SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity is encouraging all UK nationals from the Armed Forces community to complete their...
Prepared to succeed
Now working as technical developer with CNet, Clint Sherratt’s time in the Forces saw him work hard to accumulate skills and qualifications that he knew would stand him in good stead on leaving …
Like so many in the Services family, I didn’t do as well at school as I could have done. I bounced from job to job, and eventually decided that a short stint in the Forces would do me good. I said to myself that as long as I was enjoying my time I would continue to serve, and I was lucky enough to go on to complete 22 years doing things I loved – and I feel like I could have stayed longer if the ‘job’ had allowed.
I consider my career so far to have been rewarding and enjoyable. It has led me to my current position, now as a ‘civvy’ but still doing a job I love.
The two pieces of advice I would give to anyone reading this – whether they are resettling or sitting in a restroom just browsing – are:
- You are in charge of your professional development, and
- You start resettling the day you join.
While I was serving, it always amazed me how many people would complain that there was nothing for them to do to better themselves, and the high proportion of people who never used their SLCs and ELCs was staggering. The opportunities are out there – you just have to look.
I am planning to spend the remainder of my ELCs to suit me and add value to my new employer
During my career I used my SLCs every year, ELCs and IDev, and I even blagged unit sponsorship to further my technical knowledge. Over my 22 years in the Armed Forces, I graduated twice and amassed a couple of dozen vocational qualifications at levels 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Not only did this help keep me at the cutting edge of my technical trade while serving, in line with my civvy counterparts in industry, it also made me eminently employable once leaving.
I am now planning to spend the remainder of my ELCs to suit me and add value to my new employer. Don’t forget that when you are looking for a new job you arrive with a couple of grands’ training budget already in tow, which is a big plus and appealing to your new employer.
We are the Forces family and we will always look after one another, so when your time is up to leave you will not be alone. I was lucky that everyone who had left before me was happy to mentor and support me over the years while I was still serving, and I would love to help others in the future. I am happy for anyone to touch base with me and I will help however I can. Employers are very receptive to the discipline and can-do attitude Service leavers have – we just need to make sure we learn the civvies’ language, which is harder than you might think. That could be a book in itself!
I’ve recently joined the CNet Training team as technical developer. CNet designs and delivers technical education programmes, including resettlement programmes, across the digital infrastructure industry. I will be working closely with the technical team, developing and maintaining the network infrastructure programmes to ensure content is accurate, up to date and reflects advances within the sector. Now I have started my new role at CNet I can see so many opportunities out there for those who have served, so part of my new role will involve me looking into further opportunities to expand CNet’s network infrastructure and data centre programmes for Service leavers.
One way to ensure that you are prepared for leaving the Forces is to stay up to date with the latest technology, standards and processes relevant to your chosen path, monitoring industry trends and developments. I recommend that you start this as soon as you can. As I said earlier, I took my opportunities from a very early stage in my career, attaining knowledge and skills that helped propel me into my current employment, and it will stand you in good stead if you do likewise.
As I write this I am conscious that it may sound like I’m trying to sell something, which I’m not. I genuinely want to help those I can, so feel free to dig me out on LinkedIn or come to speak to me at a resettlement event (which I am hoping my boss will release me to go to!).
To find out more about studying with CNet, click here
CLINT’S SERVICE CAREER
Date enlisted: August 1997
Years served: 22
Exit date: September 2019
Final rank: SSgt
Service branch: Royal Signals
Specialisation/trade: installation technician
CNet Training – the global leader in technical education for the digital infrastructure industry, comprising the data centre and network infrastructure sectors – has been delivering industry education since 1996. It is the only industry dedicated education provider in the world to offer both internationally recognised qualifications and official certifications.
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