Transitioning with Confidence: Navigating Your Move from Military to Civilian Workforce

Posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 by Adrian CheesmanNo comments

Transitioning with Confidence: Navigating Your Move from Military to Civilian Workforce

Leaving the disciplined world of the Royal Navy, British Army, or the Royal Air Force and transitioning into the civilian workforce can be a daunting task. For many service personnel, the military has been their entire adult life. However, with the right guidance and perspective, you can navigate this transition with confidence and build a fulfilling civilian career.

Recognising the Transferable Skills

Many ex-military individuals underestimate the wealth of skills they've accumulated during their service. From leadership and teamwork to problem-solving and crisis management, your military experience has prepared you for a wide range of roles in the civilian world. Take the time to assess and list down these skills. Understand their relevance and value in civilian positions.

Tailoring Your CV for Civilian Jobs

Your military CV might be filled with terminologies and acronyms that a civilian employer might not understand. It's essential to 'translate' your experience into civilian terms. Use online resources or seek assistance from military transition services to rework your CV in a way that highlights how your military skills will be beneficial in a civilian role.

Research and Networking

The civilian job market operates differently. Start researching potential industries or companies you're interested in. Connect with ex-military personnel who've successfully transitioned. Platforms like LinkedIn can be invaluable. They can provide insights, advice, and even job referrals.

Preparing for Interviews

Interviews in the civilian world can be different from the structured interviews you might be used to in the military. Focus on highlighting how your military skills can add value to the role you're applying for. Practise with mock interviews, ideally with someone familiar with civilian hiring processes.

Embracing Continuous Learning

Consider undertaking further training or courses that can bridge the gap between your military skills and your desired civilian role. Many organizations offer courses tailored to veterans, helping them transition smoothly.

Seeking Support

There are numerous organisations and charities dedicated to helping ex-military personnel transition to civilian life. They provide resources, support, and networking opportunities. Don't hesitate to seek assistance – it's a strength, not a weakness.

Understanding the Cultural Shift

The work culture in civilian organizations can be vastly different from what you're used to. Understand that there might be a period of adjustment. Stay open-minded, be patient, and remember that it's okay to ask questions if you're unsure about something.

Celebrating Small Wins

Transitioning isn't always easy. Celebrate every small win, whether it's a successful interview, a new connection made, or even the completion of a new course. Each step is a move towards your new career.


The move from military to civilian workforce is undoubtedly challenging, but with the right mindset and tools, you can navigate this transition successfully. Remember, your military experience has equipped you with unique skills that many employers value. With research, preparation, and the willingness to learn and adapt, you'll not only secure a role in the civilian workforce but excel in it.
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