Why can’t I switch off…?

I have always prided myself throughout my Military Career that I was professional in my business and possibly more importantly to me I was proud that I cared about the Soldiers and Officers I was administrating.  I worked until my jobs for that day were done regardless of the time of night I would wander back to the block and it gave me peace of mind to know that I was starting a fresh the next day. I also assumed that when I eventually decided to ‘sign off’ I would also be able to switch off and not care about the Army…..the truth is as much as I want to (and I really do want to ), I cant!  Even now when I can count the amount of working days left on my hands I’m still in work, working, helping out the lads, doing what I can for the good of the Regiment.

A recent example of this was when I was given a small task by my Squadron Sergeant Major (SSM) and whilst conducting this task I found other quite major errors which to correct would take a lot of time and effort.  I could’ve kept these errors to myself and left it for some other HR Administrator to find but I didn’t. I went straight back to my SSM, told him what I’d found, explained how these errors were badly affecting our figures and asked him if I could rectify it?  He obviously said yes and I set about my task.  Four hours later I’d completed the job and felt happy that I had directly contributed to making the Regiments statistics better.  I was also quite mad with myself too – why couldn’t i have just kept my mouth shut? Why cant I stop caring about the Army?  What had pushed me to give myself more work when I could’ve been using my time job searching, or doing some training or networking. 

Is it because its inbuilt into me as a person? Is it because I feel this unrequited loyalty to an Organisation that will forget about me the moment I walk through those camp gates or is it because some other reason….?  I put it down to personal pride and the fact that if something isn’t right then it needs to be made right and if I can do that then I should.  I think a lot of other Service Leavers will struggle with this too – feeling mentally torn between their loyalty to the Forces Vs prepping for Civvy St…especially when Line Managers say things like ‘You’re still being paid by the Army so crack on’ when actually your family are relying on you to devote time to your resettlement activities so that when you leave you are employable.

Undoubtedly a very tough time but hopefully I’ve played it just right, doing enough to keep off peoples radars but dedicating every free moment to my Resettlement in the hope that it will make my transition to Civilian life as successful as possible.

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