How do I know what a good job is for me when I leave the Armed Forces?

Whatever happens in the weeks and months ahead, it seems clear that we’re facing a new world of work. There may be limited, diverse and ‘alien to you’ options in our careers, but there will still be opportunities to pursue. So, while you’re planning your exit from the Armed Forces, you can take the chance to think about your career – to take stock and think ahead. Here are a couple of things you can do to help structure your thinking.

Step 1

If you said: “That looks like a good job”, what factors would prompt you to say that?

Why not create yourself a recipe for the perfect job for you? Grab a piece of paper and divide the page into two columns – ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ Then consider the tasks you’ve worked on, the responsibilities you’ve had and the situations you’ve been in over the last few years at work. Jot them down as brief notes in the relevant column.

My Good Job
THINK – Tasks – Responsibilities – Situations
Likes Dislikes





Then, think about what boundaries you may have:

Ideal Would Consider

By Car, Bike, Walk, Public Transport

Time spent on commute?


Salary, Benefits, Bonus

Work Style

Full Time/Flexible/Shifts

Now you have the recipe for your ‘good’ job, you have a framework for evaluating job ads you see in the future. This can help you prioritise your applications, focus your direction and develop questions to ask or research before you meet a potential employer.

Step 2

What skills do you have? Have you ever really worked through your skill set in detail? It’s absolutely vital in the disrupted job world coming our way that you understand what you have and what’s for sale.

Here’s one way doing of uncovering your skills:

Make four lists of skills, using a piece of paper for each – for business, technical, soft and life skills. They only need to be bullet points, not descriptions.

Stick them to your fridge door or notice board and add something every day. Ask friends, family and colleagues what they think, then look at your CV, appraisals and feedback you’ve been given for more ideas.

Here’s an example list (without too many things to pinch for your list!)

  1. Business Skills
  • What you need to run perform well in your work – sales, customer care, budgets, team leadership, IT
  • Think about skills you use at work that could transfer to another environment


  1. Technical Skills
  • What you need to do your job? These are often the skills you are paid for, whether it’s a ‘trade’ or ‘profession’ – accountancy, plumbing, coding, teaching etc.


  1. Soft Skills
  • What you use to be effective in life? Think communication, interpersonal, resilience, etc.


  1. Life Skills
  • Outside the box! Home schoolteacher, parenting, skydiving, team sports, volunteering!!??


Next Steps

Spend some time thinking through these and hopefully you’ll find these two steps useful for thinking ahead career wise in challenging times. Make a realistic plan of what you can and want to do next in your current role or a new role and make it happen!

If this has sparked your interest, you can get in touch with the Career Coach directly here.

For more blogs from the Career Coach on this subject, read more here.

To find out what types of roles our clients are recruiting for, check out our jobs pages.