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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Coppola

Making the move into the civilian workforce after service in the Defence, by Matthew Coppola

For many servicemen and servicewomen, coming out of the Defence force and into employment in a civilian setting can be a very daunting move, and for good reason.

There are many different types of duties and areas of responsibility that do not apply to a civilian job. Many former Defence service people may feel that a potential employer will not understand what skills they have, or how relevant and valuable their experience may be to an employer’s business or community organisation.

It is therefore up to the individual to make it clear to the employer what they can contribute with their transferable skills and experience coming out of the Army, Navy or Airforce.

Sure, there are many duties that a soldier may find irrelevant and not needed in the Australian labour market. But there are also many qualities and skills that prospective employers will find valuable in hiring a former soldier. These can include:

  1. Excellent time management abilities – Being able to prioritise and stay organised, ready to handle any change in circumstances that may come their way.

  2. Strong interpersonal skills – Being able to converse with just about anyone, even in the most distressing and difficult circumstances, especially when it comes to conflict resolution and negotiations.

  3. Self-discipline and focus – Being able to correct oneself, stay focused on the task/s at hand and motivate oneself.

  4. The ability to act and think with conciseness and focus – Even under the most stressful of situations.

  5. Excellent team working skills – Soldiers are well known for their ‘camaraderie’ and supporting one another while out in the field.

  6. Specific technical/artistic and/or professional expertise and skills – Many soldiers obtain a trade or a technical qualification that equip them with skills that they can use in the civilian workforce. These can include skills in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, administration, project management and so forth.

In the up and coming articles, I will talk more about the many ways that Defence personnel can make the transition out of the Defence force and into the civilian workforce with ease.

Stay tuned!

Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions is an Australian based business that assists with CV/Resume writing, addressing key selection criteria and covering letters to help you with give your best foot forward to an employer. Further information can be found at:

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