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Tesco support for Ex-service personnel making the move to a career at Tesco

Ed Beckingham

Business Support Manager

23 Jun 2017

Armed Forces Week: ex-RAF Flight Commander turned-Tesco colleague Ed Beckingham writes about how he's forged a post-Forces career with us.

Before joining Tesco, I served as an officer in the Royal Air Force Regiment for six years. As a Flight Commander I led a team of 37, tasked with the protection of Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. After a stint as a training manager I left the RAF for a new career at Tesco. I joined the management team at an Express store before moving to Business Support at Tesco HQ.

Leadership for Life

The leadership qualities expected at Tesco are similar to those I learned on my 18-month RAF Officer training course. In my current role I engage with people from lots of different departments across the business. A key skill the military taught me was how to engage with people from all walks of life.

Innovation and problem solving skills from the Royal Air Force are helping me to overcome challenges I face at Tesco. Planning business objectives for stores, is similar to planning and leading RAF patrols.

New Horizons

Having never worked in retail I found it very challenging at no longer being an expert in my field. This made me push my career towards something I could specialise in. I’ve been able to explore many areas of the retail business with the support from my managers. 

Working for a company the size of Tesco lets you explore a huge scope of roles. It’s opened my eyes to what needs doing in a business, as well as the opportunities available to me.

Sound Advice

If offering advice to my younger self, I’d say: Have confidence in the ability and skills you gained from the Armed Forces. Don’t let a lack of business and technical knowledge to start with, bring you down, it will come with time. Understand what makes you happy and work towards it.
Do as much personal development as possible and don’t forget what made you happy in the Forces. Whether exercise, the social element, or a sense of doing something positive for people, make sure you continue doing it while working for Tesco.

Ideal Roles

Spending time understanding the different roles at Tesco is vital for finding something that suits your skill setThose from the Armed Forces will have gained skills in people management, training and operations. Although the subject matter is different, the skill set is the same within Tesco and the Armed Forces.

Armed Forces Day

This weekend I will be supporting Armed Forces Day along with my Tesco colleagues. This Saturday Tesco stores in 14 Garrison towns will be collecting for Armed Forces Charity SSAFA.

Tesco Armed Forces Network

Tesco has an Armed Forces Network, created to help our ex-Armed Forces, reservists colleagues and their families share experiences and support each other. Our Volunteer Reserve Forces & Veterans policy also supports ex-Forces and Reserves colleagues in completing their required training.

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