We caught up with Chris, who began his Admiral career almost nine years ago, after spending six years as a Lance Corporal, having served two tours in Iraq
We were extremely proud to publicise our promise of support to all those who serve, by signing the Army Covenant back in July this year. We recognise that our Army Reservists are a crucial part of the Defence family, and by implementing protective and flexible workplace policies, we’re able to empower our employees to make a real difference to their personal and professional development.
We caught up with Chris to hear his story…
Can you tell us a bit about your Army career and career at Admiral?
‘I left school with no GCSE’s and decided the Army was the best option for me. I passed my basic training and chose to become a driver by trade and completed all possible licences, including; 17.55-ft, 55-ton, motorbike, off-road, etc, all by the time I hit 17.
When I reached my 18th birthday, I volunteered to be deployed to Iraq and that’s when I picked up my Lance Corporal title.
In the space of two years, I’d spent a year in Iraq on two separate deployments and I’d experienced a lot, including seeing roadside bombs and losing three friends. After two tours, I was ready for something else and thought to myself, what can I do now?
I’m so grateful to Admiral for taking me on during a recession, as I was struggling to find a job for a while. The role was a call centre position, so very different from my background, but I saw it as a great opportunity and a foot in the door. It was a massive change for me, going from what I’d experienced in the Army, to an office-based job, and not forgetting to mention, a pay cut too. After six months I adapted well, got used to the different environment and started to enjoy it.
I began in Motor Claims and have since explored various areas of the business, including becoming Admiral’s very own chauffer (which sadly isn’t a position anymore!), before ending up where I am today, which is on the Superior Car team. That’s part of the beauty of Admiral, there are so many internal opportunities to move about the business and broaden your horizons.
The Chauffer role sounds interesting, how did that come about?
In Admiral, there are many opportunities to develop and experience other areas of the business, so when a job came up for an internal chauffeur, I applied and was successful. I had already completed relevant qualifications for this role whilst in the Army, so it felt like the perfect opportunity for me!
Importantly, how was the transition from a career in the Army to a career at Admiral?
After being out of the Army for a while, I re-joined as a reservist; I was working full-time at Admiral and part-time in the Reserves. This was a great, but gruelling two years.
Admiral supported me during this time and paid me during my training days, as well as the required time away.
After my time in the regular Army and Reserves, I adjusted to life at Admiral fine. The decompression training provided by the Army helps bring you back to normality, but also, I love working at Admiral; the simple fact that you don’t have to wear a uniform, or shave; it’s a different world. Coming to Admiral was easy for me, you’re able to leave work on time, and do whatever you want after work, and during the weekends.
Whilst I enjoyed my time in the Army, which taught me so much, I now appreciate working in a relaxed environment – and knowing exactly what my day will entail.
It’s all the little things about working here that made it such an easy transition for me.
What are you doing now and are you enjoying it?
I’m now a part of Claims’ Superior Car team – managing a small team that I helped set up from scratch. It involves helping customers who’ve unfortunately been involved in an accident in a “supercar” (Ferrari McLaren , Rolls Royce, etc.). My skills and experiences developed during my Army career, along with my passion for cars and driving, has allowed me to flourish in this role.
I feel very lucky that Admiral took that chance on me nine years ago, I’m able to work with my passion and I really do enjoy coming to work every day – how many people can say that?