Job Search Reality
We've walked in your boots and know how challenging a civilian job search can be. For most service leavers, returning to civilian life can be a daunting experience. Although the Armed Forces generally provide a rigid structure regarding where you will be in 2 - 6 months time and what you are likely to be doing, civilian life doesn't provide quite the same levels of predictability. And it’s important that you bear this in mind when looking for a job.
In one way or another, it’s most likely you began job hunting long before you left the military. This may have involved speaking with people qualified or experienced enough to provide you with some useful advice. Or you might have contacted key training organisations or companies you knew were seeking to recruit people with your expertise.
The truth is, this pre-transition process triggers many forces leavers to have high ‘job finding’ expectations when they leave. While this is not entirely a bad thing, it does cause frustration among some of job hunting ex-Service population.
Why? Because they feel the amount of time, effort and expense they have personally invested in their future should translate into some form of immediate and automatic recognition from civilian employers.
This is not something any forces leaver should become despondent about.
The efforts invested before leaving are something that must be done, because the alternative option is to sit at home and wait for that life-changing opportunity you've been dreaming about to come crashing through your window. We both know you might be waiting a long time for that to happen.
Employers work on different timescales, they are on a much different wavelength, certainly to what you are used to. People are often recruited into companies to be cogs in the big corporate machine. Most people's choice of career is dictated by the amount of money they must earn to support themselves and their dependents. You are likely to start a job on a short-term contract, because this allows your employer to have the option of replacing you swiftly for whatever reason they choose. Most short-term contracts are three months in length and replacing you after your initial three months is not as easy; they will have to give you some form of 'reasonable' notice, usually one month but it can be as much as two or three. The notice periods you probably knew existed in the forces simply cannot be applied in a profit-making organisation.
The other point to bear in mind is the civilian perception of the benefits forces personnel receive, particularly the salaries earned and pensions received. Pensions received by Service leavers are almost impossible to match in civilian companies. Not entirely impossible, but almost. Civilian and employer schemes are so much more determined by stock markets than forces' schemes.
Also, housing is rarely provided with most civilian jobs and you might be fortunate enough to have private health cover included with your job. If not, you are back at the mercy of the state for medical, dental and hospital treatment.
How FRS Can Help You
If the information in this article has come as no surprise, then your transition into ‘Civvy Street’ is likely to be a smooth one, particularly on the job-finding side. If anything stated above has caused your jaw to drop and you are seriously weighing up the benefits of becoming a Buddhist Monk, then you have spent the last few minutes wisely!
In any case, FRS has experienced the resettlement system. We understand forces leavers and are very well placed to assist you in finding the job you want - and deserve. Our service to you won't cost you a penny. We have helped many others like yourself and intend to continue helping Service leavers for a long time to come.