After proudly serving your nation within the armed forces, your tenure has now come to an end. Depending on the time of departure, your journey to civilian life might already be underway.

This article forms the second instalment of our two-part series, building on from the themes raised in part one, Congratulations! You Joined The Army, Now What? The article will be aimed at the older veterans who are either thinking about leaving the armed forces and those that have already done so. We will present the steps which will help when transitioning from military to civilian life.


Do not burn the bridges

Throughout your journey within the armed forces, you would’ve come into contact with countless different individuals spanning several ranks. In your transition from military life, it is crucially important to keep in contact with people within the fields that interest you. Not only does this apply to your military experience, but also life prior to joining the armed forces. Contact your previous alumni network, attend their events and enquire into job services they offer. Use the contacts you made in interviews and online connections to become advocates.

Consider contacting previous supervisors or higher ranked officials you served with. Doing so can ensure they provide recommendations, introduce you to key contacts which can be useful for your exit plans, or even endorse the skills and talents you showcased whilst on duty. It’s important to nurture these relationships and keep in constant contact with former colleagues and servicepeople.

It’s never too early to start networking – begin by networking with individuals within the field you’re interested in and those in careers you’re pursuing. Use the plethora of information available online and from previous senior colleagues to help in your transitional and job searching endeavours.  


Professionalism is key

Your best chance for post military employment will come from online sources, based on how well you can present and communicate the invaluable skills developed whilst in the armed forces. The first step would be to create a comprehensive CV from the documents and certificates acquired throughout your military career. Build your CV and enlist the support of friends, family and professionals to improve it.

Once you’re satisfied with the completion of your CV, you must create an engaging and professional LinkedIn profile. This platform will allow you to engage and communicate with all of your professional connections. Become highly proficient in using LinkedIn to not only search and apply for roles, but also to develop a presence within the relevant groups, whilst following various companies in the industries you want to pursue.  


Ensure you are employed before leaving

The Ministry of Defence has stated that 96% of ex-armed forces employees are re-employed within six months. Difficulty comes in translating how the experience gained can be useful in further civilian employment. As discussed in the first article, Congratulations! You Joined The Army, Now What?, there are many preparatory steps which can be taken to help your search once you’ve left the armed forces. Whether it’s through apprenticeships or taking up educational courses, the British military equips you with the tools to transition into civilian working life.

Use the skills you’ve acquired whilst serving to apply for various job roles to ensure you have employment when you leave the armed forces. Career counsellors and reserve recruiters are a great starting point, they can provide insightful knowledge into the current recruitment market and can help to improve your employability. There are also various organisations which can assist with the various challenges civilian life can bring, from career advice to helping you finding a home. These include The Regular Forces Employment Association  and The Career Transition Partnership, to name a few.


Where can Ex-Mil Recruitment help?

Ex-Mil Recruitment is a UK leading recruitment consultancy. We specialise in sourcing and appointing ex-military candidates for businesses of all sizes both within the UK and overseas. We offer over 50 years of experience in the military and 30 years in recruitment.

Ex-Mil was founded by former military serviceman Jean-Claude Hedouin to solve the employment difficulties faced by military personnel and we pride ourselves on being the point of call for current and former members of the armed forces.

We have an outstanding track record of successfully transitioning thousands of men and women from military into civilian life. Coupling this with our longstanding history within the recruitment industry, we have gained invaluable expertise, putting us in a league of our own and setting us in good stead to successfully match all candidates with their desired roles. If you’d like to find out how Ex-Mil Recruitment can assist your employment needs, please contact our founder Jean-Claude on [email protected] or call +44 (0)333 202 6500 ext 1.