Life After the Army Experiences

The Bread Guy

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stealthylizard said:
Simply having military service on your resume may be enough to get your foot in the door, even if your service has no direct transferable skills.  Employers like people that can work without supervision, are punctual, can pay attention to detail, and listen rather than speak - which are all skills picked up through service.
For sure - for a touch more info along these lines ....
Although this occupation has no direct related civilian job, the experience, skills and leadership abilities developed in this position are highly valued by employers.
 

daftandbarmy

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IMHO, if you are going to attempt the Infantry you should focus 100% on that.

Anyone going into the toughest job in the world - rifleman - to see what they can get out if it, apart from an opportunity to close with and destroy the enemy, should probably think again.

It is not a given that you will pass, believe me.
 

GunSlingerr

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Thanks for the info and tips everyone. I appreciate it. I'll look into things some more but right now my main focus is on getting ready for the infantry.
 

daftandbarmy

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GunSlingerr said:
Thanks for the info and tips everyone. I appreciate it. I'll look into things some more but right now my main focus is on getting ready for the infantry.

HUA!!!  :salute:

Go get 'em... and have a great time. It's the best job there is (for those much younger than myself, of course  ;D)
 

freddie.v

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I joined up in 2006 after dropping out of engineering school.  I hated what I was studying, and at the time Armoured School seemed like the right thing for me, as did fighting in Afghanistan.  I did all that, even got to go to Germany (twice) and travel all over Canada.  I'm glad I got to experience all of that without having to limit myself by trying so hard to preserve my future.  Don't worry about life after the military.  You'll have time to deal with that when you get there.  Just focus on where you are now and what you're about to do.  You'll get more out of it that way.  I would add one exception:  Save up some money so that if you leave the Forces and want to go to school, you can afford to do it.  That's what I did, and I'm very glad that I did because I'm about to finish school and have no debt.
 

crowbag

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Leaving the forces and finding work in civvie street is never a straightforward prospect, and experiences vary widely. I was infantry (NCM) for 4.5 years, and here are some observations, my opinion only of course.

- A number of friends are in the "CP" world - although the "glory days" of that work seem to be over. Around 2003-2007, anyone and their dog could get hired, but as the demand has decreased (with the occupations of Iraq and Afghan winding down), the "caliber" of guys they want has increased. It is very competitive, and not as glamorous as lots of people think it is (this cannot be overstated). Also, think if you really want to carry a gun for a private company, like really think about it... 
- Your rank, unfortunately for some, counts for little in finidng civilian jobs outside para-military type roles where they understand rank structure. For example, some of my friends who left the forces at Sjt and above are finding employment difficult, while some Riflemen are doing just fine. This can be a bitter pill to swallow. Going from being a “somebody” to a “nobody” – when civilians don’t know or care what the difference is between a platoon serjeant and a private soldier – can be very hard to take.
- Officers are a different story. They are more educated, usually much more polished, and have networks from before they were even in the forces. I may be generalizing a bit here (maybe from the Brit side of life), but I believe officers face a fraction of the hurdles NCMs do in finding civvie employment. They can just phone up the "old boys network" and they're away ;). Seriously though, I don't think NCM to Officer civvie transitions are comparable...

My brother and I both spent roughly 4 years in the infantry (him CF, me British Army), and have managed to sort ourselves out.

I had no idea what I wanted to do, so went back to Uni, did a degree (Poli Sci), and found a good job with a major Canadian bank, working in Canada and the UK. I supplemented my schooling with a wide array of part-time jobs (marketing type roles – grunt work, low pay). I'm trying to get into the CF as an Infantry officer now – but my career prospects with the bank are excellent (if I had any desire to stick with it). I can’t stress enough that I think Uni is an excellent “incubator” for ex-forces. It will give you time to adjust, meet some hippie chicks, and try to figure out what it is you want to do while getting educated (work part time – not at a bar – but in a proper civvie job). If you can save money (I spent every penny) while you’re in, this will be easier, part-time work and loans will suffice otherwise.

My brother (ex-PPCLI) has gone into a specialized trade that is very hard to break into. He started out as a laborer before beginning his apprenticeship – it took a lot of perserverance just to get on as a laborer...

Long story short – do what you want to do in the forces – don’t join a trade just because it will be transferable to the outside. Leaving the forces is scary, and it will take a hell of a lot of work. But as an infantry soldier, you’ll be used to doing bitch work and not getting credit for it, you’ll be used to doing what you’re told regardless of how pointless it seems, and you’re used to working damn hard when you need to.

When my brother and I talk about finding work in civvie-street, we both credit the military experience on our CVs as the reason we got our respective jobs. No BS. Think of being the HR lackey going through a million resumes, then they see the forces. If nothing else, you're different off the bat.

Good luck – and remember – its up to you to sell yourself and find work. Nobody is motivating you anymore except yourself - it takes some getting used to!

Canada and the UK don’t have a GI Bill – so its totally on you (I promise no rant on this right now). Improvise, adapt and overcome – those civvie HR people won’t know what hit ‘em.

Cheers
 

daftandbarmy

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crowbag said:
When my brother and I talk about finding work in civvie-street, we both credit the military experience on our CVs as the reason we got our respective jobs. No BS. Think of being the HR lackey going through a million resumes, then they see the forces. If nothing else, you're different off the bat.

I agree.

However I suggest making sure that your education is also up to snuff, or you won't get much of a look in compared to the other punters with many letters after their names. Employers faced with two similar resumes will always tend to go with the better educated one. The CF helps offset the cost, so there's no excuse not to, really. And if you have to, do into debt for that MBA. It will pay you dividends for a long time.

(And if you spell it 'Serjeant' you will be identified as an irredeemable Rifle Regiment punter and immediately put on a watch list with the other Milwall supporters  ;D)
 
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