VIVO Defence - Navy Transition Success Story

Vivo Defence – Navy Transition Success Story


A Q&A with Mick, a veteran of the Royal Navy now working as a Relationship Manager for Vivo Defence 


What was your role in the Armed Forces and when did you serve from and to?

I joined the Royal Navy as a Junior Assistant Caterer (2nd Class) at the age of 16 in 1977 and retired in May 2015 as a Commander in the Royal Navy’s Logistics Branch. My last appointment in the military was as the Chief of Staff at the Defence College in Worthy Down, Hants.


How did you end up in the role you’re in now and what transferrable skills help in this role?  

I was employed as the Operational Relationship Manager for the Southeast & South West Defence Contract in May 2015 and TUPE’d across into the South West role 7 years later.  Following a successful career in the Royal Navy and Defence, I was looking to utilise the broad range of management and communication skills I have developed to work in a new and challenging environment. Some of my transferrable skills included:  

Facilities, project and programme management, implementing strategic/tactical policies

Leadership of multi-disciplinary teams delivering to performance, cost and time

Strategic thinker and implementer.

Operational planning, change management and continuous improvement

Strong communicator, reporting to and briefing at board level

Team motivator and mentor, adept in personal and professional staff development.


What do you enjoy about this role?

The variety of work and the constant challenges (a new one every day!), still working in Defence after 45 years and continuing to support Operational outputs - despite not being in uniform, that 7 years in I still draw on my Naval experience on a daily basis in one way or another, working with a team of highly dedicated civilians has been a huge bonus and not what I initially expected, the feeling that I remain relevant and still have plenty to offer Vivo and Defence in the wider context.


What advice would you give to someone looking to resettle out of the military?

Think about where your true strengths lie and then network as best possible in the 12 months before your Departure Point – your all-round CV should support your aspirations. 

It can be difficult to express the multitude of soft and transferable skills that you will have developed during your service but try and put them down on paper in bullet form in order that they can be used in written or oral communication with potential employees.

Your salary will be different, expect the hours to be different – you may not be deployed operationally but Friday afternoon’s off will become a thing of the past!


Why should people choose VIVO as an employer of choice?

VIVO exists purely to support the military, they will therefore continue to work in a military environment and remain ‘a part’ of the Defence community.

Your awareness and understanding of military operational outputs/priorities will always be invaluable.

In our drive to always put the Customer first, you will be ahead of the game because you will instinctively know what the customer wants.


VIVO values Armed Forces experience!

VIVO is populated by a great bunch of professionals with years of experience of the Defence Estate behind them. Further opportunities exist within our Supply Chains. They have a raft of other benefits available to Decent HR set up (salaries, leave, pension, Health Shield Cash Plan, company car options etc).


To find out more information about the opportunities that Vivo Defence have for the Armed Forces community, visit their virtual stand on our website by clicking here... 

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