Career steps guided by a community that understands you06 September 2022
Finding an employer who not only understands but encourages your unique strengths and sees your transferable skills as an asset can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
But they do exist and RSL Employment Program partner organisations like Suncorp and Boeing are proof that you can find meaningful employment as you look to shape your career after leaving Defence. Likewise, they are organisations where you are not only welcomed, but also introduced to a community to help you thrive.
With support from the RSL Employment program, an evidence-based service that helps employers understand the value of hiring ex-serving Defence members and their partners, you can be ‘always prepared’ and ready to put your best foot forward.
SEEING BOTH SIDES OF THE COIN
Talent Acquisition Specialist at Boeing and Defence partner Alex O'Connor
Alex O’Connor, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Boeing, has experience on both sides of the fence. As the partner of a current-serving Defence member, she is familiar with having to move every few years for her partner's work. In her role with Boeing, she’s responsible for hiring ex-serving Defence members.
Alex, whose husband served in the Army as a Nursing Officer for more than 20 years, says they travelled up and down the eastern coast of Australia while supporting his career.
“We’ve moved from Townsville to Brisbane to Melbourne and back to Townsville again. And during this he’s been deployed within Australia and overseas,” she explains.
HIRING THROUGH THE LENS OF A SHARED EXPERIENCE
Boeing Project Manager and veteran Jacinta Veitch
As a partner of an ex-serving Defence member and recruitment specialist, Alex knows it can be hard for ex-serving members and their partners to translate their experience and skills to civilian roles or explain why they have had to move jobs so often.
“Veterans or ex-ADF members are facing something unknown to them when they leave,” she says.
“A lot of organisations don’t understand how to read a CV of someone who has served in the military.”
“They bring such value to an organisation – an openness to change and an adaptability, as well as a resilience. They can look for solutions to work as a team and come up with a positive outcome.”
One example is Boeing Project Manager and ex-serving member Jacinta Veitch, who was referred through the RSL Employment Program.
Jacinta, who served for more than 18 years and is now the Project Manager on the Wedgetail aircraft for Boeing Defence Australia, says she’s found a supportive environment that is rich in culture, diversity, and inclusion.
“As veterans, we have some amazing skills that translate well into the civilian world – like quickly adapting to new environments, accepting guidance and direction, and having independence to work on our own,” she says.
“I had worked up to the rank of Major before I left Defence. When you leave, like many other ex-Defence members, I found it hard to know what industry and what job I would like to do. I wanted something that would maximise my strengths and abilities.”
“I was lucky that in the years leading up to leaving I had been involved in project roles, including coordinating Defence exercises, so I had transferable skills that I knew could translate. Still, putting those skills into civilian terminology that employers would understand what I could bring to an organisation was something I needed help with.”
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Jacinta Veitch, RSL Queensland Senior Manager Employment Program Teegan Crump, and Alex O’Connor
Alex champions the way Boeing welcomes the ex-serving community and gives them a sense of belonging.
“We have many veteran employees around the world, and we have a Boeing Veterans Working Group. We find it gives them a familiar sense of community and lets them see they aren’t alone.
“They see first-hand that others have done it before them and find that new support network. Anecdotally, I’ve been told from veterans who have joined Boeing that they felt like they’ve joined another family because we do have such a tightknit veteran community.”
THE HELP YOU NEED TO GET AHEAD
Jacinta and Alex recommend the Employment Program to veterans and Defence partners
Jacinta is an advocate for any ex-serving members to reach out to the RSL Employment Program.
“I was able to make links into roles and organisations that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to,” she shares. The program was able to help me review my CV and really support my search for work outside of Defence.
"If you've left Defence, start the process. They are there to help you find the right fit for you."
SOUNDS LIKE YOU?
The RSL Employment Program works with over 200 Australian employers who are interested in hiring veterans. Learn more about how the RSL Employment Program can support you at rslemployment.com.au.
Want to stay informed? Subscribe today and get the latest news, services, events and more direct to your email inbox.