From Marine to AV, How I found the move


Military service is difficult, demanding and dangerous. Returning to civilian life also poses challenges for the men and women who have served in the armed forces.

“Moving from the marines into civilian life was a huge culture shock for me, I had left the armed forces because I felt I had served my time and I was ready to greet the civilian life with open, somewhat shaky arms!

The first few months were scary, I was starting a new life but without knowing what that would be and if I’d be happy in it. Would I adapt to this new freedom and what on earth would I do for a living! But I got lucky my cousin had left the marines shortly before me, he’d found a company that understood where we had come from and had helped him through the process of becoming a 8-5 worker!

They were recruiting and had a position that my skills were transferable too. I’d been a signaller, (radio operator) in the marines, meaning I worked with wiring and electronics, I soon found myself in an interview. At first, I was nervous, but I soon realised that the interviewer understood my background and instantly put me at ease.

Shortly after the interview I found out I got the job and within a few weeks I was working in the Audio-Visual Industry. The thing that struck me most was how easy the transition was! I’d spent months worrying that I would struggle to fit into a more corporate working environment, yet here I was a month in and loving it! I’m not saying it’s not different and that I haven’t had to adapt, I have! But Focus 21 have supported me through and have shown me what life after the Marines can look like.

I am in a place where my organisational ability, technical skills and leadership are coming into play. As ex-military we do have a type of responsibility factor that I believe leads us to being ideal candidates for roles that require precision and a can-do attitude. I work for a company where things must be right, where standards are important and who believe in constantly improving.

The Marines taught me to appreciate, respect and love what I do and it’s this mentally I take into work with me each day”

Terence Smith – Focus 21 Visual Communications