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Transferrable Skills - ex MOD Personnel Welcome at Churches.

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2 months ago

by Matt Fox

​Churches Fire and Security is an employer that is proud of its ex armed forces employees and is keen to offer a rewarding and welcoming environment for people leaving the MOD who are seeking a new role.

We recognise the great talents and transferable skills that many service personnel are able offer, and we’re keen to engage with and support those individuals in building a successful and rewarding post-forces career with us at Churches.

There are many great people at Churches Fire and Security who joined us after leaving the forces, so we caught up with one of them to find out more about her story…

Sophie – our Fleet & Purchasing Manager spent six years in the armed forces prior to joining Churches, so we asked her about her background and how she was able to adapt to life with us!

Can you tell us about your role in the MOD…? What did you do…?

I worked within port and maritime military logistics which was effectively making sure that everything that was needed for a military exercise got to the right place at the right time – anywhere in the world. I joined as a soldier, like many other people and went through my Officer training at Sandhurst and was then essentially a Manager – dealing with all aspects of running my operational team – from Recruitment, Retention, Payroll… at the same time as patrolling a buffer zone!


What challenges did you face when considering employment in a civilian setting…?

There were a lot – initially I was unsure how my skills would transfer. Also, I had a lot of experience for my age because the military give you responsibility purely based on your competence rather than experience. In a civilian setting I found that the perception was often that I couldn’t possibly have done all of those things because of my age so it was challenging to convince potential employers that I had! I was also quite confused about what ‘normal’ jobs I might be able to do… For some of my colleagues it was quite straight forward – they worked in Military Payroll for example, so that was clearly transferrable. For me – I wasn’t sure where a Logistician might fit, but I found that Churches were great at seeing my potential and where my skills would add value.

An example of this would be that whilst I had a lot of purchasing experience along with logistics, I had never managed a fleet before joining Churches, but because of some of the other areas of experience I had gained, I was given the opportunity and the chance to grow into that role.


Why do you feel that the environment at Churches was a good fit…?

I think that sometimes in the military it is easy to become institutionalised in terms of structure and pace. At Churches there are many elements of freedom, and the opportunity to try something and ask for forgiveness rather than permission, but there are always deadlines and deliverables and that relates really well.

There are always opportunities here to take on or do more, and I like the fact that you are always encouraged to put a hand up and participate.

Generally though, there is a real synergy with Churches corporate values and the values that filter through all elements of military life and that struck me as soon as I joined the business. Primarily this is around respect for people and equipment, determination, commitment and accountability. I have found that non-military people don’t always demonstrate these values to the same level. Also work ethic – a flexible approach but with a focus on the job in hand and the need to just get it done.


How did you go about searching for jobs when you left the forces…? What support did you have…?

I spent hours searching online for jobs on all the websites I could find, but I also cold called a lot of companies because I sometimes struggled to get interviews. Employers often told me my skillset didn’t fit, or that the issue was my CV. It was great to find an employer who understood this.

There are some organisations that offer help and support to people who are leaving the MOD – the Royal British Legion, CTP, RBEA and a few others. The military do help, but geography was challenging because I was looking for roles close to where I had most recently been posted but the support team were based miles away so didn’t really understand the geography.


What advice do you have for veterans seeking employment outside the MOD…?

If you aren’t sure, get some help with identifying your transferrable skills. Some employers are great at identifying them, but others are confused when they see a military CV. Keep going though, because there are some great opportunities out there.


Churches Fire and Security actively welcomes applications from those seeking employment outside the armed forces. Not only do we encourage you to check our current vacancies at but our recruitment team are happy to discuss our current and likely future openings and how your skills may suit. We offer an Academy, where those with a technical mindset can become fully qualified Technicians, working on extinguishers, fire and / or security alarms. While passing through our academy you will earn a great salary from day one, have the opportunity to build your skills and develop a career within a lucrative, rewarding industry.

For further information please contact our recruitment team on 03330 112 328.

#jobsinfire #exmod #jobsforveterans #securityjobs #recruitment #joinus

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