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Military Transition

I am transitioning from military service in Dec 05 after 20 yrs. I have worked in the communications field(Satellite systems and related equipment) for most of my years in service with the exception of the last 3 years which was implementing and managing IA policies. My education consists of military schools and a AAS in Information Technologies. No Certs. I have a TS clearance that is good until 2007. If you were in my shoes what actions/skills would you quickly implement to enhance my job search in the civilian market. I would like to stay in IT..I do enjoy it but will look for greener pastures if I need to. Also, I Would like to stay on East Coast(NC or VA). Thanks

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Work around military types or not?

by davidpmartin In reply to Military Transition

My question is how far do you want to transition away from the military. Do you want to go the Military contractor route or do you want to try to break into the pure civilian private sector? The further you get away from the military the less valuable some of your military credentials will be. NO ONE (and I do mean no one) in the private sector will even care about your rank. They will just want to know if you can solve their immediate problems. And your clearance - if you are not working for a military contractor or GS, again it means NOTHING.

I have been out for about 10 years and have worked both sides of the fence (military contractors and 'pure' private industry). My preference is without a doubt the military contractor position. There is a little instability (you never REALLY know if your contract will survive from year to year, even if it seems safe), but the salaries tend to be quite good and the work is no where near as hard as the private sector.

I would tell you that you need to upgrade your education to at least a Bachelor's degree if you want to work with the government. They really, really like degrees and in some positions you can not even qualify for the position without a BS or a MS. Why the importance on the degree? Because more and more people find that finding out the background of people is almost impossible, so they start looking for things that indicates that people can think on their feet. The degrees are an indicator of this, and thats why people like them.

In the private sector, it's more "you are only as good as your last hit." If you don't have any real solid achievements to show you can do the job, breaking in to the private sector may be a challenge, no matter how many degrees you have.

Again, you have to decide how connected you want to stay with the military. After working with both contractors and private industry, I like the contract work much better than the "high-tech" sweat shops that most private IT businesses have become.

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Valuable Asset

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Military Transition

Don't know how it works in the US, but I've had to miss out on some very lucrative opportunities in the UK because of a lack of security clearance. In theory you can get one, but as far as I can make out some of my recreational habits and political beliefs would make me a risk in their eyes and I can muddle along without sacrificing, my morals and vices in the civilian sector. Another point presumably you've been comfortable in the military for a great length of time, you might find the civilian environment a little alien. So while you've got the clearance and military skills/knowledge you can ease yourself into the new life in more familiar surroundings. You'll find a lot of your skills will 'map' to the civilian sector, though you'll almost certainly have problems convincing recruiters that they do until one of them gives you a go and you find out how they do.
One thing that always get paid notice in the UK is command/leadership experience, so if you can show you have it and don't try and put any malefactors in the stockade or shoot them, management might be a goer. There however you need to pick up some financial/buisiness skills along the way.

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Call me

by tejones In reply to Military Transition

I was where you are three years ago. Call me at DSN 228-7152. Comm 520-228-7152.

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Lateral move

by Skidoggeruk In reply to Military Transition

Remember your military schools? Had any civilian instructors? They had to have come from somewhere.

If you retain a clearance, you might consider approaching manufacturers of the gear you were involved with. Sell up the benefits of no lost time/expense on clearance/training.

I imagine there are probably some GS jobs out there you could look into. Talked to any careers officers or old colleagues who have already walked this road?

Somebody metioned getting a BS. Will you be able to take benefit of GI Bill for education?

Good Luck

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Contractor is the way to go...

by featherman In reply to Lateral move

... if you can stand a bit of uncertainty, as previously noted...

Having never been in the military, but having worked on base with an armed forces IT team, my experience may not be directly applicable to your situation. I can however say that many of the civillian contractors on the base were ex-military, and they seemed well suited for the (to me) rather alien environment of military IT work.

If you choose to persue a private sector career, note that many (most??? - I have no statistics at all) civillian IT jobs are also contract, with the same uncertainties that a military contract holds. If you can get a position in the Defense industry, this might be the optimal niche for you. Try Harris Corp. or Lockheed-Martin, as they have a presence on the East coast. Boeing is more West Coast, although they also have a (somewhat smaller) presence in the east.

Your TS clearance should probably be put to good use, in that if you have one and do not need it, oh well..., but if you need one and do not have one, it is near impossible to obtain. For the year (12 months) I worked on base, my clearance was pending (not even provisional) - and there were areas where I needed a physical escort to do my work, even though it did not involve accessing any sensitive/classified info. When the contract ended, I was informed that clearance was still six to nine months away.... Use it or loose it - it may just open some doors...

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Security Clearance Job Fairs

by SteveBaum In reply to Military Transition

You might want to take a look at the TechExpoUSA website:
They are sponsoring job fairs in the DC area from 1/11/05-1/26/05, for IT pros with any kind of security clearance, including miitary. Good luck!

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jobfairs and skills needed.

by MAIL2DAY In reply to Security Clearance Job Fa ...

yes I was planning to look at jobfairs. I still have approx. 8 mos prior to leaving the service. When I go to the job fairs, i will be asking what skills they are looking for vice actually looking for a job due to how far out i still am. Is this appropriate?

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