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An employees perspective on moving from a career in the Armed Forces to joining SJP

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After leaving the Army six years ago I found several challenges transitioning from military to civilian/corporate life.

When looking for a new career it can be difficult for prospective employers to really understand the skill set that a veteran can bring to their company.

In the Armed Forces our job roles can change very regularly and give us a unique opportunity to have exposure to many situations. That may be leading a patrol of 30 soldiers on combat operations or completing a complex project at a strategic level working closely with external agencies to deliver the desired outcome. With each of these roles we are fortunate to develop a varied set of skills.

Since joining St. James’s Place I have been made to feel extremely welcome. I understand that employing somebody from the Armed Forces could be seen as a risk, due to a lack of industry experience, however they recognised the skills that I had and how they could be transferred into a different role.

Coming from a very different background I was given time to ‘get up to speed’ with the industry I had transferred into. I was given a bespoke programme of learning as well as a mentor. For the first six months, I was tasked with orienting myself and getting to know the business. During this time I was also able to demonstrate the skills I had learnt from my time in the Armed Forces, delivering presentations on leadership and management, as well as showing how the process the Armed Forces use when making decisions could work in a corporate environment.

This period wasn’t just learning about SJP and financial services, but also an opportunity for SJP to learn a bit more about me.

When I started to take on the day-to-day tasks of my new role, inevitably there were more challenges that I had to work through, and my mentor was important during this phase. Working with them and sharing my experience was vital in transitioning into the corporate world. It really helped to have somebody to talk to about concerns, how to approach situations, and also discuss mistakes you may make along the way.

SJP have given me a fantastic platform to launch a new career and have encouraged me, as an ex member of the Armed Forces to utilise my existing skills in the corporate world. It’s great to see employers like SJP recognising the diverse range of skills that those with Armed Forces experience have and how they can be easily transferred to a different career and industry.

An employer’s perspective

Finding talented people to work in our business is vital to our future success. Historically, financial services and wealth management have attracted a certain demographic and a certain skills and experience set. Increasingly though, we’re recognising the need to think differently and to harness the potential of diverse skill sets, a wide variety of lived experience and different world views.

Not only does that give us the advantage of cognitive diversity which engenders creativity and innovation, it also requires us to create inclusive workplaces where different people can thrive.

There are many similarities between the skills needed in the Armed Forces and those that we require to be successful in wealth management; leadership, adaptability, resilience and communication skills are all key. Being able to transfer these skills is in part down to the individual but also relies on the employer to create the right environment.

SJP are working hard to do just that, making our business somewhere where talented people from any background or circumstance can achieve their full potential.

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