Photo Credit: © Crown Copyright 2014 OGL
US & THEM – YOU & YOURS
GETTING READY FOR LEAVING
Civvy Street. Just saying those two words can give you a twinge in the pit of your stomach. Add this question: What are you going to do in Civvy Street? Then anxiety really kicks in. The immediate thought is financial survival. Will I get a job, will I pay the bills, will I compete, will I fit-in?
Fight these thoughts. You’re starting at the wrong place.
Experience has shown that if the primary trigger when leaving the forces is purely financial it may not lead to a successful long term re-integration with society. Sure, it may be right for some, but for others sometimes after only six months after leaving realise they’ve made a hasty decision and found themselves in the wrong job in the wrong place and have to start all over again.
You & Yours
That’s the place to start. Whenever you get the call, maybe as far as two years out, that’s when your future planning starts (if you haven’t already been thinking about it). Planning for yourself, partner and family. Because resettlement can have a single, double or treble effect. To have the greatest chance of success all parties need to be considered, involved and work together.
Back to You
Begin with a blank sheet of paper. The future is waiting for you to fulfil your talents and abilities. This is the time for re-invention, a time to build upon the rock of your forces experience, to determine a way forward and put it into action, while you still have the training resources available to best equip you for your chosen direction. Use all the resources from this phase of your life to help shape the next.
You may possess readily transferable skills. Decide if you want to continue using them. Once again, while you have the opportunity, use this time to broaden your skill base in a related or completely fresh field. There’s no such thing as job security anymore, so the more options you create the better.
Adapting to life after leaving will be all the easier if you’ve anticipated the changes and adopted a positive approach. Financial management, putting money to one side and allowing for the expenses of setting up a new home, the loss of Forces subsidies and covering family commitments will be high on your list. If your partner is working or could develop skills to bring in a wage, this could also be part of a training and preparation plan.
The decision of where to live, where to send the kids to school, where to seek employment may rest on where you have a supporting network of an extended family and friends. All these elements will help you lay the foundations for a successful resettlement process – one that will last.
Us & Them
As you’re reading this, it would be understandable if you had an ‘Us and Them’ attitude. However, soon you will become one of ‘them’. When you do, society will be all the richer for having you in it, to thrive and prosper. This future is your life plan, to fulfil the potential of ‘You & Yours’ in all respects.