Civvy Street spoke to ex-reservist, Graeme Hood, Chair of Nationwide’s Military network, the internal network for Nationwide ex-forces about the transition between the Armed Forces and Civilian Life.
GH: I found out about Nationwide’s opportunities through friends and via the MOD resettlement portal.
GH: Firstly, decide where you want to live. Then look for an industry or type of role that suits your skillset and matches your choices on where you want to live then finally choose a firm. Make sure the firm suits your ethics, understands the skills you will bring and will help you transition into the world of work.
How do you feel your skills from the Military have helped you into full-time employment at Nationwide?
GH: The military gives you a great ability to adapt to any situation. Your leadership training throughout your career will help you stand out as a someone who is flexible, dynamic and someone who values the contributions of all team members.
As chair of the military network at Nationwide, what do you feel are some of the most important things you do for members of the ex-forces?
GH: Our network’s primary role is to help build contacts across Nationwide for anyone who has a connection with the military, either through previous service or via a family member. Doing this helps people to share experiences, obtain advice and support which ensures that we can help them achieve their full potential. We also help Nationwide better understand the specific needs of Service personnel and their families when it comes to designing our products and services.
What do you think were some of the most challenging things you faced on leaving the military and transitioning into civilian life?
GH: Leaving the military is a challenge and feels like a leap into the unknown. Reduce the stress by being open and talking about your fears to your friends and family. Don’t forget that your family will be leaving the military too, include them in the decision making. Most importantly, you have the skills and the training to make it a great success. Seek advice from people who have previously transitioned, if done politely people will always donate an hour in return for a coffee. When you have landed into the World of work remember to pay the advice back by looking after the next generation.
What is Nationwide looking for in their employees and why do members of the Armed Forces fit the profile criteria?
GH: We are looking for adaptable, dynamic and innovative people who are willing to lead, make decisions and put the needs of our members first. That sounds like a fair description of most military people I know!
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For further information on Nationwide Careers, please visit: https://www.nationwide-jobs.co.uk
Graeme’s bio: Graeme joined Nationwide in the Autumn of 2015 within business transformation. Prior to the commercial world he spent 17 years as a British Army Officer. In his spare time, Graeme is a dad of two and leads Swindon’s Army Reserve Tank Squadron in the Royal Wessex Yeomanry. He’s also the chair of one of Nationwide’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion people network which represents our veterans, reserves, their families and supporters.