Is it time to stay, or time to plan to go?


A career in the Australian Defence Force can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life, with the excitement and satisfaction of being well trained and engaging in adventurous pursuits unique to the ADF, but eventually everyone needs to plan to move on – into ‘civvy’ street.

Unfortunately, few equivalent jobs in the civilian sector offer opportunities ranging from basic employment roles through to technology based assignments, with the prospect of deploying overseas on combat related missions, peace-keeping and security related roles, so the transition into the civilian world can be challenging.

Career choices within the ADF are many, with opportunities to advance through the ranks and across various career streams. There are also opportunities to learn a trade, undertake tertiary level training and generally qualify for most professional pursuits. So the question is whether remaining in the Defence Force is a better option, at least until you are better prepared for the move.

Eventually, every member of the ADF will transition to a new working and family life in the civilian community. This may involve a move into the Defence Reserves, Defence Industry, starting a totally new career, establishing an own business, or just kicking back in retirement. Planning and informed action can enable such transition to occur as seamlessly as practicable while maximising your career and personal advantages.

There’s little doubt that effective planning and action during one’s career in the Defence Forces pays off when advancing through your military career, and when that day of separation finally arrives you want to be well prepared for what lies ahead. It is this planning leading to productive action that is vitally important.

In Looking Forward we publish information from a range of sources, as a general guide for people to take action appropriate to their individual situation. The views are not those of the Department of Defence and we advise everyone to consult with relevant Service authorities on exact benefits and conditions before taking any action. Independent advice on business and financial management is also advisable before making any decisions, financial or otherwise. That said, we hope the articles provide valuable information for those with the ambition to succeed – and we wish you every success with your chosen career path and eventual resettlement into civilian life, whenever that may occur.
John Armstrong, Editor
Photos: Courtesy Department of Defence

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