Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A year in the life..

Ok readers, its that time of the year again, but in many terms things have changed massively, With this post I aim to bring you up to date with life as a veteran and some of the issues that people like me are facing.
So this time last year I was still a man of leisure enjoying my retirement, but on about this day, it became apparent that I would need a job. I had applied for several but hadnt had any interviews.
I spent a week revising my CV and that didnt work either.
Now fellow ex military its all about the trivial things that we do that we take for granted that are really valued. Self discipline, work ethic, loyalty and other military traits that nly we can offer a civil employer.
It was February before I got a telephone interview for an ex military programme in London. I passed the telephone interview and was invited down for a.  assessment. This was with a company called FDM. They are a recruitment agency with a difference, in that they recruit the people with the personality traits they like and then provide them with the skills that then are marketed through their sales department. I passed the assessment, and subsequent final interview and started "work" on Mar 17th.
In a slight break,i need to tell you a story.
Once upon a time a great king asked his followers to get him all of the knowledge of the world, many tried and came back with great tomes. The king whilst impressed said  that whilst this was indeed impressive he wanted something shorter, and his followers compressed all the knowledge into one book. the king was impressed but said it still needed compressing, his followers got all the knowledge down to three chapters, the king required it to be compressed further and eventually one of his followers got it down to one phrase......"There's no such thing as a free lunch"

This is true about FDM. The way it works is that you undergo a period of training depending on what FDM think your specialisation is better suited. Because I was already a qualified project manager, it was decided that I was better suited to a test analyst specialisation. My total training period was 16 weeks. the Majority of which was a 60 -70 hour week to get the project work and revision done. I as lucky and able to stay with my aunt. this is all on the basis that you will be placed with a client at the end of your training. My mother in law is very ill and DM were desperate to place people in Yorkshire ( which suited us). Whilst it would be unprofessional to add personal feelings or comments, all I will say is that I was given some bad advice and the extra pressure ( on top of everything else) made me become a different person and the placement didnt work out. I was released by FDM without any contractual penalties and an amazing sense of relief swept over me. I have made some terrific friends and I will never forget some of the sacrifices they were willing to make to help me.I was sad but elated that I didnt have to get up at 0445 to make a 160 mile journey to park and then catch a tube to get to work for 0745, and then look forward to the return journey at 1700.
I could have cheered.

Networking is key, its not what you know, its who you know ( and who they know). I posted on facebook that I had been made redundant and was instantly offered a casual bird control position at the RAF bases in Lincolnshire. I loved this job aircraft annd birds in one day result! the only down side is that I only got paid for the hours I worked, which is Ok when the hours are regular.n a zero hours contract I could have good weeks and bad weeks and finally it became apparent that irrespective of how many hours I worked the money didnt go up, so I consulted my resettlement advisor. He knew of a job in my local area, that needed ex military staff. I applied and got the job. Its nice to get a salary and not have to worry about hours per week.

I am an Emergency Response Controller working for a company in Boston. providing assistance when required for Loan workers,Gap year students and School trips, that are customers of the GapTrac, Locuro or other related products. I find the work interesting and every day is different mostly driven by current affairs. The important thing though is that all of my Emergency response controller colleagues are all ex military and we share good banter. ( the coffee is awesome too...)

I apologise for the mass text posting that this will appear as but this is the end of the beginning...and a new blogging chapter starts here.....