Unlocking your potential: Identifying your transferable skills from the military

There are lots of things to think about when making the change from an army, RAF or navy career to the civilian workforce. One thing to decide is what type of job role you’re interested in; and this is likely to depend not only on your interests and aspirations, but also your existing skills and strengths.

Entering a new sector is a challenge at any age, but it’s good to recognise that you won’t be starting right from the beginning. Recognising the military transferable skills that you have already gained will help you gauge your professional value in other industries, where you can apply your abilities in other contexts. In this blog we’ll explore how to identify which sought-after military transferable skills you can take with you to your new career.

Where to start
It’s easy to take your achievements and abilities for granted, but they are likely to be sought after and prized by potential employers. To identify what these abilities might be, start by looking at your career in the military as well as any previous job roles, volunteer positions, hobbies, or educational experiences. Think about what you did in each of these roles.

What military transferable skills do you have to offer?
Military transferable skills can include hard skills (like specific software or technical abilities) or soft skills (like communication, leadership, problem-solving). We’ll take a look at some of the possibilities below.

  • Leadership and team management. If you’re experienced in leading teams, making decisions under pressure and motivating others, you are likely to be a desirable candidate for leadership roles in any sector.
  • Discipline and reliability. The military instils a sense of discipline and a strong work ethic; military transferable skills that will translate into a variety of other careers.
  • Problem solving and adaptability. If you’re adaptable and able to think on your feet, often in challenging and changing environments, you’ll be a good fit for any role where unexpected issues can arise and quick, effective problem-solving is needed.
  • Communication skills. Effective communication is key in the military, both in terms of following orders and working within a team. It’s a military transferable skill that is sought after in a wide range of other roles.
  • Crisis management. Experience in handling stressful and crisis situations in the military is invaluable for emergency response planning, ensuring minimal disruption during unforeseen events.
  • Project management. Skills in planning and executing missions in the military can be transferred to managing projects in other areas.

If you’d like more insights into some of the military transferable skills you possess, skills development workshops are available through the Career Transition Partnership, which supports military personnel who are transitioning from the Armed Forces into civilian life.

This information sheet on Personal qualities, transferable skills, competences and achievements may also prove useful.

Different words for the same skills
Some jobs might ask for skills that you don’t recognise, but it doesn’t mean you don’t possess them. Different industries or jobs may use different terminology from the familiar words and phrases used in your career to date, so your military transferable skills may actually be highly relevant.

This works both ways: when you’re emphasising your experience on a CV or application, don’t assume that the recruiter will understand military jargon and take care to describe or explain your responsibilities in a way that transfers across to your new industry. Avoid using abbreviations without explaining what they mean in full, and think carefully about which of your military achievements are truly relevant to your new role.

Consider a new career in facilities management
As someone who has served in the army, navy or RAF, you have acquired a range of military transferable skills that are highly beneficial in a facilities management career. Interested? Find out more about ex-military jobs in facilities management and how to get started in a new, fulfilling career.

Contact Us