you are given a year of resettlement, you realistically need to use this as a year for courses, visiting seminars, networking, CTP and tweaking your CV. If possible start to think about the transition as well as understanding ‘civvy’ street 2 years before you get out as a minimum.
Ask Questions – There is no such thing as a stupid question? TRUE. Don’t worry what people think or how you will be perceived by asking any question, not just internally within the Army but on the outside as well. Believe it or not, the civilian world won’t judge you (they all do it) If you aren’t happy with the information given from a question then keep asking until you are. At the end of the day information is power, and you want to put yourself in the best possible position.
What to do? – Don’t panic, don’t feel the need to talk a good game. Find an interest that you think will make you get up in the morning and go to work, then once you have that area/interest, look left and right of it. You will be surprised how many other jobs are there that you could do or you hadn’t even thought about because you were so blinkered on your goal.
Networking –In my personal opinion, the most important part of job hunting is networking. I purchased some personal business cards, which had my emails, phone numbers, current position (translated into civilian language) including my LinkedIn address as it provides immediate access to your CV/ Work experience portfolio. I then earmarked certain seminars in the industry I was looking at, as well as left and right of them. Also if you can afford it, get along to dinner evenings and socialise but don’t be a grenade! You can make a great impression, or you can destroy your reputation in one evening. This bit is really important - be presentable, honest and listen. If people like you then they will start to think how they can see you within their company or will recommend you to a partner. Again this might get you an interview or a foot in the door.
I didn’t know which direction I wanted to go in. Everybody kept telling me Health & Safety or Facilities Management, so I looked at both and then looked at project management to see if I could do something that would not just bring me a wage, but excited me as well. I started going to lots of social events and exhibitions to get a feel for what I wanted to do. It was at a social event where I got the chance to speak with the CEO of Arturius. Being myself, and honest, I was able to get an understanding of the company and how my skills could fit into the business. Some might say I was lucky, but I believe luck is when skill and opportunity come together, so I went away from my discussion wanting to prepare myself in a way that gave me a good understanding of the industry, and all I had to do was find an area that suited me.
I needed to find a course that gave me a good general understanding of the civilian security world. I came across a course called Security Risk Management Consultancy run by Frontier Risks which without question is the best course I have ever done. Really well put together, first class facilities and a great learning environment. For 2 weeks, I experienced a really interesting insight into world security and the different elements of the Industry. I gained a vast amount of contacts who were willing to help me with leaving the Army and offer me advice. With this knowledge, I re-engaged with Arturius offering my services and with guidance from them on where I would be best placed, they made some very good suggestions. I can honestly say, Arturius where very receptive to my journey and understood my goals and what I wanted to achieve to grow in a company like theirs. This would involve managing projects, client relationships, sponsorship management and brand awareness in areas that Arturius could see where my strengths leant themselves. I have to say they were spot on.
My Top Takeaway
* Don’t rush to use your Enhanced Learning Credits before you get out. Obviously, if you need to then do so, but you may find that nearer the time of leaving you change direction. You have time after leaving to use ELC’s so think about it, plus turning around to an employer and offering to pay to do courses is a great way of showing commitment to your new career.