“Securing a career with purpose after the Defence Force”

Serving in the military for six years provided Brendan Carlson with the sense of adventure that he had always yearned for. Departing in 2011, Brendan did not foresee the obstacles that he would have to overcome in order to move forward along his new career path. Now an Electrical/Instrumentation Technician in the Oil and Gas Industry, Brendan reflects on his transition process and hopes to help veterans with their transition.

During his time in the military, Brendan held the role of an infantry soldier and had the opportunity to serve on an operation in Iraq. He credits his time in the military for developing his skills that were highly transferrable to his career path after his service. Even though his current career is vastly different to his role in the ADF, Brendan attributes his “discipline, professionalism, resilience, and the ability to improvise and adapt to changing work environments” to his time serving in the ADF. However, getting recognition for his skills and experience in the ADF was initially difficult in the civilian workplace, which hindered his chances of securing a fulfilling job.

After leaving the ADF, Brendan had to rely on family and friends to provide him with a job. Brendan comments that “although you gain some valuable life skills and experiences in the military, these skills are not always in the form of a nationally recognisable qualification”. By sharing his difficult transition process from the ADF with other veterans, Brendan hopes that this may help with their transition process and for it to be a positive experience. He also encourages those currently transitioning to “learn how to sell yourself and the skills that you have acquired throughout your military service”. Brendan states that once you nail this, going for job interviews won’t be such a daunting process.

At WithYouWithMe, we place transitioning and ex-service members on our Incubation Pathway Program and help develop your skill set to ensure that you are ready to take the next step in your career. We even have our own handbook called COMPAS that we created specifically for service personnel to help prepare you for all aspects of entering the civilian marketplace. Register as a mentee here.

If you want to help develop and enhance our mentees’ skills as they complete one of our Incubation Pathway Programs to enter your industry, then register here as a mentor. Anyone can be a mentor and it only requires an hour a month.