We work longer hours than ever these days. However, no matter how gruelling the stints in the office may be, many of us feel as though we could still do more and make more of a difference.
Brendan Saunders, Communication Information Systems
“I joined the RNR because I wanted to do something that was different from the nine to five desk job that I do every day,” says Saunders, 26, from London. “I was looking for something that would challenge me and feel like I was ‘giving something back’. The breadth of activities that you can be involved with as a reservist are so great, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. A friend who serves in the Royal Navy full-time suggested the reserves as something I might be interested in, and so I contacted them and joined up.”
Saunders works as an IT engineer for a global financial firm during the day. He joined the Royal Navy Reserves in May 2012, but has already progressed to supporting the Navy’s communications and technology systems, from radios and satellites to computers. “My role in Communication Information Systems means that, when mobilised, I would be deployed on a ship communicating with submarines, or at a land base.
“Being in the Reserves has a positive impact on your whole outlook of life,” he adds. “It’s certainly made me more disciplined as a person – I’ve learned to organise myself better, be more on-time for things and to keep track of my tasks.
There are many overall benefits. “I feel more empowered to make decisions and I’ve learned how to respond better to pressured situations,” says Saunders. “I’m also tidier, which is definitely something my other half appreciates. It’s also helped me in my work life – the Navy teaches you to be better at leading and following, and you gain a greater appreciation of some of the challenges of leadership; after dealing with the situations you’re faced with, anything an office job throws at you seems much less overwhelming.”
Swap the sofa for a warship
Join the Royal Navy Reserves for a life-changing experience.
If you feel your life is lacking excitement and adventure, the Royal Navy Reserves could be for you. Just ask Brendan Saunders, who, in the nine months since he signed up, has found the entire experience richly rewarding.
He says: “I’d recommend the Royal Navy Reserves to anyone who wants to take on a new challenge. It’s not easy; you have to put in a lot of work to succeed, but the rewards are worth it.
“You’ll do things that you might never have the chance to do as a civilian, to travel the world and serve your country while learning new skills and being part of incredible experiences. You’ll need to be someone who is willing to take the rough with the smooth, there’s a lot of discipline required to make everything work and you’ll be pushed outside of your comfort zone regularly, but if you are up for the challenge it will be one of the best things you ever do.” So, what are you waiting for?