We continue our journey following Captain Alex George embark on his resettlement transition, following 24 years service in the British Army. Alex’s column will appear in print inside the magazine and online.
“It has been a quiet month this month for me in terms of resettlement activity, as my role at work ramps up.
I have been able to browse various elements connected to resettlement, yet with a full work diary for April, I will be welcoming the chance to reconnect with the likes of Amazon, Network Rail and the NHS.
I have planned a meeting with the Royal Mail and their Operations Manager for central Yorkshire, following on from a CV workshop day with them previously. They have an ex-forces guy who I will also be meeting at the same time and so it will be a chance for me to meet one of the head people for the organisation, whilst getting a broad spectrum from their ex-forces man.
I guess my main driver for these visits to such companies to make an impression, a positive impression, with the potential employer walking away thinking “they’re not bad, I could see him or her doing this job”. They might have no vacancies at the moment, however come 3,6,9,12 months time, a position might just come up, in which you have planted the seed for and that call of “why don’t you apply for this role?” may just come about.
At this moment in time, I am leaning towards the Operations Management side of things. The more people I speak to about my future, the more people say I have the skill set to carry out this role. The 3 main focuses for me remain as Ops Maangement, General Management and Facilites/Project Management.
I did attend an interview with a career consultant with the Officer’s Association the other month and whilst I thought it would be more useful for someone further down the resettlement phase than me, the meeting unearthed the idea of a coaching or mentoring role. I have experience of this element already in terms of just a life skill and not a qualification so to speak, yet it is still a viable option and the OA signposted me to someone in Leeds who could potentially help. It was also at the end of the day, another meeting, more experience and another contact to add to my portfolio.
Indeed, the advice I would have for any service leaver as in anything, is to have a plan B.
So my plan A is the management roles discussed and my plan B will be perhaps a step into coaching or mentoring in some way. Plan C for me would look at Security Management, plan D the option of full time reserve service and plan E reserve service, coupled with the option of my own business and so four or five options floating about at the moment.
The one thing I have noticed since beginning the transitional phase of resettlement has been the lack of real networking or business groups for the junior ranks across all three services. There seems to be plenty of networks for Officers out there and they tend to encourage all ranks to get involved, but I know Warrant Officers struggling to get onto various events.
It is a two way thing, the junior ranked service person needs to be engaged with things, be pro active on the likes of LinkedIn, but I just feel there is not a lot of junior management services on offer for people to realise their potential.
Finally, with a lot of this issue focussing on the RAF100 celebrations, I thought I would add my own RAF story to the fold.
I recall being on a tri service course at RAF Halton, however the majority of the course was made up of RAF personnel and you can imagine the banter between the three services.
There was one guy, an aircraft mechanic who was chatting with someone regaling a tale and recalling a “global” trip, in which the aircraft and crew would travel across the world on one trip, calling in at various pit stops.
The mechanic told the story of one time abroad on landing, he was instructed by the rest of the crew to go and sort the hotel, whilst they finished procedures on board. Off he went and found a great hotel with bar, pool and which was cost effective and he was pleased with his booking, until the Captain arrived.
The Captain on seeing the facilities ordered the mechanic to rebook elsewhere as in his words: “the pool was too far from the bar!”
What’s that saying about the RAF checking in, not digging in again?
Happy 100th anniversary.”
Captain Alex George was speaking to Mal Robinson.