Top of the page

Resettlement success

Al G
Forces: Ex-Royal Navy

Al G - Chief Petty Officer

“Don’t undersell yourself! Servicemen and women do an exceptional job under unique pressures and the skills we have are very much transferable to civilian life no matter what field you decide to enter.”

Ex Chief Petty Officer Al G left the Royal Navy in early 2011, having served in the Royal Navy as a Surveillance Maintainer. Al’s main reason for leaving was to enable him to spend more time with his young family, and having served for twelve years, he had gained a wide range of skills and experience to support him in a new civilian career.

Al says that of most use in civilian life are, “The vast majority of skills that aren’t taught as such but are instilled, such as time keeping and time management, discipline (both of yourself and others), work ethic, adaptability, flexibility, stress management; the list goes on.” Al also achieved a number of formal qualifications during his time in the Navy, and these include a HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, an MSc in Defence Leadership and City & Guilds qualifications in Engineering Management, Leadership and Management and Human Resources.

To kick start his resettlement, Al attended a Career Transition Workshop (CTW) at RRC Portsmouth, and says “It was helpful in helping prepare me for interviews and opening my eyes to all the different avenues open to me for finding a new role in civilian life.”

Al also used his Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC’s) to complete PRINCE2 Project Management and Management of Risk (MoR) courses provided by a CTP Preferred Supplier of training. Al says, “The courses look good on my CV, and although the job role I ended up securing wasn’t in project management, they helped put a formal framework around common sense in terms of the fact that projects are undertaken by all of us on a regular basis, sometimes without us realising.”

With extensive engineering experience, Al decided to seek a position in which he could transfer these skills, and came across an online advert for a role with Jaguar Land Rover. Al applied for the job and completed a thorough interview process which included four different interview/assessment levels, including psychometric testing, a technical interview, behavioural interview and presentation.

From his experience at interview, Al has plenty of advice for others: “Don’t limit yourself to one CV; have a base one that is packed with everything you have done and cherry pick the parts that are relevant to the industry/company you are applying for. Always attach a covering letter and base the wording around how you can add value to them as a business. Research the company you’re applying for well and refer to things you’ve found out in the covering letter. I sift a lot of applications now and you can really tell someone who has put the effort in and really wants the job, over someone who’s circulated the same CV to hundreds of different people. Anyone taking the time to really think about their application and personalise it to what the company is looking for is far more likely to proceed to interview.”

Al was successful in the interview process with Jaguar Land Rover, and has been working in the role of Northworks Maintenance Manager for just over a year. He is responsible for ensuring that all electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic and mechanical equipment is fixed as soon as possible, and Al says, “The line produces a luxury car every 88 seconds, so if the equipment breaks and does not start again, I am responsible for losing the business the profit generated from each of those cars every minute and a half.”

Al’s role also includes responsibility for “the project, budget and man management and the strategic direction of the department, and use of my resources to keep the plant running smoothly against multiple targets and also to look to the future with new technologies and ways of thinking in order to continuously improve performance in terms of safety, quality, delivery, cost, morale and environmental aspects.” Al says that along with Project Management training, his Management of Risk qualification is also of use in the role: “I balance risk with every decision I make, so to have the formal training behind me gives me the confidence that I’m making the right choices with the information I have available.”

Al says the main obstacle he faced when settling into the role was learning two new industries: manufacturing and automotive; however he goes on to say, “I commend Jaguar Land Rover as an exceptional company to work for and also that they are not afraid to take on people who are completely new, to try and bring in fresh ideas and approaches to how they conduct their business. For this reason, I feel it’s my duty to them to do the best that I can but also to not be afraid to do some things differently, as that’s why I’m here.”

When asked what advice he would offer to other Service leavers going through the resettlement process, Al says, “Don’t undersell yourself! Servicemen and women do an exceptional job under unique pressures and the skills we have are very much transferable to civilian life no matter what field you decide to enter.”
More success stories