If you’re sitting in a crew room, browsing for a new career, you’re not alone, says director of Lincolnshire-based specialist auto locksmith company Car Key Man, Steve Bulleyment, who has some sound advice from the resettlement frontline on how to size up your future direction
Fourteen years ago, I was looking for a way I could start again outside the RAF. At that time, the choice seemed to be between locksmith, tree surgeon, health and safety, laying fibre-optic cables, personal trainer and close protection. So how do you choose something that you’ll do for the rest of your working life?
It’s a difficult decision. It’s like looking through the Next catalogue and trying to buy an outfit for a wedding. The outfit looks great on the model, but will it be a good fit for you? The beauty of the Next catalogue (other catalogues are available!) is that you can try it on and send it all back if it’s not a good fit, but it’s a bit more difficult with a training course provider. And herein lies the problem with trying to choose a new career. You’ll read a description of the course, and maybe a bit of information about the job and they may even have a photo of someone dangling from a tree, cutting it down in true Action Man style, but how do you know the new job will fit you?
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We’ve all had the experience of choosing clothes, or a car, getting it home and after a few days realising you made the wrong choice. Let’s face it, whoever woke up one morning and had the idea of becoming a health and safety expert?
Try it on for size
If I had to do it all again and I was serious about finding a new career I’d use my time to experience the new job. Fancy being a tree surgeon? Take a few days holiday, contact a local company and talk to them. Explain that you’re not looking to set up in this area – you’re moving away after you leave the Forces – but you want to use the time to experience what it’s actually like. In the case of a tree surgeon, you won’t get to climb a tree and cut down a tree! But it gives you the chance to sit in a van, being a passenger for the day, you’ll hear about all the good and bad stuff.
Make a plan
Were I leaving now, and thinking about being a tree surgeon, or a health and safety expert, here’s what I’d do …
- Visit the course provider if possible. What experience do they have, why are they teaching it now instead of doing it?
- Ask the course providers for contact details of people who have been through the course previously.
- Get in contact with as many people as possible that are doing the job. Find ex-military people who are making a go of it and talk about the nitty-gritty. How much do they earn? How many hours do they work? How hard has it been to set up? How does it compare to the mob?
Do your homework
As the late US entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, ‘Don’t be lazy with your learning.’ You read reviews before going on holiday or buying a car, and this is far more important than that. Getting this choice correct will make such a difference to your life, so do everything you can to find out as much as you can, and good luck!
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