Supporting our Veterans: Liam Derham
Army veteran Liam is now an accomplished Logistics Manager with PHD Modular Access. He has experience of storage, distribution and supply chain management which he has gained from over 10 years logistics service worldwide.
Liam joined PHD in 2016 and is responsible for managing two-yard managers, their yards, supervisors and two labour teams. Here he chats about his resettlement journey.
Tell us a little about what you did in the military.
“I served 11 years with the Royal Logistic Corps. I started as a Driver and went onto become an all arms stores accountant and then onto a training instructor. I learnt valuable skills and gained significant qualifications from NVQ’s to BTECs and Diplomas. All of which were transport and logistics related. My experience helped me gain great postings and operations as a JNCO, where I was assigned job roles that involved the issue and distribution of highly sensitive stores equipment and ammunition and explosives in Germany, Afghanistan, Jordan, Czech Republic and the UK.
“I learnt to become an effective Logistics Manager specialising in Transport and Distribution.”
What was your favourite thing about being in the Army?
“My favourite thing about the military was when I was entrusted to command my own teams. Leading convoys and stores movements on exercises. You felt a sense of pride when achieving a goal you and your team planned together. All the while enjoying the laughs along the way.”
So why did you decide to leave and what did you do next?
“I left due to a re-occurring injury that was holding me back from progressing. I also decided it was time to be closer to my partner and children who I rarely got to see. I gained enough experience and qualifications to move onto a new career in Civvy Street and felt it was the right time.
“I signed up with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) to help me through my resettlement. I attended their three-day Career Transition Workshop, which taught me how to rewrite my CV and how to market myself to future employers. The part I felt was most valuable was the CV writing and interview techniques. Without that I’m not sure I would have found a job as easy as I did.
“I also used my Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs) to start a Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Level 5 Diploma in Transport Management.
“Luckily, I knew I wanted to continue my career in Logistics and Transport Management, so focused my energy in looking into roles that were in this sector. The first job I got out of the Army was in recruitment as a Transport Consultant. I would employ drivers to carry out agency work for big transport and distribution companies, such as Royal Mail, FedEx, Ocado and many others.”
What were you most worried about when you left the military?
“Honestly, not being able to fall into a managerial position, which I had been doing for so long. I was worried that civilian employers wouldn’t truly notice the skills and potential ex-forces personnel have and that I would end up in a job role that didn’t suit me or that I would not like. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case, but the initial transition can be quite scary because you feel like you’re stepping into the unknown.”