Essa Badjie is currently employed as an HR adviser at Poole Hospital. After successfully using the Step into Health programme following his military career, Essa shares his experiences of transitioning into an NHS career.
I was a corporal in the Army and had a previous role as an HR administrator in the forces. I was a member of the Armed Forces for about 10 years, which included being a part of different units and regiments. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to move around various locations with my role, where I was based in Germany for six years before coming back to the UK.
When I decided to leave the Army, I was ready to pursue a career in a different environment. I used to work in the HR field in the Army and I was ready to go back and focus on this type of profession. In terms of my family we were at point with our children where we were ready for stability in our home and work life.
Before leaving the Army, I attended a Step into Health programme insight day at Hampshire hospitals. Information regarding the programme was circulated in the unit for anyone that was interested in an access route in to the NHS. At this point I hadn’t decided to leave the Army, but from attending the insight day I made up my mind that this is what I was interested in. One month later I submitted my resignation which marks the beginning of my transition out of the Army. From then on, I had to commit to 12 months notice. During this time, I started looking for suitable vacancies within the NHS, I wanted to make sure I remained part of a public institution and I saw the transition into the NHS as a great opportunity to be able to do this.
I was directed to Poole Hospital where there was an opportunity of becoming part of the bank staff, which gave me the opportunity to get relevant NHS experience so that I would have a better chance when a vacancy did become available. Following my time as part of the bank staff, I was successful in gaining my current appointment as a HR adviser at Poole hospital. I have a senior colleague at Poole hospital who is ex-RAF so they are a supportive organisation for members of the Armed Forces and can see the benefits to employing service leavers.
Being a member of the Armed Forces has a great deal of benefits for me and for the organisation in terms of discipline, punctuality, attention to detail, professionalism and motivation.
The Step into Health programme is one of the avenues that is vital if you are considering a pathway into the NHS or a similar profession when leaving the Armed Forces. It does not only give you the information that you require to succeed, but also provide the opportunities to make it happen. I would personally recommend this programme to anyone leaving the forces and who wants to make a difference.
To find out how your organisation can pledge to support Step into Health please visit our dedicated web pages.