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From the Royal Navy to Consulting

Alex’s transition story

After leaving the Royal Navy as an officer in 2021, Alex joined Deloitte in Consulting as part of the HR Advisory team, supporting military projects. We speak to her about her transition to a completely new role, and the flexibility and support she gets from her team to manage her job alongside family commitments.

Joining the Navy

As soon as Alex started her first job in a library at a technical college, she knew it wasn’t where she wanted to spend the rest of her career. To distract herself from her day job, she joined the Royal Navy Reserves at the age of 22, initially as a hobby. But after just one year as a reservist, she was ready for more. “I went for an assessment to see if I could be an officer in the Royal Navy but I failed by one mark,” she says. “At the time I didn’t have enough life experience.” Undeterred by the rejection, Alex packed her bags and embarked on a solo gap year around North and South America. By the time she returned she was ready for her next shot at a full-time role with the Royal Navy. Following her military training in 2011, she became a Warfare Officer, driving warships. “It felt like such an exciting career, and I didn’t want a nine to five at that point in my life,” she says. “It was always challenging and exciting and I enjoyed the sense of team cohesion and community. It was exactly what I needed.”



Moving to Deloitte

After meeting her husband and having children, she wanted to move into a role where there was less travel. Initially she took on some HR roles within the Royal Navy, then chose to look for a civilian career after a decade of service. Before long, she’d decided on consulting as a career area she was interested in, but wasn’t sure which firm to apply for. “Someone contacted me from Deloitte on LinkedIn because I had myself tagged as ‘Open to Work’. They asked me if I would be interested in considering a specific role that they were recruiting for, but I was already applying for a different position with another firm at the time. But as soon as I interviewed with Deloitte I really liked the environment, and it was the people who really sold it to me.” Alex joined the firm in HR Advisory to the Government and Public Sector, an area where she had plenty of expertise from her time in the Royal Navy. She has since worked on projects with military clients, “I am now working in a team to build a skills-based talent management system for the Army,” she explains. “The system is looking at how we can better represent talent and diversity in progression in the military, through helping people plan for their careers. It will help people’s mental health and family lives if they are better able to plan and it will also attract a more diverse range of candidates into the Army.”



Fitting in

As soon as she started the role, she was made to feel instantly welcome by the Deloitte Military Network. “Coming out of the military is a really tough transition and you feel a lot of imposter syndrome,” she explains. “Because you have never assessed your skills against civilian roles, you have no idea what to expect or how you’ll measure up. It’s also getting used to a different way of working and a new culture.” Thankfully there were lots of people she could turn to whenever she had questions or concerns. “For the first two weeks I was called every day just to check how I was getting on and I was always invited out for coffees. It was a really nice atmosphere.”



Ongoing support

While Alex left the Royal Navy, her husband is still part of it, and regularly travels to sea for long periods, which can be challenging, as all military families experience. Luckily Alex isn’t just supported by Deloitte as a former Royal Navy officer, but also as a military spouse. “There’s an awareness within my team that when he’s away, all the childcare falls to me. I have a sharp finish when I need to go and get my children and it’s never a problem. Even when I couldn’t make it to a client site, so much support was put in place just for me, so that I could still be there for my children,” she says. “I can’t do my job well unless I can support them and I’m grateful that Deloitte understands that and is able to help me to be a parent, while I succeed in my career.”



A flexible team

In addition to the flexible hours, she’s able to work from home, which also means she can be there for her children. “Alex is proud to work for a team where many women have senior positions, and is looking forward to building a future at Deloitte. “I’ve not had time to take advantage of the promotion schemes yet, but there are many women role models here which is inspiring,” she says.

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