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The Civilian Workplace

Ways of thinking and behaviour in the military can be quite different from those of the civilian workforce.  For example, the civilian workplace can be much less structured than the military workplace.  Other differences can include dress standards, language, the formality of verbal and non-verbal communication, openness to opinions and leadership styles – so it is important to be prepared for a period of adjustment.


Workplace Culture:

Cultures usually vary across workplaces so it can take some adjustment for any new staff, not just those transitioning from the ADF.  Remember, you may not always get it right the first time, but remain open to feedback and the situation will improve. 

All workplaces use acronyms and jargon, just like in the ADF, so take the time to get used to the language used in your workplace.  If you are unsure of what something means, make sure you ask. Take time to observe and consider the different work styles of colleagues and management. Remain professional and respectful and you will be fine.

Managing your career:

In the ADF you did not have to actively plan your career – you may have been recommended for promotion, different roles and responsibilities.  Actively seeking feedback, improving your skills and proactively promoting yourself will help you to achieve your career goals.  In larger organisations you will have opportunities to move between teams into different parts of the business or into senior roles.  It is completely up to you to decide how to take advantage of these opportunities.

Helpful Links:

Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program –



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