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Civilian Employment: Some home (or work) truths...

Civilian Employment: Some home (or work) truths...

How many people choose to leave the Armed Forces each year? Have a guess.

The answer is between 18,000 and 20,000. It's not an exact science. The SAME number does not appear each year. A fixed number of people are not mechanically ejected from the Services on New Year's Day.

For most Services leavers, returning to civilian life is a daunting experience. Although considerable help and guidance is available and the forces (generally) provides 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.

It is important that you bear this in mind when looking for a job. You most likely commenced a job hunting process long before you actually left the forces, in one way or another. This might have involved you liasing with people qualified or experienced enough to provide some useful advice, it might have involved you making contact with key training organisations or specific companies you discovered were seeking to recruit people with your expertise. The truth of the matter is, this pre-leaving process causes many forces leavers to increase their job-finding expectation levels when they leave. Whilst this is not entirely a bad thing, it does cause some frustration among some of the job hunting ex-Service population. Why? Because they feel that the amount of time, effort and expense they have personally invested in their futures should translate into some form of immediate and automatic recognition among employers. This is not something any forces leaver should become despondent about. The efforts invested before leaving are something that have to be done, because the only other option is to sit in your home in front of the television in an armchair and wait for the life-changing opportunity you've always dreamt of 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 probably 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.

If all of the above has come as no surprise to you, 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 to seriously weigh up the benefits of becoming a Buddhist Monk, then you too 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 to find 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.

Of course, you could just sit in your armchair...

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What our candidates say:


"Overall experience was outstanding. I would strongly recommend any of my friends to your company"

Placed as an Instructor - Belfast

"I would be hard pressed to find better service and assistance from any other agency"

Placed as a Bid Manager - West Midlands

"Very pleased with FRS. I have also recommended FRS to colleagues who are approaching the end of service."

Placed as a Senior Maintenance Manager in Coventry - Ex WO1 RLC

"FRS set up all my interviews and did a cracking job. I found FRS to be one of the most proactive agencies I have used"

Placed as a Telecommunications Programme and Project manager -Ex-Army Officer

"I am very grateful to both FRS for all the support you have shown me and feel I have gained a friend for life"

Placed as a Non-Destructive Test Engineer in the Isle of Wight - former Chief Technician

"I couldn't recommend FRS highly enough, there were absolutely no negatives in using the service, and I got the first job I applied for with them"

Placed as a Machine Operator

"I would not hesitate to use the services of FRS in the future and would wholeheartedly recommend them both to any ex forces personnel"

Placed as a Fabrication Shop Foreman - ex Army (22 yrs)

"FRS carry out the extremely useful role of matching military skills to their civilian counterparts which is very difficult for someone who has very little knowledge of "civilian HR speak""

Placed as Logistics Manager - EX WO1 RLC

"I would not hesitate in recommending Forces Recruitment Services in the future"

Placed in machining role

"I would 100% recommend Forces Recruitment Services to any service leaver"

Ex LBdr (Placed as a Team Leader with specialist waste management company)

"I cannot thank Paul enough his hard work and dedication is second to none"

Mark Hopkins (MIET AfCGI)

"10 out of 10 – again thank you for your dedication in getting me back into work in civvy street"

James Lewis (Ex Soldier – British Armed Forces)




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