Towards the end of June I was interviewed for Forces Radio (BFBS) which is a worldwide radio station for Her Majesty’s Forces.  The interview was about service leavers and employment opportunities in the social care sector.  It was an opportunity to promote my company Dosh  and my organisaton Thera  too.

It reminded me of a blog post I had previously put together on my top 20 tips for transitioning from my career in the army to a career supporting adults with a learning disability. I have shared this a number of times with people in my network, who are due to leave the forces, and I wanted to share it again on my blog, to highlight what worked for me and what didn’t during what can be a challenging process.

For this blog post I have edited my top tips so they work for any career change (or job change), have I succeeded?

My personal Top 20 Tips

Steve Raw
Steve Raw
  1. To understand that your first appointment in your new career might not go well
  2. Not to put all your eggs in one basket and have a range of options and ideas open to you
  3. Learn the organisation’s language or jargon as quickly as possible
  4. Assess the dress code. Each profession has a different one
  5. Play to your strengths, for example, be responsible and accountable, put others first, have pride and discipline in your work, see work through to its successful conclusion, be committed and show loyalty to the company
  6. Decide at the outset what it is you want to achieve. Is this a new career where you want to progress to the top or do you just want this to be a job?  Whichever you choose, work fully towards it
  7. Take care to write great applications. Applications forms are important for new jobs. Applications and qualifications get you the job interviews – your personality, character and assessment at interview get you the job
  8. Be prepared to work hard to get up the ladder again. It will happen quickly if you remain competitive because, more often than not, your competitors won’t
  9. Network, network and network some more – never miss an opportunity. Consider digital marketing in all its forms
  10. Sign up with as many agencies as possible (there are lots of agencies on LinkedIn)
  11. Raise your profile and enhance your CV/application form and consider being a Non Exec Director/Trustee of a charity
  12. Join Institutes such as IOD, CMI, ILM
  13. Gain a qualification a year and audit your current ones. Are they recognised in your chosen sector – do they match or carry weight with what you want to do?
  14. Learn word perfect the values, aims and objectives of where you want to work
  15. Your appearance is important and you will be judged for it. Smarten up and take care of your personal grooming. Look smart, feel smart!  Look the part, feel the part!
  16. The importance of refer ability. You want great people to speak to great people about you!  So turn up on time, do what you say you are going to do and remember your manners – say please and thank you
  17. Be strategic with your planning – decide the direction you want to go in, then seek out training and qualifications that will help you hit the ground running. Employers will love your CV if you do.
  18. Do the work you were always meant to do! This is my story
  19. There will be many leadership lessons you will have learned in your previous career or job, take them into your new career too, here are mine
  20. Aim high! Think big, be big and do big!


Source:  Steve Raw