Leaving the Forces – Are you on the right track?

Photo Credit: © Crown Copyright 2014 OGL

Army's Silver Stars Parachute Display Team


Are you sure you’re on the right track for the future?

 First things first.  Get yourself a job. Get money coming in. Get some breathing space to adjust to life after leaving the forces.  Give yourself time to make the physical and mental adjustment from the military to the civilian world. This is a highly pragmatic some would say a realistic and responsible strategy.

But is it?

You know you’ll be faced with a world of change.  Cutting the cord with the military, switching from the structured and familiar to a totally new experience will not happen just like that.  Being prepared for resettlement is as much a mental exercise as it is a practical one – both for you, your partner or family. The upside is that you’ll enjoy unprecedented personal freedoms.  The downside is that you’ll largely be on your own to carve out your future. This is why you should take time to deeply consider the pragmatic strategy route to make sure you’re on the right track – while you still have time.

What is it the right track?

Simply put, it is the future path that not only ticks all the pragmatic boxes – but ticks the most important box of all – the one marked ‘You’. Unless you’re body and soul are behind your future plans the danger is that your resettlement planning is in reality just a stopgap. By just getting a job, getting the money coming in, giving yourself space – you could be marooned in that space – and finding it difficult to back-up and get yourself doing what you should have been doing on from the start.

It’s going to be hard enough adapting, but do you really want to go through this demanding first phase purely for the cash, if there’s no satisfaction apart from the money?

Now- this moment, the time before you go, is the most vital time of all. Look ahead to the rest of your working life and give yourself the benefit of finding out what will interest, excite, satisfy, reward and inspire you, not just for the short term but for years to come.  This may not come as a lightning bolt of electric enlightenment with all the answers there in one almighty explosion of understanding –  but as long as you’re at least defining a particular area that connects heart and mind you are likely to be on the right track.

Over the last twenty years Just Resources has had the privilege of training the forces in Diversity and Equality.  The insights we’ve learned have helped to create a new transition course, entitled ‘Heightened Readiness for Resettlement’.  It is an intensive 3 day experience, working with small groups to help them gain that vital clarity of direction and appreciating of their own self-worth in a career development environment.  The course will either confirm a direction of travel or open new vistas to explore with further targeted training.

If you need to get your mind right for leaving: if you need to lay the foundations for a successful and satisfying future working life this course could be your first step.

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