In the following article we reveal the 5 biggest mistakes made when transitioning out of Defence, and what you can do to avoid them. If you follow our advice you’ll be ahead of the pack when it comes to establishing yourself in a civilian career, and making the process as stress free as possible for you and your family.
We have heard it time and time again: “I left my documents in the Defence. I can’t gain access to them now. Is that a problem?”
Yes. This presents a big problem. Leaving it too long to gather those documents leaves you at risk of getting yourself locked out from accessing the documents that showed your full defence career.
In a world where you must prove your worth, having evidence of your skills and experience is essential. Too many defence personnel have found out the hard way. They miss their opportunity to gather evidence and then end up with lower level qualifications than they’re actually eligible for. Or else they end up having to spend time and money studying what they already know, because they don’t have the evidence to show it.
Make sure you collect ALL the documents and examples that paint the highest level of your skills and experience in the military BEFORE you leave.
Here’s the immediate steps to take:
Veterans who haven’t looked at the available defence transition funding before leaving all tell us they made these three mistakes:
When you head out the door of defence, you realise it is a labyrinth of options and decisions.
When you take the approach of hurling yourself straight into the labyrinth without a clear plan of attack, you’re going to strike these problems …
Start by getting some clarity, building a basic plan for where you want to head after leaving the military.
When you get clarity, you’ll find that:
This is where talking to a Military RPL Mentor can really help. The team at Churchill are always here to help with these conversations and point you in the direction of the 5 Questions you should answer in every transition.
People getting out of Defence can make the mistake of labelling their career in military terms: military ranks, military skills and military qualifications. They expect civilians to understand their defence career, and the reality is they don’t.
Labelling puts you behind in the race for positions because you are categorised too easily by your past employer rather than your skills and knowledge.
Computerised recruitment and resume readers will disregard your applications, because they won’t be able to find the keywords and terms they’re programmed to look for.
The right position titles, skills descriptions and qualifications for the civilian job market MATTER.
Instead, you want to put your defence service through a translation machine – take the defence labels and turn it into labels that make sense on Civvy Street – on your resume, in your cover letters and through converting your defence experience into civilian qualifications through recognition of prior learning.
…And see how it opens up the job market to you.
When you haven’t taken the time to look at your resume, get that interviewing advice, talk to qualification specialists who understand what qualifications are opening doors or setting standards in which industries, well, you are going to be limping out of the gate while other people run for the prize.
Preparing to enter a new career requires new skills – resume, applications, interviews, LinkedIn profiles and building connections in a totally different world – a civilian world.
It means building a good team around you who are all focused on helping you transition.
There are some great career experts available to help veterans transitioning to Civvy Street.
The smart money is on the veterans who get help with:
You are not the first person to transition from Defence and you won’t be the last.
So, avoid these mistakes by tapping into the best support you can get.
At Churchill, we are all about giving you the best support, solutions and service available. We have a number of staff members who have made the transition themselves, so we understand where you’re at, where you’ve come from, and how to get where you want to go.
If you’re not ready to speak to someone just yet, and prefer to do a bit more research on your own – we think you’ll find this article useful: The Top 4 Defence RPL Qualifications.
We’ve been helping military personnel to transition for the past 12 years. Based on this, we have put together what we have found to be the most useful qualifications, and the types of careers these can open the door to.