Military transitions after 50

The Officers’ Association has commissioned research into the experiences of the Armed Forces community (including Serving and Ex-Serving Personnel) aged 50+ who make mid-career transitions into civilian work. We are talking with ex-Service people, current military personnel and employers to talk about the challenges and opportunities of a mid-career transition out of military service.

What’s the Context of the Research?

As people are living healthier lives and staying in work longer, many are considering changing occupations and industry in order to find new challenges which better suit their lifestyles.  This may be especially true for some older Service Personnel who want to apply the skills, knowledge and vast experience which they have acquired in active Service towards a new career. Making a successful job transition can also be a challenge. While employers say they value Ex-Service people for their discipline, decision-making and critical thinking, many are uncertain of how they can use military-acquired skills in their respective industries.  As the MoD is aware, there is a great deal of evidence that a well-constructed plan for transitioning to civilian work can pay dividends to older Service Personnel in finding jobs which they value.(CTP 2018)

What kind of questions are we considering?

  • What career support did you receive from the Armed Forces, support groups and other organisations?
  • What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in making a career move?
  • What were your reasons for making a mid-career transition?
  • How did employers value the skills, knowledge and experience you offered?
  • How did you adjust to a civilian career when your first left the Armed Forces?
  • What can the Armed Forces, support organisations and employers do to improve the transition of older Service leavers into civilian work?
  • What advice would you give to older Service Personnel who may be following in your footsteps?

Focus group discussions

We want to talk to employers about their experiences with and attitudes toward recruiting and managing older ex-Service people. We will be holding online discussions on the last week of June and first two weeks of July. You do not need to have previous experience employing ex-Service people. We just want to learn about perceptions of the 50+ Service Leaver workforce in the business community.  Questions which we would like to explore are:

  • How are older ex-Service people’s skills valued by organisations
  • What are the organisational benefits of recruiting older ex-Service people
  • What were some of the biggest challenges they face in recruiting and managing older ex-Service people
  • What support is provided to ex-Service people who are recruited into civilian work
  • What the armed services, support organisations and employers can do to improve the transition of older ex-Service people into civilian work

If you are interested in taking part, please click here.