Posted in Thoughts

Resettlement lessons

After a couple of weeks out of uniform (and with other people suddenly starting their resettlement – looking at you Davina!) I thought this would be a good time to reflect on what I have learnt from the process.

1. Planning. Do it. Do more of it. And keep on doing it. I was sporadic in the planning of my courses which meant that at times I have been faced with conflicting courses and not enough time to do both. Keep on looking at it.

2. Use all your resources. I feel like I’ve done this. I’ve done lots of courses and did my last day in work at a good time. (Plus, managed to luck in on some of the most gorgeous weather we are likely to get this year!)

3. Plan individual resettlement preparation days straight after core workshops. For instance, I did my Focus@4 (the course that refreshes some of the CTW themes at 4 months before leaving date. Mine actually got cancelled but ended up with an individual 1:1 with a career consultant so that worked out well) and then wanted to spend time changing my CV on the back of the advice I had been given. But I hadn’t scheduled any time away from the office and ended up not being able to do anything for about a week. It is much better to do something immediately, when it is fresh in your brain.

4. Keep the pressure off – but accept you’ll probably feel some. I kept having waves of what I called ‘The Fear’. Every now and again, I would be unexpectedly hit by a wave of feeling incredibly daunted and afraid of the fact I would be in a position without a regular pay check (aside from my pension). When this struck I would be tempted to find a job – ANY job – that would give me a regular income and a sense of identity. I think this went away about a fortnight before my last day in uniform (but who knows – it could be just lurking for me to have a down day!)

5. Keep remembering that most people do a second career transition two years after their first. Therefore you need to remember to keep some resources aside for that (perhaps one of your ELCs) as well as some ideas! Also, if there is a course that you quite like the idea of during your resettlement, don’t worry if it doesn’t go directly to your initial transition goal. It could come in handy later.

6. Network!! I got business cards printed quite early on, with the details of the blog. I just wanted a card that didn’t have military details. I have met so many people and recently re-connected with many people on LinkedIn. Be open-minded about what people can offer you – and about what you can offer them.

7. Give back. Now that I have a bit more time (albeit not a huge amount) I am seeing how I can help out a bit more at the Young Women’s Trust that seeks to help disadvantaged women between 16 and 30.  If you think you might be able to help too, please do get in touch 😉

Any other tips you guys have for resettling?  I’ll check back in soon to talk about what I’m learning about life as a civilian and working from home.