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.
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