WithYouWithMe Profile Series: David Robinson

WithYouWithMe Profile Series: David Robinson

Name: David Robinson

WYWM position: Account Manager – Cyber Security

ADF Background Service: Australian Army (2007) Rank: Infantry, Intelligence Officer, Captain

 

Was your transition from the Defence Force difficult?

My transition was difficult because I was unable to find a corporate workplace that thought my military experience was valuable. The general theme was a lack of cultural empathy and subsequent recognition of my skills and experience from employers. I was unable to translate my unique Army service as a point of competitive advantage. Employers saw too much risk in my lack of ‘business experience’ or ‘civilian accredited education’. Comments like ‘maybe after 6 months of business experience’ or ‘the other candidate’s profile was more relevant to the job description’ didn’t help my confidence.

What key piece of advice do you have for other veterans currently transitioning from the ADF into the civilian workplace?

When you go for an interview in the civilian workplace, regardless of your skills and education, it is very important to strike an immediate rapport with the hiring manager. The Army lexicon does not exist in an interview or CV. Mirror their words and language, as it will increase your chance of success.

What do you like about working for WithYouWithMe?

I like that I have the opportunity to educate Australian industry about how highly skilled veterans are for the corporate workplace. I also like meeting with Australians who understand that veterans give them an advantage in a contested marketplace.

 

WithYouWithMe Profile Series – Tom Larter

WithYouWithMe Profile Series – Tom Larter

Name: Tom Larter

WYWM position: General Manager

ADF Background Service: Australian Army (2004) Rank: Infantry Officer 2008 – 2017

Was your transition from defence force difficult? My transition was hard. Like many veterans, I struggled to see where the skills I had developed during my time in the Army aligned within the civilian workplace. I knew I was good at lots of different things but did not know where I should apply or where I would be most happy. On top of this, I found it difficult to figure out what positions and companies I should be applying for.

What key piece of advice do you have for veterans currently transitioning out of the ADF? Start your transition plan early (+12 months is okay). Figure out the things you like and dislike about your current role or previous ADF roles and when you have defined that, start to build a professional network and learn about the industry.

What do you like about working for WithYouWithMe? I like that WithYouWithMe has a definite goal of supporting the future security of this country. I also love that the workplace is agile, challenging, interesting and targeting BIG problems. The company is filled with very talented people constantly striving to do great work – it is a very positive environment to be a part of.

WithYouWithMe Profile Series: Daniel Saliba

WithYouWithMe Profile Series: Daniel Saliba

Name: Daniel Saliba
WYWM position: Candidate Manager

ADF Background
Service: Australian Army (2012)
Rank: Infantry, 1RAR, LCPL

Why did you join the Defence Force?
I joined the Army in 2012 in the pursuit of an exciting and rewarding career, with the opportunity to travel around Australia and overseas. To be able to travel and defend my country at the same time was the perfect way to challenge myself and grow as an individual.

Was your transition from the Defence Force difficult?
Yes my transition was difficult. I started applying for jobs seven months before I discharged and I didn’t secure a full-time job until two months after I discharged. However, once I secured full-time employment and was in the civilian workforce, I found it extremely enjoyable. I think it is extremely important to start planning your transition well in advanced.

What do you like about working for WithYouWithMe?
Everyone in the team has a big passion for the work we do – it is very powerful. I love helping people that are going through the same issues that most (if not all of us) went through when we discharged. I wish something like this was available to me when I left the Army.

WithYouWithMe Profile Series: Will Lewis

WithYouWithMe Profile Series: Will Lewis

Name: Will Lewis
WYWM position: Account Manager – Rail, Infrastructure, Construction and Telecom 

ADF Background
Service: Australian Army (2011)
Rank: PTE Infantry Soldier

When and why did you join the Defence Force?
I enlisted in the Army straight after graduating High School in 2011. I joined as a Rifleman, because I wanted to serve my country and help people. I ended up serving for just under five years and spent most of my time in 7RAR. I was deployed on operations to Timor Leste and Afghanistan.

Was your transition from the Defence Force difficult?
I discharged from the Army without a plan. Due to my lack of planning and my ‘she’ll be right’ attitude, I actually ended up sleeping on the street without a job for about a month. I worked hard, working as a dishwasher at a cafe and doing some other bits and pieces for money. I eventually landed on my feet but my transition definitely was not easy. So in saying that, learn from the mistakes of others – I always recommend veterans to plan their transition as if it was a military operation.

What do you like about working for WithYouWithMe?
I love helping people – every day I am able to help veterans explore career opportunities and find their purpose. I also love the fact that we’re changing the veteran narrative from “damaged goods” to the fact that we’re highly talented individuals with extensive skills and experience, ready to be utilised in the civilian workforce.

 

WithYouWithMe Profile Series: Thomas Mynott

WithYouWithMe Profile Series: Thomas Mynott

Name: Thomas Mynott
WYWM position: Account Manager – Robotics Process Automation, Data Science and IT

ADF Background
Service: Australian Army (June 2008 – December 2016)
Rank: Captain (CAPT), Royal Australian Engineer Corps (RAE)

Why did you join the Defence Force?
I joined the Defence Force because I had a strong desire to become part of the ongoing ANZAC legend. I loved the idea of having the opportunity to serve with other Australians who are also willing to serve and protect others. It’s a good feeling to be a part of something bigger than myself. 

What is your key piece of advice for veterans transitioning from the Defence Force?
My key piece of advice is to understand your value in the marketplace. Veterans often don’t understand that the skills they have developed from their training within defence are attributes that take people decades to master. This is your competitive advantage! Position yourself through networking and up-skilling, and then SELL yourself!

What do you like about working for WithYouWithMe?
I love being part of a very dedicated team. Everyone in the team has a desire to solve a big problem with big answers. It is quite inspirational and motivates me to work hard until the veteran transition narrative is changed. 

WithYouWithMe Profile Series: Kris O’Brien

WithYouWithMe Profile Series: Kris O’Brien

Name: Kris O’Brien
WithYouWithMe position: Learning and Development Coordinator

ADF Background
Service: Australian Army (2010)
Rank: PTE Infantry soldier, specialising in Communications and Electronic counter measure equipment

Was your transition from the Defence Force difficult?
Yes, my transition was difficult. I didn’t understand how to translate my skills and abilities into the civilian workplace, especially in a way that industry would recognise. I also didn’t know how to sell myself, as the Army is very team orientated. I loved being in defence because it was a very meaningful job with a strong purpose. Finding the same type of purpose in the civilian world can be very difficult.

What is your key piece of advice for veterans transitioning from the Defence Force?
I believe it’s important to take your time and build your skills. We spend a lot of time in the military building skills to be successful in our roles. Transitioning out of the defence is no different – it requires a great deal of thought and preparation to successfully achieve a smooth and meaningful pathway.

What do you like about working for WithYouWithMe?
I really enjoy being able to positively affect the veteran transition process and work for a purpose. It’s great to be part of a team that works towards achieving big things. We will continue to work hard until the veteran transition narrative is changed.