Defence - Transitioning Out of Uniform to the Civilian Workforce

Defence - Transitioning Out of Uniform to the Civilian Workforce

June 29, 2023

We want to shed light on a topic close to the hearts of many Australian service members: transitioning out of uniform and into the civilian workforce.

This transition from the structured world of the military to the dynamic civilian workforce can be both exciting and challenging.

And although challenging, it’s important to remember and harness the unique skills, experiences, and qualities that service members hold that can really shine in the civilian workforce. The expertise, work ethic and adaptable mindset adopted from working in uniform position ex-military for success in this new chapter.

Here are a few key considerations for a smooth transition:

1. Embrace Your Transferable Skills

Your time in the defence forces equips you with a wealth of transferable skills that are highly sought after in civilian sectors. From the work ethic to taking on responsibility outside of your remit – what may seem very normal to you in the military has some extremely desirable skills in the civilian workplace. From leadership and teamwork to problem-solving and adaptability, these skills make defence professionals valuable assets in any working environment.

As well as the skills you have to offer, there are the valuable qualities that are instilled from working in a military background. Qualities such as resilience which is needed to navigate challenging circumstances is something many employers are looking for. Recognise and embrace these strong strengths and qualities in your civilian career.

2️. Seek Career Guidance and Support

Transitioning to civilian life may feel like a leap into the unknown. Fortunately, there are resources available to support you during this process. Organisations like Defence Transition Support Services and career coaching professionals can offer guidance, mentorship, and assistance with resume writing, interview skills, and networking opportunities. Take a look at our blog on writing a stand out resume here.

3️. Leverage Your Network

Leverage the networks built through your military experience. Reach out to former colleagues, friends, or mentors who have transitioned into the civilian workforce successfully. They can provide valuable insights, recommendations, and potentially open doors to opportunities in various industries. As well as military networks, talk to recruiters, who can help navigate different jobs that might be suitable through their deep understanding of the roles they are working on for their clients and what transferable skills can be applied.

Transitioning out of uniform can be challenging but is an opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Be open to new experiences, embrace change, and demonstrate your qualities and skills that are often sought after in civilian life.

Please reach out to Richard at for any further assistance or to chat about any available roles in the Defence industry.