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Transitioning into global operations director: Guy Lock’s story

Transitioning into global operations director: Guy Lock’s story


14 Dec, 2023

Final Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Years Served: 26 years

Guy Lock's military career spanned 26 years, during which he transitioned from reservist to regular, and then back to reservist, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His time in the Army's Infantry branch involved completing various leadership and specialized training courses, equipping him with a diverse skill set.

Upon deciding to leave regular service after 17 years, Guy was driven by the aspiration to explore a different career. "I wanted to experience a new career path after reaching my pension point," he explains. The challenge lay in translating his military leadership experience and training into a civilian context.

Strategy for Transition: Guy's approach to transitioning was methodical and education-focused:

  • Educational Pursuits: Guy utilized Enhanced Learning Credits in 2013, 2014, and 2016 to complete a CMI Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership, an MBA, and an MSc in Leadership and Management. These academic qualifications were pivotal in preparing him for the business world.
  • Career Transition Workshop: Guy attended a Career Transition Workshop in Tidworth, which he found beneficial for focusing on his transition. "It gave me the much-needed time to concentrate on my future," he notes.
  • Entering the Business World: Guy's first civilian role was a Business Transformation Consultant at PwC, which he secured through a combination of online applications and networking with former colleagues. In April 2020, he moved to Arcadis as the Global Operations Director for their Intelligence and Advisory business.

In his current role, Guy is responsible for a substantial portfolio of work. "I handle project delivery, performance, and Quality/Health and Safety for a £180m portfolio," he shares. This role demands large team leadership, strategic thinking, problem-solving skills and workforce planning - all of which he developed during his military career.

Reflecting on his journey, Guy emphasizes the importance of experience alongside qualifications. "Doing a project management course is good but using it in real scenarios provides a stronger foundation for a civilian job," he advises. He recommends service leavers to identify their career goals and work towards bridging any gaps through qualifications and practical experience.

Guy Lock's transition from the Army to a prominent role in the corporate sector is an inspiring tale for service leavers. His story highlights the importance of strategic planning, education, and adapting military skills to civilian roles. Guy's experience serves as a guide for others, showcasing that with the right approach and resources, a successful and fulfilling second career is well within reach after military service.