Sunset on a career


Everyone’s experience of leaving the Forces is different. For me it would have been better called “upheaval” than resettlement. Four months after assignment to 1 UK Civ Div, and the first leave I’ve had this year, I had time to make some observations.

What are your deal-breakers?

During Career Transition Workshop (CTW) you’re asked what your priorities are, but another way to look at it is what are your deal-breakers?

I had a couple:

  • Central Scotland.
  • Technology role that made use of my qualifications.
  • Hybrid working.
  • A large organisation with clearly defined values and standards.
  • Salary that was at least as competitive as that which I left.

That could be abstracted as: location; training; routine; people; and salary.

I’ll split these across a couple posts, so you can refer to the bits that are relevant to you but I’ll start with location.

Army Aviation can be very stable. With three major units in one location, many settle in Mid Suffolk. Indeed it gave my children enough stability that they settled there but I wanted to come back to Scotland.

There were some practical reasons (better facilities, public transport, and less need to drive everywhere) and some personal (friends and family).


I think this is likely to be the most important question you ask yourself – where are you going to live?

You might be settled where you’re assigned, or maybe own property in your home town. That makes the decision a lot simpler but there’s some other points to consider:

  • What opportunities are there and who are the major employers? Are they in the field you want to work in or offer a military transition scheme?
  • What are the transport links like? Is there good public transport? There’s a lot of difference between driving for half an hour and sitting on a train.
  • What sort of salary can you expect? Glass Door is a good place to start and reviews can highlight any relevant concerns.

If you don’t own, have strong ties, or are willing to move then also consider:

  • Public services and amenities, especially the availability of dentists and GP surgeries.
  • Schools and further education, depending on how any children are.
  • Is the location a hub for a particular industry? Financial Technology for example in Scotland is focussed around Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Take time to think about what you’ll miss where you are and if there’s an alternative where you’re going. There wasn’t much for me, I didn’t like the area I was assigned in, but I do miss having access to good gym facilities and took a while to find somewhere I liked.

Location will be the basis for all the other decisions you make but don’t forget to discuss it with your family. Remember that they need to go through the same resettlement process, the more you communicate the less stress and the happier you’ll be.


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