Sacrificing Investment job for Royal Marines?

Starbucks

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Posts
12
Reaction score
5
Good day everyone. This is a long one but please bare with me.

I'm reaching out for wisdom and advice to all those with a degree that have a few years of commando service and life experience under their belt and had to face a similar decision that I'm facing.

I'm a 24 year old South African, approaching the end of my BCom degree next month and plan to write the CFA level 1 exam in May while waiting for the Application process of the Royal Marines and the Covid restrictions to be lifted. I was busy with my officer application, until they closed it due to too many applications, they have now transferred me to Other Ranks.

Having struggled and still struggling financially and hitting all the lows of life you can imagine. The decrease in pay from Officer to Other Ranks will make it significantly more difficult to be financially free and also raise a family in 7 years or so. Having experienced financial difficulties, my question is, is foregoing a job at an investment firm for Other Ranks worth it, pursuing the adventure and my love for endurance sports but still run the risk of getting pinged and end up with something I really don't like for 2 years.

My decisions are two life changing ones which will push me into a different future.

If any of you can shine some light on if struggling a bit more financially (as compared what your salary would have been on civvie street) is worth the adventure and the experience. Would you enlist again or take a corporate job after studies?

And what the risks are of getting pinged and becoming a driver or office clerk, no offense to the marines with these specialisations, they are an extremely important link in the chain. I know money isn't what you go for in the marines, but student loans, and a whole lot of other expenses can make life a little difficult, not something I want my kids and family to put through one day because of my career.

My question is a bit all over the place but I hope you understand my dillemma.

Thank you in advance!
 

SCOTTY6

Royal Marines Commando
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Posts
575
Reaction score
1,211
Quite simply mate, do you want to make a butt load of money or join the Royal Marines? I’m sure some other lads with a few more years under their belt will be along to comment. My piece of advice would be if you decide to join the Corps make sure it’s what you really want, going through training isn’t something you can do half hearted or with your headspace elsewhere
 

Chelonian

Moderator
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Posts
11,781
Reaction score
14,780
The decrease in pay from Officer to Other Ranks will make it significantly more difficult to be financially free and also raise a family in 7 years or so.

My comments are based on the assumption that you do not currently have a family to support.
No advice from me but observations:

From a practical point of view I guess that you will be 'aged-out' of an Officer application by the time the Commonwealth ball begins rolling again in 2021?

From an objective aspect some parts of your dilemma appear quite straightforward. The investment career path will still be open to you ten years hence. But for you, by 2031 the Royal Marines path will be firmly closed.

When Samuel Johnson wrote “Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea” he made no mention of investment executives. :)

An Other Ranks career in the Royal Marines will equip you with a raft of portable skills and confidence which are transferable to other fields.

Age twenty-four might seem 'old' but I know someone who started his medical career at age thirty. He didn't waste twelve years; he invested them in acquiring thinking and judgment skills which make him successful in his current medical specialisation.
 

Starbucks

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Posts
12
Reaction score
5
Thank you @SCOTTY6 and @Chelonian I appreciate your feedback.

@SCOTTY6 , what you are saying makes a lot of sense. RM is definitely decision number 1 at the moment. In the end, I'd like to know I did all the research and used the available resources such as your advice on here to come to a conclusion. And if I'm there on day 1, it will without a doubt be with peace in my mind and fire in my heart to finish what I started.

@Chelonian Your assumption is correct. I have no family or relationship obligations at the moment which provides some freedom to take some risks and work overseas.

When Samuel Johnson wrote “Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea” he made no mention of investment executives. :)
I like this quote, I've seen a lot of people commenting on military youtube videos how they filled in all the papers but in the end chose not to go and how they regret it now that they're too old. At the end of the day, regret is a hard thing to live with.

I like what you said about improving skills and resilience on a level other people won't have experienced. Then enter the corporate world and settle down after a decade or so of loving life and being part of the most badass brotherhood on the planet.

Do you have any information on choosing what to specialise in after training or is it General Duties for 2 years and then choosing a specialism? What are the chances of getting pinged into something that is at the bottom of your list or do they usually give you 1 of your top 3 choices?
 

Claddagh

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Posts
159
Reaction score
245
Perhaps you need to take a step back and re evaluate what you want and why.

As a Graduate in SA, you will be lucky to get a job appointment where you can cover your study loan repayments. CFA is great if you have an opportunity to use it. ZAR to GBP is 21.30 this evening-you do the maths. I have been in the FSI here in SA for probably longer than you have been alive. The current situation is that we are placing level 1 and 2's in positions that matriculants are more than capable of doing. Some of the lucky ones get involved with the offshore companies, Mauritius etc, or manage to get into the International companies and may get lucky getting off shore that way. You have to seriously shine to make that CFA work for you.

Truth be told, our economy is shrinking and taking off any possible rose tints...it isn't going to get any better in the foreseeable future.

Not to try and pee on your parade, just being realistic-you are young! You say you don't have a family as yet, then GO FOR IT! To quote a venerable member on this forum... THE WORLD IS YOUR LOBSTER!

Don't overthink it-JFDI
 

Starbucks

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Posts
12
Reaction score
5
Thank you for your no bs honest response @Claddagh I certainly understand what you mean. Getting a job these days in SA is no easy feat, and after covid-19 with businesses cutting costs it isn't going to get any easier for anyone entering the labour force. I had to do some serious linkedin networking and travelling to get to my interviews and have a chance. But emigration has always been likely for me and spending some time as a RM, having a secure (no possibility of retrenchment) income, plus getting UK citizenship after a few years is an attractive combination. I think you are right to not overthink it and JFDI.
 
Top