TANGOALPHA3 IS EXCITED TO INTRODUCE A NEW CONTENT SERIES FOCUSED ON HIGHLIGHTING THE MANY EXCELLENT VETERANS WE’VE ASSISTED IN FINDING JOB PLACEMENTS.
The Veteran Spotlight series is a chance for us to catch up with our community of veteran talent. We discuss things like how their current job placement is going, what it was like while on the job hunt, as well as any challenges they may have faced while transitioning from the military to the private sector. In the end, it’s a great way to highlight excellent people and provide an inside vantage point into some of the services we provide and industries we serve.
WE RECENTLY SAT DOWN WITH RYAN TO CATCH UP AND ASK HIM ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE ON THE JOB HUNT AND WHAT’S IT’S BEEN LIKE SINCE BEING PLACED AT WILFORD HALL.
TangoAlpha3 is always looking to hire Military Veterans – it’s what we do. Ryan Lamb was not only a Veteran but he was still serving in the US Army Reserves, which demonstrates an ongoing commitment to service. Moreover, he already had a good relationship with the client (Wilford Hall Ambulatory and Medical Center), which is the Department of Defense’s largest outpatient ambulatory surgical center. When the position opened up in the Fall of 2019, Ryan was an obvious fit and we could not be more excited to have him on our team to support such a critical mission.
What was your initial job search experience like?
My initial job search to enter the IT field was a long one. I was closing in on getting my bachelor’s degree, and already had multiple information technologies certifications. I did run into a couple issues though. The first issue was trying to get a job that was directly related to my specific degree. My degree is a B.A.A.S in Information Technology with a concentration in Project Management. I was replying to job posts, and got some replies, however I was often disqualified due to lack of experience. Everyone wanted me to have experience, but nobody wanted to give me experience. I do think that is a normal issue that many people run into, not just me. Yes, I had experience planning for events in the military, but many employers did not fully consider that experience since I was on the enlisted side. The second issue I had was that I got a ton of request for interviews, but not for a job that I was interested doing. Either it was for a job that was in a completely different career field, or in a sector of IT that I did not want to work in. It is not that those fields are not good career fields, or sectors of IT, they just were not ones that I have a passion for. I decided to hold off, and things just worked out for me.
Did you face any challenges when you first transitioned from the military into the private sector?
Because, I used my Post 911 education benefits, and transitioned from active duty to the Reserves I haven’t fully transitioned to strictly private sector. I will say there were two issues that I faced when leaving Active Duty.
1. Security – In the Military you know there is a 99% chance you are going to get paid on time, you know how much it will be, and without question you will have a job until your contract is up for the most part. In the civilian sector that security is just not there.
2. Structure – While on Active Duty you are told what time to be places, what uniform to where, what to have with you, and you know who will be in charge. In the private sector many of those questions and answers aren’t always so transparent.
What is a typical day at work like for you?
Since my job is to analyze, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair an IT Network, everyday is quite different. Some days are noticeably quiet, and I do busy work until an issue arrives, other days is go, go, go from the time I walk into the office. Regardless of what the day holds, it always starts with me greeting, and talking to my supervisors about any special projects that may be in store for the day, or upcoming projects that got approved. Generally, after that the two things I always do is check my emails and see if the Network Operations team has received any notices about user outages, or user requests. After that it really is up in the air as to how the rest of the day goes, but that is a basic outline of my day.
How has your military training and experience helped you in the private sector?
My military training has been a big help in the private sector. I feel that one of the biggest lessons is mind resiliency. I’ve always had a positive attitude, but knowing how to identify negative thinking, or hurtful ways of thinking is extremely important. The majority of us have had those days where we encounter problem, after problem, after problem only to find out there is another problem. The mind resiliency training that the military has put me through has really helped me through those tough days. I feel that me being mindful of my thoughts, and understanding how to change my way of thinking during tough times has been important in my private sector work experience.
What advice would you give to transitioning veterans looking for their first job after leaving the military?
If a transitioning veteran were to ask me for advice, I think I would tell them first to be patient. I’ve received replies to my resume months after I initially answered a job post. Receiving late replies is perfectly normal, because many companies want to make sure they have a chance to interview enough candidates. In addition, it is important to have patience. What I mean is that, some people think that when they transition into the private sector, they are going to get this awesome position making a ton of money. Well in my opinion, that often is not the case for many people especially for those that are in the enlisted ranks. Although the military provides and improves people’s attributes sometimes those don’t translate to what a particular employer is looking for. Sometimes you have to take an entry-level position, or mid-level position and then use your military training, and skills that the military has taught you to advance quickly, instead of declining jobs because you are expecting a six figure position from the start because you have a certain certification, or you have been listening to what people said you could make on the outside.