Finding your post-Defence career

Anita Jaensch 03 December 2021
  • Ideas & info

If you’ve made the difficult decision to leave Defence, what steps can you take to ensure you transition more easily into civilian employment?

Learn more about the Employment Program

Transitioning into civilian employment can bring challenges, but there are programs that can help you adjust to the next chapter in your career. We’ve asked RSL Queensland’s Employment Program Manager Carmen Dyce to give us the lowdown.


The Defence Force Transition Program (DFTP) is available to all permanent members of the Australian Defence Force and continuous full-time Reservists (SERVOP C).

Carmen says DFTP is a great starting point for Defence members who are transitioning.

“The Job Search Preparation Workshop is an online workshop that is available throughout your time in Defence and for 12 months after your transition,” Carmen says, “and it provides you with a really good foundation for the civilian job market.”

“Participants learn how to write a resume and cover letter capturing their military skills, how to develop professional networks to assist with job seeking and how to prepare for interviews with employers. They also get an overview of the cultural differences between Defence and civilian workplaces.”

Carmen points out that if you have a transition date or are within 12 months post your transition date you may be eligible for Career Transition Coaching (CTC). As part of CTC,  a transition coach will work with you to tailor a program to best suit your individual needs. For more information or to check your eligibility click here.

RSL Employment Program

If you’ve completed DFTP - or transitioned out more than 12 months ago - you may be eligible for additional support through the RSL Employment Program.

"If you transitioned out less than a year ago, we encourage you to complete the DFTP and reach out to one of our helpful Employment Program team members to discuss your eligibility,” Carmen says.

“The benefit is that you are one step closer to gaining meaningful civilian employment. It means we can really add extra value by providing career counselling and polishing those job seeking skills.

“We look at what roles and industries you would like to work in, and help you figure out how to get there – which might include getting any prior learning recognised, or upskilling.

“We’re also working with over 200 Australian employers who are interested in hiring veterans.” 

And Carmen says the Employment Team’s job doesn’t end once their clients find a job.

“We follow up with each one of our clients after two, four and six months to make sure the role is still a good fit. But we’re finding that the work we put in with our clients at the beginning pays dividends; after six months, the large majority of our clients are still in employment.”

Want to know if the RSL Employment Program can help you? Learn more here.

Learn more about the Employment Program


Want to stay informed? Subscribe today and get the latest news, services, events and more direct to your email inbox.