From Officers’ Mess To Boardroom

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If you’ve commanded Personnel in your time, your civilian career could be heading straight for the company boardroom!

Adapted from CivvyStreet Magazine, October 2013.

These days there are plenty of well-trodden paths for non-commissioned officers and other ranks between the Armed Forces and many a successful civilian career; popular options include the Emergency Services, and the security, transport, or construction sectors. If you’re leaving as an officer (however junior), your options are just as good; the command and management experience at your fingertips could well take you into the boardroom, or at least deposit you pretty high up the corporate ladder.

Having any rank (and the responsibility that comes with it) in the Armed Forces can be excellent preparation for a managerial career. There might not seem to be a direct correlation between guiding operations in Afghanistan and, say, managing a machine plant in Twickenham or a financial services company in the City of London, but your time in uniform will certainly hone a host of ‘transferrable’ managerial skills. Yes, your civilian peer might have gained a great MBA but, according to Michael Jordan of US company EDS, while that qualification can “give you the tools and familiarity” with making decisions, Military experience puts you “in a real-world situation”.

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