TANGOALPHA3 IS EXCITED TO HIGHLIGHT 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.
Before his career as a civilian contractor, John served in the Air Force as a Mental Health Technician. When it came time to separate from the military, John determined that he was going to change paths and launch his career in IT. He worked relentlessly to get the necessary education and certifications and was able to be successful in his pursuit. John recently shared his experiences with us and provided some helpful insight for those looking to do the same.
WE RECENTLY SAT DOWN WITH JOHN TO CATCH UP AND ASK HIM ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE WITH HIS JOB HUNT AND WE’RE GRATEFUL FOR THE PRACTICAL ADVICE HE SHARED WITH US
What is a typical day at work like for you?
A typical workday for me would be incredibly hard to describe. Every day is always different then before which presents new challenges as well as new interactions with others. The best part is the camaraderie with my team; most of the day we tackle projects and/or tickets individually but at times we need to come together to determine a solution to a problem. Every day I feel like I accomplished something and made an impact.
Did you face any challenges when you first transitioned from the military into the private sector?
I faced many challenges when I first transitioned from the military into the private sector which included building a resume appealing to civilian nomenclature. In the civilian sector there is a lot less structure because jobs are not driven by Air Force Instructions, Department of Defense Instructions, and suspense’s of the eleventh hour and only finding out in the tenth hour for completion. The private sector accepted taskings not being completed in a timely manner and just accepted requesting for extensions, whereas, in the military everything had a timeline
What was your initial job search experience like?
When I first started applying for jobs, I realized I had a lot of on-the-job training but not the credentials or degrees the private sector required. How does one explain they have the experience but since my AFSC did not come with credentials I was less qualified to perform a job I did serving my country? Another roadblock I faced was being lowballed salaries. It is a challenge going from a salary paid individual to only being offered 10-15 dollars an hour. Two years of being turned down for jobs because I did not meet their educational requirements, I decided to enroll in school for my IT degree. In addition, I moved cross-country in hopes to open the job market for myself. Finally, after two years I was offered an IT position.
How has your military training and experience helped you in the private sector?
Since I pursued a career outside of my primary AFSC in the Air Force, I believe the greatest things I learned in the military is patience, understanding, and compassion for others. While serving I learned to fine-tune my active listening and problem solving skills in an effort take me in a positive direction towards achieving my personal and career goals.
What advice would you give to transitioning veterans looking for their first job after leaving the military?
Utilize your resources before you get out such as the Family Readiness Center; they offer resume writing skills, mock interviews, finance classes, as well as teaching you how to use job search engines and how to tailor your resume to the specific job you want. Another tip is to identify your personal goals as well as career goals; you want to get your foot in the door but not to settle either. If the job does not offer job progression than it is not for you unless you are content at the lowest level. Serving in the private sector is another commitment of yourself; only this time you are not under contractual agreement to serve a minimum of four to six years before leaving. Once you have accomplished one goal, it is time to set another goal for yourself.
What has your experience been like working with TangoAlpha3?
I have not been with TangoAlpha3 for long, but I currently have no regrets joining this organization. TangoAlpha3 has given me a great opportunity for growth from my previous civilian IT job and the recruiter I worked with made it near impossible to refuse. They have answered any questions I have had and always pointed me in the right direction when needed.