Think the military is an unusual career choice? Marie Claire’s Carla Baylis joined the barracks for a day and discovered it’s a great place for anyone with ambition and drive
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Taking charge comes naturally to Creative Media Manager Carla, so she felt instantly at home when she met the women of the King’s Troop regiment in London. Her mission? To investigate how becoming a soldier can lead to a brilliant career both in the Army and outside.
‘I was struck by how self-assured and driven everyone was,’ she says. ‘Many of the soldiers I met told me they’d joined the Army because there’s a clear promotion structure. Each successive rank brings extra responsibilities, duties, respect and an increase in pay.’
New recruits take on big responsibilities quickly, too. It’s not uncommon for someone in their twenties to be in charge of a platoon of soldiers and millions of pounds worth of equipment. ‘One soldier explained that lots of her friends had been headhunted by big companies because of the leadership, communication and organisational skills they’d gained in the Army,’ Carla explains.
It’s not surprising considering they have one of the best leadership training courses in the world – the Command, Leadership and Management (CLM) programme, which makes soldiers great at their jobs and standout candidates for future employers.
‘The extent of learning and support provided is incredible and made me realise that it’s a great place to start, develop and maintain a very successful career. Women in the Army are serious high-flyers,’ says Carla.
As well as perks such as an excellent pension, 38 days’ annual holiday and benefits such as childcare support there are opportunities for subsidised learning, including partially or fully funded undergraduate and master’s degrees.
You can also gain professional qualifications in languages, management, accountancy, engineering and human resources. As well as enhancing your Army career, the CLM programme provides civilian qualifications – ranging from Level 4 (foundation degree) to Level 7 (master’s degree) – to help you succeed in the ‘civvy’ world.
To find out more about life and career opportunities in the Army, or how to become a Reservist, simply search marieclaire.co.uk/army .