The armed forces present those who join up with a career path that’s supposed to last a lifetime but what is Life after the armed forces?
From the very first day of basic training, armed forces personnel are exposed to a new way of life, and raw recruits quickly begin to fit into that new way of life because it’s a life that builds upon yesterday to create a stronger, clearer, and more stable career trajectory.
For some people, the armed forces is the only career they’ve ever known, aside from perhaps a paper round once a week in the mornings before school.
So, what happens when a member of the armed forces falls off the conveyor belt at an unexpected point in their journey?
For example, a career may be brought to an early end due to health issues such as hearing loss, sight loss, loss of limbs, or cancer – see here about getting veterans (VA) disability for cancer.
The good news is that life doesn’t end with your last pay packet from the government for armed forces rendered.
Far from it.
Life is a twisting turning water slide of ups, downs, rights and lefts, bumpy bits that you’re sure weren’t meant to happen, and lots and lots of whooshing forwards with great joy (with any luck).
So, when your life takes a sharp and unexpected career turn away from the armed forces, what can you do?
Continue to do what you know, but just out of uniform
Nobody joins the armed forces and learns no new skills, only to leave years later with nothing to show for their time in shiny boots and camouflage day wear.
It just doesn’t happen.
Because the armed forces have no use for personnel who are not highly trained in a particular role.
For example, when a plane refuels from a tanker at 20,000 ft, there’s a trained member of the military lying down in the back of the airborne tanker, looking out and steering the refuelling boom towards the nozzle on the approaching jet.
THAT is how specialised jobs can be.
If something needs doing, there’s a person trained to do it.
Carrying these skills over into civilian life is easier than you think.
Whatever you’re good at, a company somewhere will want you.
Many people who join up take the opportunity to learn a second language.
This is usually achieved through lessons, but some forces personnel simply pick up other languages when posted in other countries for significant periods of time.
Whatever the case, a second language can help you to secure a role within many large, well-paying companies.
Whether you do what you know, or retrain slightly with a second language edge, the armed forces skills you have in your back pocket could be the ticket to your new life.