Charting a new course after the forces

29 Jun 2024

Armed Forces Day is an opportunity to reflect on, and appreciate, the services of those in the armed forces community. Paul Murphy, Team Leader on the Restart Scheme, shares his insight of moving from the forces into a corporate setting. 

I served as a Radio Systems Operator in the Royal Signals for five years. My time in the forces was filled with memorable experiences, but the most impactful ones were those that exposed me to the real hardships people around the world face daily. This perspective has shaped my outlook on life and instilled in me a deep sense of respect for everyone I meet. 

Transitioning from military service to the corporate environment was challenging to begin with. The military life can be all-consuming. Your colleagues are also your roommates, you eat meals with them, and they’re your friends. This is a big contrast to the corporate world and learning to have boundaries and separation between the two has been an adjustment.  

I feel lucky that this is the first civilian role that I’m excited to come into work for. The tools that we have at our disposal to help people find a job and improve their lives make a real difference. A story that sticks with me is when I helped someone to get a role in October; she was overjoyed, and this meant that she could give her children a Christmas to remember. Moments like these mean you finish each day with a real sense of achievement and the knowledge that you have aimed to do your best for people. 

The most valuable skills I gained during my service that still prove useful today are: 

In my role with Ingeus, I continue to develop these skills. The company is very proactive in upskilling and bettering their employees, whether it’s through courses, workshops, or simply asking management a question. 

If I were to give advice to fellow veterans transitioning into a civilian career, I would say it’s important to understand that the military and civilian workplaces are vastly different. Not everyone will have the same work ethic or focus on the job at hand. They need to understand that to some people, work isn’t the be all and end all. It’s important to treat everyone as individuals with their own unique perspectives and experiences to share. 

For how employers can support their ex-forces employees, recognising and providing support for mental health issues is vital. It’s also important to dispel any preconceptions about ex-soldiers. Veterans are generally hardworking, adaptable, and disciplined, making them valuable and loyal employees to the right business.  

As we commemorate Armed Forces Day, we continue our commitment to creating a workplace that supports veterans, like Paul, to adjust to new opportunities and thrive in new ways. 

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