Transitioning into a new career – advice from three service leavers

Wednesday, 21 June 2023

Lots of NEBOSH learners have come from service backgrounds, including the Royal Navy, Corps of Royal Marines and the Royal Air Force. Our qualifications have supported ex-military personnel to not only enter the health and safety profession, but progress to management positions as well. They give you the knowledge and skills to be able manage a range of health and safety risks, keeping people safe from harm.

Are you preparing to leave the armed forces and looking for advice on transitioning into a career into health and safety? Well, you’re in luck! We spoke to three service leavers to ask their advice on transitioning from the forces to a career in health and safety.

Find out what support is available to you

Ian Stacey is a former Corporal in the Army and is now International Associate Director of Health and Safety for HelloFresh. He advises:

  1. It is important you know what support and advice is available to you – be proactive and find out!
  2. Be certain about your decision to leave the service and consider whether your new path will offer the same level of job security.
  3. Exploit educational programs while still serving.
  4. Exploit LinkedIn - make connections, seek advice, and watch out for unadvertised job opportunities. This could help you land your next role, often through mutual acquaintances.

Don’t sell yourself short

Andy King was a Joint Terminal Attack Controller and now works QHSE Consultant. He suggests:

  1. Don’t leave applying for roles for when are on your final couple of weeks, some recruitment processes can take months before starting.
  2. Go with your gut instinct during the interview and if you feel that the people are interviewing you might not be on your wavelength you may want to step away, as they will potentially be your line manager.
  3. Ask about career progression.
  4. Don’t use all your Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) immediately as you might find the role/career you have selected might not be a good fit.
  5. You have so many skills which you might not appreciate, so don’t sell yourself short or doubt your abilities.

Take advantage of your ELCAS funding

Lisa Kirkbride holds a NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety and works as Health, Safety and Facilities Manager at Pioneer Foodservices. Lisa was a former Warrant Officer Class 1 in the Army and she advises:

“Take ownership of your transition journey and book your courses as soon as you’re eligible. Understand the industry you wish to specialise in and tailor health and safety qualifications to maximise your ELCs. For any remaining Graduate Resettlement time (GRT), find a company in your industry and ask for a work experience alongside their health and safety professional.”

Please visit our service leavers page where you can find out about how you can use your ELCAS funding to fund NEBOSH qualification: Guidance for Service Leavers.