The Armed Forces in many ways insulates its members from many of the realities of civilian live.
When you always have somewhere to sleep, all ways have the ability to get three meals a day, it can be hard to understand the true cost of living in the civilian world. In my early career I saw my wages as a way to enjoy life with very little planing for the future involved.
There was no need to worry about the future as i had planned for a long career ahead of me.
Financial planning for the future was not high on my list of priorities.
I was I believe not unique in this way of thinking while in service. Future planning needs to be fostered within service from the very start.
Why should they, you may ask?
Jobs in the civilian market wouldn’t necessarily offer financial planing to its employees. Well the Armed Forces is not just one of your average employers. If you take into account the low average literacy and numeracy abilities of some of their recruits, then making sure that they understand fiscal responsibility is even more important.
The Armed Forces will at times, ask their members to do things beyond that expected in the normal civilian day to day life. Upto and including giving their life in the service of your country. With that in mind is it beyond reason that more should be done to foster success in their members as they leave the military and continue with the rest of their lives.
There is something that many in the Armed Forces take a while to get to grips with and that is that your time in the military will come to an end. I think for a lot of people this is due to the length of your engagement, its hard to see something coming to an end when its more than two decades away. The end when it comes, as much as how it comes about can have a lasting impact on the rest of your life.
When I left the military I found myself at, what I can best describe as a loose end in relation to what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
I had a good idea of what I didn’t want to do, finding something I did was somewhat more challenging. Identifying transferable skills was something I found hard when looking back at a military career focused on weapon training and tactics. It is an area the Armed Forces have got better at over the past few years but gaps can still remain.
My transition from service has been aided by my interaction with ExFor+. The support they have been able to provide, through education and retaining has helped me to identify many of the skills that I acquired whilst within the military and how they can still be of use in the civilian word today.
This has helped to rebuild much of the confidence I had lost after leaving the military.