On April 18th 2012 the first 'Forces to Business Career Transition Workshop' was hosted by award-winning Recruitment Consultancy Jenrick IT. The workshop, which was free to attend, was attended by a number of British Armed Forces personnel who have recently left, or are in the process of leaving the Armed Forces and are now seeking to explore the next chapter of their career in the Private Sector.

The all-day event was held at Jenrick's historical 'Clock Tower' Head Office, in Walton on Thames, Surrey and was orientated around two interactive talks from ex-Forces personnel who have already made successful career transitions to the Private Sector. Miriam Lee, a Government and Defence careers specialist at Jenrick IT, explained why the team ran this event:

"Our company was invited to attend several Defence Exhibitions in 2011 to act as a career and recruitment advisor to those leaving the Forces. It became quickly apparent that there were a number of information gaps regarding how the skills of Armed Forces personnel would transfer into the Private Sector and what the Private Sector was seeking in terms of skills. The workshop was an ideal opportunity to help fill in those information gaps and equip the attendees with the skills they will need to succeed in the Private Sector."

John Botterill and Andy Hayward, both of whom have built extremely successful careers since leaving the Armed Forces, led the morning workshop sessions. They covered a variety of topics, which were orientated around how they felt when they left the Forces, the mistakes they made in their job hunting approach and how they applied these lessons to refine their job hunting. After lunch, the group was given the opportunity to attend a mock job interview, run by Miriam Lee and Janos Meszaros. Meanwhile in another room, Philip Fanthom, Managing Director of Jenrick IT, and Andy Hayward, were running the remainder of the Group through the online websites, such as Linked IN, to see the role they play in your job hunting strategy. The entire group then came together to develop a case study and present a business plan. There has been an abundance of positive feedback received, some of which has been included below:

"Massive thanks for a superb event.  A great idea which was undoubtedly the most refreshing, and I think most useful careers event which I have been to yet. I certainly came away feeling more confident that I was in fact employable, and indeed that I am heading, bit by bit, towards the right goal." - Pilot - Royal Navy
"Brilliant! I loved the exercise we did on identifying what you really want to do, rather than just doing the first job you feel you are capable of." - Officer - Army (retired)
"Very impressed. You covered so much that was completely new to me. The mock interview was especially helpful." - Lt Cmdr - Royal Navy
"An excellent day. The ex-military guest speakers were key for me - I want to be in their position in a few years, so they are the exact people I want to learn from. It was so refreshing to have the opportunity to talk with people, rather than a computer programme telling you what you should or should not be doing." - Chief Petty Officer - Royal Navy
"This workshop was excellent. I've been out of the Forces for a while now, but didn't realise how I had slipped out of so many good habits. This workshop has reminded me of what I should be doing! For me, developing and presenting a business plan was the highlight of the day - I had not had the opportunity to do this type of exercise before." - Information Security Officer - Army (retired)