Meet Andy - Looking for senior engineering or project management work

ex-military jobs

Andy is a chartered Construction Project Manager with over 19 years' exemplary military service in the British Army. He is highly experienced in delivering projects from design to completion including sewage system upgrades, the replacement of mechanical workshop HVAC systems and petroleum storage and distribution systems upgrades.

Job location preference: Andy is looking to work within a 45 minute commute from Loughborough.
Role Andy is looking for: Construction Project Manager/ Senior Programme Engineer/ Senior Solutions Engineer.


SMJ: What is your role in the military?
ANDY: Clerk of Works (Construction). The main part of my role is building design, within the scope of UK building regulations and then planning and overseeing the work, making sure it is constructed correctly, then management of the facilities and overseeing lifecycle replacement.

SMJ: What could you military role be best compared to in commercial companies?
ANDY: Construction Project Manager or a Facilities Manager.

SMJ: What are some of your key achievements/ highlights during your military career? (See CV more career history and more key achievements)
ANDY: My work as a Project Manager in Gibraltar was a great experience for me. But from a personal satisfaction level, it was getting provision of disabled access facilities in a school in Canada and scoping and designing the adaptations on one of the quarters for a disabled child. I left before it was built but stayed in contact and the amount of difference it made to that child’s life, knowing what a positive effect that had was very, very satisfying.

SMJ: Tell me about your career before the military.
ANDY: I was an apprentice thatcher. I joined the military as I fancied seeing more of the world.

SMJ: What type of role are you looking for?
ANDY: A Project Manager working for a construction company, I really like the technical aspect of my job, the design, having a client come up to you and saying this is what I want, developing it from their initial thoughts and concepts, seeing it all the way through to the work being completed.

SMJ: What key skills do you think you have that would make you successful in the role you are looking for?
ANDY: Flexibility, multi-tasking, working to tight deadlines, producing work from a high-technical standard. And also the ability to develop relationships with lots of different stakeholders. Travelling around a bit you deal with a huge amount of different nationalities and cultures and you learn how to get the best out of different cultures, because obviously you want good relationships with everybody as it makes the project that more smooth to run and oversee.

SMJ: What have you done to prepare yourself (transition)? (See CV for more training and qualifications)
ANDY: I got an HND that was done completely through the military as part of my clerks work training. I then did a distance learning bachelors in construction management, I am a certified member of the British Institute of Facilities Management and I have taken other courses such as NEBOSH. I have completed both my Level 3 and Level 7 management certificates at the Chartered Management Institute. After that, I tried to really keep on top of updates, doing CPD seminars, doing short online learning CPD packages.  

SMJ: What have you found the most helpful/ enjoyable part of your career transition?
ANDY: Taking a different step away from the Army, establishing myself in a second career - that’s the most exciting prospect. Meeting different people, forming new relationships, such as people like yourselves at SaluteMyJob has also been exciting.

SMJ: What would help other going through the transition phase?
ANDY: Resettlement starts the day you join the Army. Do not leave it to the last two years of your career. Do not anticipate that you are going to do your time and then have two years to do your resettlement - work it in now.  I am fortunate that I have done so many courses. If the worst does happen and you are going to be medically discharged, it’s not a massive rush. And employers want to see that you have not just left it to your last couple of years, that you have taken CPD seriously throughout your career. There is enough stress on your plate when you are leaving - there is a whole raft of things going on, the last thing you want to be doing on top of all that stress, is having loads of training courses to do. You really need to think about plan B. And if you can, find something that you like and make a job out of it. Also speak to others who have left the military to find out about their career path. Use social media, set up Linkedin and on Facebook, a lot of different cap badges have their own groups with job opportunities posted on those pages and other people in similar situations offer advice - networking is very helpful.

While some people may lack certain qualifications, they are generally quick to learn, you are going to get somebody who is motivated, reliable and willing to learn and with great discipline.

SMJ: How has SaluteMyJob helped you?
ANDY: Talking with different people about different roles, how to best market my skills and make sure they are put out there on my CV and then looking at specific roles for me and helping me tailor my CV to that specific role.

SMJ: If there was anything you could advise organisations who want to employ Armed Forces candidates, what would it be?
ANDY: Just go for it - take a chance. While some people may lack certain qualifications, they are generally quick to learn, you are going to get somebody who is motivated, reliable and willing to learn and with great discipline.

SMJ: In  your opinion, what training or experience from your Armed Forces career has made your more competitive that other candidates from the commercial sector?
ANDY: I think when it comes to the academic side of things, our tests standards are higher. Members of the Forces are very adaptable and you have the ability to get on with everybody.

SMJ: And finally, what do you enjoy doing your spare time?
ANDY: Archery and cooking.

If you are an employer and would like to get in touch with Andy, please email info@salutemyjob.com.