Ex Forces: My First Month in Rolling Stock

My first month in rolling stock

Lee Paine became familiar with ATA Recruitment back in February 2018 when he reached out to one of our Recruitment Consultants on LinkedIn. Working as a Logistical Transport Planner in the British Army, Lee began looking at his options outside of The Forces and which sectors he could transfer into. He shares his experience on the transition from the Army on his personal blog, Infanteer to Engineer.

Fast-forward to the end of the year and with ATA’s help, Lee began his first rolling stock job as an Assistant Service Engineer at Govia Thameslink Railway in November. We secured this position for Lee back in April, ready for when he had completed his service. We caught up with him to discuss how he found the recruitment process, how his first month in rolling stock has been and what his advice is for those looking to follow in his footsteps:

How did it feel when you were coming to the end of your service and looking for work?

Towards the end of my service, I was looking forward to leaving and taking the next step. A year of resettlement can feel like forever away, but I knew it would come around fast. Initially, I was worried about whether I would find a job in rolling stock as I didn’t come from an engineering background, but I put in the hard work and was determined to secure a role. I was proactive and got everything sorted ahead of time, which was actually 6 months to the day of signing off. I signed off on the 20th of October 2017 and was offered the job at GTR on the 20th of April 2018.

 

How was the job searching and interview process?

I found the job searching process difficult at first, it felt daunting as I didn’t seem to have the experience to apply for the jobs I wanted. When I got in touch with ATA and started working with Lee Bennett (Talent Sourcing Specialist), he helped me to grow in confidence and focus on my goal of getting a job in rolling stock. I’d had a successful interview a few weeks prior for an apprenticeship, so I felt really prepared for the GTR interview and wasn’t nervous – the interviewing managers were really relaxed, and it helped me to do well.
 

How’s your first month in rolling stock been?

My first month working in rolling stock at GTR has been great – I have been loaded onto training courses to find out more about the rolling stock that I will be learning to maintain and fix. I was invited to play in a charity football match where my department won the competition so that was a fantastic opportunity to get to know my new colleagues. I feel that I’ve been fitting in well and have adapted to civilian life, the health and safety and situational awareness aspects of the military have been great transferable skills that I’ve been able to use in my new role already.
 

What would your advice be for anybody who is leaving The Forces and wants to get into rolling stock?

If rolling stock and engineering is something that interests you and you don’t have the experience or all of the skills yet, start reading books, watch YouTube videos and search online for learning materials. Start networking with people in rolling stock and job roles you’re interested in and ask many questions! Keep positive, be patient and work for it you will get there!

Huge thanks to ATA as well for their fantastic work and support. Service leavers looking for motivation and assistance finding the perfect role for them look no further than ATA. I can’t recommend them enough.

 

Jobs in Rolling Stock

We’ve helped Lee and many others in their transitions from The Armed Forces into their first civilian jobs in rolling stock. We have a dedicated team of rolling stock recruiters who are Ex-Forces themselves and are able to provide a truly unique and valuable service as they have the first-hand experience of the transition process.

If you’ve left the Armed Forces, or are leaving, and want to get into rolling stock, contact ATA Recruitment below or send an email to info@ata-recruitment.co.uk to get started.
 
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