Austin Phillips and Richard Purdy – engineers from SMD, independent designer and manufacturer of work class and...
Making the transition
Even if you have a job to go to on leaving the Armed Forces, you are still strongly advised to attend the CTP Career Transition Workshop (CTW), along with any other that you will find of benefit, such as CV Writing or Interview Techniques.
The purpose of these workshops is to help you to recognise and assess your options and learn skills in order to approach the civilian workplace and market yourself to a future employer. These are skills that are important to develop for life, and not just for your next job. If you donít go - you won't know.
The Self-Marketing Approach is based on the application of well-established marketing concepts to the task of getting a new job. Marketing is about delivering products and services to meet customers needs. In this case, you are the product, the customer is your next employer. Your task is to persuade the customer that the range of benefits, which you bring, match his or her needs.
Throughout our lives we are faced with choices or options and as you prepare to leave the Services, you are potentially about to face some of your biggest ones yet. You can never start this preparation early enough, so plan your resettlement carefully and thoroughly. In order to commence a successful self-marketing campaign one of the first things you should do is to decide what it is you wish to achieve.
Define the product
>> Identify as wide a range of your skills and experience as you can
>> From these, you can choose which ones match what the employer wants
>> Demonstrate your value to the employer
>> List your successes
>> Focus on skills and attitudes rather than tasks
>> Identify transferable skills
>> Learn to think in terms of product (you) and customer (your next employer)
>> Remember, customers buy benefits
>> Define yourself in terms of unique selling propositions (USPs)
Prepare self-marketing literature
Your CV should include:
>> a personal profile ñ your USP
>> major achievements ñ the benefits you brought to current and
>> a focus on your transferable skills
Your CV should avoid mentioning:
>> details of salary
>> any negative aspects of your career to date
>> clich's, jargon, abbreviations and untruths
Research the market
>> Decide on sectors, geographical areas etc.
>> Use directories, databases, internet etc.
>> Ask for information
>> Use your personal network
>> Use industry associations, chambers of commerce etc.
>> Attend jobfairs and conferences
Implement a marketing campaign
Use a variety of approaches, including:
>> responding to advertisements
>> direct approaches by phone and letter
>> employment agencies
>> develop a system and keep records of all activities
>> follow up approaches systematically
>> learn from your mistakes
Sell yourself on a face-to-face basis
>> Research the employer
>> Prepare interview responses
>> Dress appropriately
>> Arrive early; impress everybody you meet
>> Avoid crossing arms and legs when sitting
>> Maintain eye contact
>> Answer questions honestly, but focus on the positive
>> Manage the interview to match your benefits to the employerís needs
>> Prepare questions that you can ask the interviewer
>> Seek feedback and learn from mistakes
Understand the world of work
>> What has changed since you joined the Services?
>> How do those changes affect you?
>> How do you effectively manage your own career?
>> What are the different patterns of work?
>> What do you want from a company?
>> How do you negotiate a salary package?
Identify your interests and skills
>> What are your interests?
>> What transferable skills do you have?
>> What training or qualifications have you done?
>> Can you identify what you have achieved so far?
>> Does all this help you decide what to do next?
>> How do you establish a useful network?
>> How do you use networks to help you research?
>> How can networks help you into a job?
>> How can networks help with career development?
>> Start early
>> Create mutually supportive relationships
>> Use these at all stages of career development, not just at time of job change
>> Networks are useful information sources
>> Successful people develop networks
>> Use them to market yourself and your organisation
The CTP can help you find the answers to these questions through attending workshops and one-to-one sessions with your Career Consultant. If you are not yet registered with the CTP, speak to your local Resettlement Officer or Service Resettlement Advisor for further advice.
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