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Armed with transferable skills and ready for a new adventure

Armed with transferable skills and ready for a new adventure

Just how transferable can your skills be after leaving the army? Our divisional director, Liz Baldwin, served 16 years in the Corps of Royal Engineers before leaving and finding herself with valuable leadership skills. Here’s what she decided to do with those skills.

Since moving to Sydney, I have had many opportunities to push myself professionally and to learn new skills. I’ve worked on exciting projects, including the Sydney Metro and the proposed Melbourne airport rail link.

Being in the army was more than just a job, it was like being part of a family. The opportunities to travel, experience different cultures and deliver engineering solutions around the world were amazing. I knew a job like this was something I wanted to continue to do.

I left the army in April 2010 as a squadron commander and felt that the significant experience I gained in leadership and management from the military was extremely transferable. The fact that I had technical skills as a chartered civil engineer would allow me to use my leadership skills in the discipline I enjoyed.

Embarking on a new challenge

Once I decided I was ready to leave the army I started by using my Graduated Resettlement Time to understand what I wanted to do, then selected courses to fit with my ambition. I found it useful to take the time to speak to colleagues who had already left and were engaged within the industry as I was able to understand what I needed to do to compliment my military experience. I then gained project management qualifications (PRINCE2 and APMP), this allowed me to get formal accreditation for roles I had undertaken for years within the military.

My first role after leaving was delivering highways and transportation projects as part of a local authority project delivery team. Delivering engineering projects as a project manager was the perfect role for me. It allowed me to see just how transferable my military skills were, particularly as a leader and manager, giving me the chance to appreciate the exceptional skills the military had given me. I then went on to work for a rail contractor as a programme manager before finally joining Mott MacDonald.

My advice to service leavers would be to have confidence in your own ability and the exceptional skills you have developed while in the military. Take time to research and understand what you are interested in before you jump into a role and get advice from other service leavers - we are here to help.

Looking for a new opportunity within our defence team? Take a look at our available jobs.

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