Matt Driver and Phil Hayes, Coaches at Management Futures, explain how coaching can prepare you for your working life after leaving the Armed Forces.
Coaching is vital to a successful transition. Leaving the military and starting a civilian career is a huge change, involving more than swapping jobs: you need to find new purpose and decide your next steps. Many Service leavers apply for jobs without fully thinking about the impact, ending up in unfulfilling careers. Coaching helps you gain clarity of thought and action, so you make the right career choice.
At its heart, coaching is a speaking and listening exercise. It will encourage you to consider important questions you may never have previously considered, so you think about your life in different ways. Everything you say is confidential, so you can voice concerns and private aspirations. A coach also gives honest frank feedback, helping you to develop.
Sometimes, coaching is wrongfully considered a soft option. Our experience is that being coached can be tough, because at its best you scrutinise yourself. In the military you gave and followed orders, but you now need to decide what are your values, goals and next steps. This can make you anxious, but coaching provides a safe space to explore ideas.
A coach can help you understand how your military skills and experiences are applicable to your new chosen career. You can then identify your skill gaps and how to gain relevant experiences. Coaching can bridge the gap between the military and civilian worlds. In addition to learning more about yourself, a coach can help you adopt a softer style of leadership and learn how to build professional relationships that are not based on rank.