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Resettlement success

Forces: Ex-Army

Frances: From Army Officer to Local Authority Officer

"Look behind the job description and map across to your own skills – relating the skills you have to the job description."

Frances is a former high ranking military officer who served with the Armed Forces for more than 20 years. She was discharged from Service in 2008.

Frances decided to explore the local job market, and researched jobs with her local authority. It was fortunate that Frances had bought a house in the locality of the Council that employed her as it meant she had no need to relocate but was aware that for some roles a relocation package was available.

After 5 years of working for the Council in a job she found advertised in the Guardian, she is in her second role there as General Manager - Public Health and Housing Services.

She discovered that the skills she brought from her military career; leadership, management and having the ability to look across a range of tasks and people skills were the same skills she needed in her work with the council.  She also brought further skills to her role including planning, human resources, strategic undertaking and the ability to communicate with people.

To add to her skills she undertook a Financial Management Course and became MSP Qualified. Frances appreciates that local government faces challenges in delivering customer focussed services for local people and has learned how local government works. Although she doesn’t need it in her current role she would at some stage like to learn at least one new language as an additional skill.

Advice that Frances would give to others changing careers would be to largely ignore job titles as they often look unfamiliar to the previous role held and could be off-putting to those looking for a new career. Look behind the job description and map across to your own skills – relating the skills you have to the job description. Frances will apply this approach to her ultimate goal by continuing in the public sector and becoming a chief executive.

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