My career in the German Armed Forces called Bundeswehr began in 1994 with officer training, initially in Düsseldorf. After the usual practical assignments at that time and the successful officer’s examination, I then studied civil engineering and environmental technology at the Bundeswehr University in Munich.

Tip for your civilian career: Prepare early!

My first years in the military thus consisted of many theory lessons and studying, but also of practical troop exercises and first experiences in leadership responsibility. I have never regretted the decision to join the Bundeswehr. On the contrary – I soon realized that it was exactly the right thing to do.

After my studies I was employed as a Platoon Commander and gained my first operational experience in the Balkans. Only a short time later I reached the next career level and was appointed company commander in the field of satellite communications – a real stroke of luck! I kept my dream job until the end of my service, twelve years in total. Because I knew right from the start: I didn’t want to stay in the military my entire professional life. I had always seen the transition to the civilian economy as my next stage in life for personal development.

I prepared for my civilian career after the enlistment period at an early stage. For example, I exchanged ideas with the Berufsförderungsdienst (BFD: meaning vocational training service). Together with the BFD consultant, I discussed my personal goals and wishes and developed a vocational training and career plan. I would also like to advise all comrades who are thinking about their career after the Bundeswehr: take the initiative, approach the BFD actively and work out an individual professional and career path together.

My goal was clear: a management role in business, preferably in a technical environment. The next step in this direction consisted of a part-time study of economics and some seminars of the BFD. Equipped with the appropriate qualifications and a rather large wealth of experience, I wanted to tackle my transition into the business world and my career after the Bundeswehr.

Having the career goal well in view

After leaving the Bundeswehr, I was employed for a short time as an interim project manager with HOCHTIEF in Luxembourg. This was an important experience for me to find out that I wanted to develop further, not so much in terms of specialist knowledge, but rather on a broader and more differentiated basis. The opportunity to do so arose when I – now an economist and graduate engineer in civil engineering and environmental technology – joined TÜV Rheinland as a personal assistant to the Chairman of the Executive Board. At TÜV Rheinland, I then had great experiences, learned a lot, and was able to develop myself successively.

In 2011 I was then appointed to the management board of TÜV Rheinland Akademie in Germany. For several years, I have been responsible for the global Academy & Life Care business unit there as Executive Vice President. So I followed my career plan and today I have a leading position in the business world. It was and still is not possible to plan the exact path and the individual steps of development towards this goal – so it is all the more important to think about the basic direction in which you want to develop and then act accordingly. So far, it has worked out great for me. A civilian career as a former temporary soldier and TÜV Rheinland as an employer complement each other uniquely in many respects.

TÜV Rheinland + your civilian career = Perfect Match

TÜV Rheinland, just like the Bundeswehr, has a more technical orientation. In addition, it is virtually part of the DNA of both organizations to work in a structured manner when dealing with rules, specifications and technical standards. Aspects such as the ability to work in a team, target-oriented work, and leadership competence in stressful situations are of great importance to every company and are being taught in a special way in the Bundeswehr. These skills combined with technical and, increasingly, medical or educational expertise are a very good basis for a successful specialist or management career at TÜV Rheinland.

If you are interested in the topic, please have a look at our website. There you will find more information about a civilian career after the Bundeswehr:


Markus Dohm

Markus Dohm

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