- RingCentral’s Brandon Hewett, Trevin Murray, Pierre Cress, and Kolin Brooks discuss tips for the transition from military service to civilian careers.
- U.S. Service Members employee resource group also contributes helpful advice for a successful pivot.
RingCentral is committed to supporting our U.S. Service Members and Veterans as they transition from military service to civilian careers. Our partnership with Hiring Our Heroes gives us the chance to offer transitioning U.S. Service Members training and experience. We sat down with several of our fellows to hear some valuable tips for overcoming their most pivotal career move.
One key piece of advice our Veterans shared is to start the transition to a civilian career early. The process begins as soon as you’ve made the decision to retire from service. That’s the time to begin researching fields of interest and aligning career goals with your resume, education, and credentials. Associate Solutions Engineer Pierre Cress leveraged his twenty-year Air Force career in avionics to pivot into communications technology by accessing Hiring Our Heroes early on while still serving in the military. “A program like this RingCentral fellowship allows you to gain more experience,” Cress noted.
Global Enterprise Engineer Brandon Hewett tells us, “Resilience, communication, and technical skills from the military prepare us for success in technology careers.” However, despite years of military experience, some fields require additional credentials or education. Military transition aid programs offer free education and technical certifications to fill that gap, so inquire about those early on. Associate Solutions Engineer Kolin Brooks recommends contacting ACT (Army Career Tracker), which provides a free Coursera account allowing members to take Google IT classes, IBM Cybersecurity courses, and more. Boots to Books is another organization providing education and career resources to those who have served.
Resumes Land Interviews.
RingCentral’s Trevin Murray spent thirty years in the Air Force most recently as Commander of a Cybersecurity Unit. He now wears two hats, Program Director for Security and Trust along with Chief of Staff for the Chief Information Security Officer. Murray admits, “We don’t always know how our military experience translates to civilian careers.” Tailoring your resume to the role will help get the attention of employers.
Professional resume writers can be helpful in translating a military resume into language that civilian employers understand. Your resume will get you an interview, but it’s your experience and interview skills that will land the job. Ultimately, Murray emphasizes, “We have leadership experiences and vast other work experience. We are teachable, we are trainable, we are dedicated, and we get the job done.”
Network. Network. Network.
Networking is key for easing the transition and it will help you level up your civilian career. Abby Hyde, Co-Lead for RingCentral’s U.S. Service Members employee resource group and University Recruitment & DEI Manager suggests connecting with local Veteran groups in your area and LinkedIn groups:
- FourBlock – Helping Veterans transition better
- Veterati – Mentoring network for the military
- Vets2Industry – Focused on providing knowledge, connections and opportunities for your transition
RingCentral’s Manager of Account Enrichment Alex Taus suggests, “Find or create a Veteran’s support group wherever you get hired. These groups offer a little slice of ‘home’ in the free world.”
One of the biggest hurdles some of our service members reported is overcoming the loss of the military regimen and structure. Taus explains, “Have a support system in place. The mental aspect of transitioning from extreme structure and discipline can often cause emotional responses and anger. Take this seriously and make sure you have a healthy outlet that retains some of that structure and discipline (ie. martial arts, recreational sports, etc.)” Associate Solutions Engineer Christopher Abdulla reminds U.S. Service Members to “prioritize yourself and your family during the transition.”
Some Final Advice.
“Be patient with yourself. This transition will take time,” says Hyde.
Abdulla adds, “Don’t EVER think you’re alone. Staying around like-minded people with the same experiences is always good.” At RingCentral, Veterans can find support in our U.S. Service Members employee resource group. They recently virtually volunteered in partnership with Goodera to create these transition tip cards for U.S. Service Members. Ultimately it’s important to remember that there are many organizations, like RingCentral, that are eager to hire Veterans. Keep looking, stay in the game and you’ll find the right civilian career.
Originally published Mar 22, 2023