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Please allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Mike Neary, former SNCO in the RAF Regiment. I served for 22 years and retired from military life in 2003, I was fortunate that I had a plan. I joined the Regiment with no educational qualifications, I left with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Education (BA Hon’s) as well as a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). I got my dream job working in a College of Further Education delivering the Public Services course, preparing young people to join the armed forces, fire brigade and so on. It lasted 3 years. Why, you might ask? It was simple, I realised I am not manageable – my standards, as yours will be, are extremely high. People simply didn’t live up to what I was expecting them to be, Managers! Or were they?
I would say this: remember your skill base, if you’re a JNCO you are very capable of applying your managerial skills to middle management. If you’re a SNCO then middle management and above. You need a well written Curriculum Vitae (CV) that explains your military skills in civilian speak, e.g. I was a Platoon Sergeant; I was a middle manager responsible for managing the welfare of 30 or more people. Don’t under sell yourselves, you are incredibly capable people, civilians like to employ ex forces people, why? Because we are reliable, prompt, honest, we have a great sense of duty, my whole team are ex-military bar 2. One of them is the other Director whom I am married to.
I have owned my own business for 13 years, my company is called Managing Excellence Through Training Ltd, this means I have to go out networking. Learn the civilian language, if you think we use a lot of jargon; they are really bad for using acronyms , especially if you will be dealing with technical people. If you are looking at being recruited, get your profile on Linked IN, go to job fairs, outside of the military ones, connect with ex- military people on social media. We know the pitfalls because we’ve already made the mistakes and hopefully learned from them. If you’re offered training take it, the company are paying for it, it can always be used if you move jobs. Your next job is not a job for life, keep training and developing your skill base. Join membership bodies like the Institute for Leadership and Management. You will more than likely have 3 to 4 jobs before you settle into your ideal role.
Lastly, life in civvy street isn’t that bad, we do need to learn how to adapt, you won’t get a response to an email within the hour, sometimes it takes days. What I have found is there is no sense of urgency, it also takes a while to calm down. I often hear this from other ex- military people ”civvies don’t understand me, that’s why I can’t get a job”. We were civvies before we enlisted, they understood us then. I am most certainly not saying let your standards drop but do expect the unexpected. Remember organisations are out there looking for what you have got to offer. You can connect with me on Linked In if that helps.
Good luck to you all
Mike Neary BA Hon’s PGCE MInst LM
Managing Director of METT Training Ltd
Vicki and I will be there to give FREE CV, CAREER & INTERVIEW advice to service leavers, veterans and their families. We look forward to meeting you!
May is mental health awareness month.
Take a look at this short but powerful video made by my lovely friend’s daughter about her inspirational dad’s struggle with mental health and his message; ‘It’s not weak to speak’.
Andy is a former Royal Engineer and now spends time sharing his story and mental health journey to help others. Listen to Andy. He makes sense.
I’m honoured to have been giving CV & Careers advice at the BFRS National Careers Events held around the UK for the last 5 years or so.
Yesterday, we were in Catterick Garrison and what an amazing day it was! There was a real buzz about the place and I overheard lots of attendees – service leavers and veterans – say how much they valued the advice and information given by exhibitors, whether it was from training companies like NUCO or employers such as BAE Systems.
It was great to meet so many skilled and talented service leavers and veterans, from Transport Managers and Supply Chain specialists to HR Managers and Quantity Surveyors. However, I was struck by the fact that I see the same issues cropping up when it comes to their CVs. So I’ve listed a few of the main stumbling blocks below:
There are many more points but these are key areas I focus on when writing interview-winning CVs.
The next BFRS careers event is in Stafford in May. I hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it and would still like an expert opinion on the quality of your CV, you can request a CV Health Check via our online service at www.forces-cvs.co.uk.
Forces CV Services
Your Complete Guide to a Successful Interview
Sian Richardson, Director of Forces CV Services, has a long and successful history of preparing candidates to fulfil their career ambitions. As a former HR Manager and Recruitment Specialist, she is a specialist in the field.
How you present yourself before, during and after interviews is crucial in determining whether or not you secure the job you want in Civvy Street. The objective of this guide is to provide some best practice advice and guidance on how to undertake a successful interview.
STEP 1 – PREPARATION
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
I cannot stress strongly enough how important this step is. The more prepared you are before the interview, the more confident you will feel and the better you are likely to perform on the day itself.
Before the interview
Make a good impression. Dress like a professional. Wear a smart suit or matching trousers with blazer/jacket, a clean, ironed shirt and tie or blouse. Even if you think it may be company policy, avoid wearing casual clothes.
If applying for a manual job, still dress smartly and take a change of clothes with you in case you are asked to complete any technical work or tests.
Step 2 – The interview
First impressions count!
Body Language & Interview Etiquette
Marketing Brand You
Structure your answers. Use the STAR method:
S – Situation, background set the scene
T – Task or Target, specifics of what’s required, when, where, who
A – Action, what you did, skills used, behaviours, characteristics
R – Result – Outcome, what happened?
I also suggest to clients that they may like to strengthen their answers further by explaining what they learned, what they’d do differently next time, or how they followed up on the situation.
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