Former Army Captain struggling to find work

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Jonathan Bebbington is a former Captain in the Royal Logistics Corps. He had an exemplary military career and left the Army in 2012 after 28 years. Since then, although highly experienced, with a huge amount of transferable skills, Jonathan has really struggled to find employment.

As a Captain in the Royal Logistics Corps, Jonathan was a technical subject matter expert in logistics and supply chain. His role also involved him being second in command of a squadron. The 54-year-old said he had a number of highlights and personal achievements throughout his military career, including completing his Commando training. Jonathan said: “I spent most of my time in the Commando Brigade so that was a personal achievement of mine. Another achievement was mentoring in Afghanistan. It involved the complete rebuild of an infantry training base for the Afghan Army. So I was the logistics mentor but because the place was actually falling down, with no water, I was also the project manager, making sure the infrastructure and facilities got back up and running.”

Jonathan, who is based in Crewe, was eligible for the full service programme offered by the Career Transition Partnership during his resettlement. He attended a number of CTP workshops on self-employment and marketing, CV writing, job hunting skills, interview techniques, budgeting and finance. He also completed project management courses and exercise physiology courses.

I find it quite difficult to see where I fit, even though I have had quite a successful military career, lots of achievements, it still comes down to the personal journey and that has always been a struggle for me.
— Jonathan

Since leaving in 2012, Jonathan has found transitioning from the military a great challenge - and is still struggling. He explained: “At the time, I did not know but I suffered from depression and I was going through a serious bout of it - so I felt quite isolated and made transitioning even more difficult. What I have really struggled with - and still am today, is understanding where I fit in the big wide-world. I have what they call imposter syndrome, which is when people see themselves as not quite good enough to do things. I would always find a reason to do myself down - so it’s about self-worth, which has always been a struggle for me. So I find it quite difficult to see where I fit, even though I have had quite a successful military career, lots of achievements, it still comes down to the personal journey and that has always been a struggle for me.”

For Jonathan, he said that the support he was offered and received the first few years of his transition was weak. He reached out to a number of charities for help - but struggled to find correct information, support and guidance. The main struggle was understanding which charities and agencies he could access and who could help.

One charity that has helped is the Royal British Legion. Jonathan has recently completed their LifeWorks course, which is a five-day course, tailored specifically towards helping ex-Forces personnel secure the future they want, which he said he found incredibly useful. He is also connected with SaluteMyJob, in the hopes of finally finding the right job to suit his skills and experience.

Jonathan has done some project work for the Ministry of Defence, as well as project work out in the middle east, as well as personal training instructing jobs along the way - but generally Jonathan said he has been in and out on employment and struggled - and is currently unemployed.

“What I find frustrating is I am quite a capable individual and without blowing my own trumpet, I am quite smart, I look smart, I keep healthy, I communicate well, I have a vast amount of experience from my military career - so somewhere, there should be an organisation who would like me to work for them,” Johnathan added.

Jonathan said he believes Veterans’ Gateway is a great idea. He added: “There are so many charities and organisations out there so if you don’t know where to go or who can offer support, having one point of contact is a good step forward.”

To find out more about Veterans' Gateway click here.