A Charity offering personal help and advice for all serving and former members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, their Reserves and Families

Ex-Forces Career Story With FDM

Published 17/05/2017 11:49:00, by Marina Maher

FDM’s Ex-Forces Programme focuses on transforming ex-Servicemen and women into IT and business professionals, be that senior Project Managers or entry-level Consultants. The programme is specifically designed to provide Service leavers with expertise, training and commercial experience, bridging the gap between the Forces and the corporate world. Once trained, our consultants will be prepared for working with our high-profile clients on a consultancy basis as they launch a fulfilling second career.

Name: Trevor Tear  

Then: Electrical & Avionics Engineer, Lt, Royal Navy

Now: FDM Project Manager, Channel-4 Television

From working on Merlin Helicopters in the middle of the Gulf to working in the centre of London in the Media sector - who would have thought it, eh? Certainly not me!  I did 20 years in the Fleet Air Arm as an Aircraft Engineer before finishing off my career as an Air Engineering Officer in the darkest depths of Cornwall.

I found the transition between military life and becoming a civvie a bit more difficult than I had expected it to be.  Career Transition Workshop was invaluable, and helped to prepare a CV that would get me noticed and knock out the world …  After sending that knock out CV to over 50 potential employers, I was given the chance to showcase my 20 years of military experience to 2 companies, both members of the Military Covenant.

Looking at the CTP website, FDM offered a really attractive proposition for ex Armed Forces personnel, so I decided to give them a call and find out what it was all about.   I missed the opportunity to attend an insight day, as I was offered an interview instead, and as we are taught in the military, I went for it!  I was given 40 minutes to prepare a presentation on a failing project, and answer questions on how to move the project forward, as well as attend a standard interview (with a Prince Harry lookalike).  After about 2 minutes of nerves, the military training kicked in and I just cracked on, and after what felt like just 5 minutes my time was up. The presentation was delivered and I was offered a hand shake telling me I had passed the interview.  Luckily for me, a position had opened up at Channel 4 that very day, so there was another opportunity for the taking; I leapt at the chance.

After my successful interview, I completed my training requirements and went client-side in quick time.  Project Kryptonite week was intense, but it was a brilliant kick start to project management in a civilian environment; Professional Scrum Master training was completely alien to me; after working at Abbey Wood in Bristol (where it often took over 2 years to procure anything), there was this way of working called “Agile”, which allowed projects to be worked on, whilst being able to deliver a product incrementally to the client.  This way of working is prominent in the civilian IT sector, and it’s a method I use every day.

I have been with Channel 4 for over 6 months now, and I am enjoying every minute of it.  Like military life, different challenges are faced every day, but FDM has helped me make my journey a far easier road to travel, and has given me the opportunity and skill set to make the transition to civilian employment a prosperous and enjoyable one.

For more information about FDM’s Ex-Forces Programme please go to their website  or contact our Director of Employment Service Dom Hill dom.hill@whiteensign.co.uk 


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