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Career advice

What’s It like to Transition from the Navy to Recruitment?

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by Brad Donald

11 months ago

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After a trip down memory lane on Facebook and stumbling across old photos of me in my military uniform, it inspired me to write a blog about what my days in the Military taught me and how I transitioned into a civilian lifestyle.

It’s a completely different lifestyle in the Military.

You are told where to be, when to be there, how high to jump and your answer is always yes. That was my life for nearly 4 years and when I discharged from the Navy, it was a big smack to the face. It took me a long time to transition out of Military thinking and I had a very stern working attitude and if people weren’t doing the right thing by the right time in the right way, then my first reaction was to become very heated and to have the urge to give them 5 minutes of wall squats as punishment. It took me a long time to learn that I couldn’t be this way because what people thought was mean and angry, was just me being passionate about my work. But I wasn’t communicating that in an effective manner.

It will be four years on Christmas Day 2018, since I left the Navy and now I’m working as a Recruitment Consultant with people2people and I still retain a fairly strict lifestyle in terms of getting up early, working out and having a neat and tidy room. But I’ve learnt how to also translate this into my recruiting role without being that person who’s going to ‘encourage’ you to do 50 push ups if you don’t do the right thing.

I always think back to the times where I might not have slept for 3 days because I was performing my duties, such as practice exercises such as fighting fires, being a medic or the man overboard swimmer and I think about what determination that took to uphold all those responsibilities. When I’m in the office facing competing deadlines, haven’t slept properly the night before, barely eaten because I am ‘run off my feet’, I just think back to being on a military ship for 9 months and undertaking everything that was asked of me, without question. Then I realise I can do anything that recruitment throws at me. It’s about effective time management, learning how to control your stress and knowing how to adjust your attitude to fit the situation. When I get passionate about something now, it’s applying that passion that I possessed in the military in a professional manner, in a professional environment.

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