We caught up with Hadi Shalabi, ex-Navy Officer and now Facilities Manager at Investa Property Group, to chat about his time in the military and recent career transition.
What we are seeing at WithYouWithMe is a growing demand by the mining and resources sector across Australia for veterans with technical trades. This sentiment was reinforced during the MSS career information night this week, as the team presented to a packed room of Perth-based technical tradies.
Dean Irvine [the Lead Recruiter for MSS] spoke of the value of veterans in roles such as:
- Technical Document Writing
- Maintenance Planning/Scheduling
- Reliability Engineering
- Asset Management
“It is obvious to me that veterans have incredible skills and talents, they just need to learn to identify their value and then sell themselves.”
– Dean Irvine, MSS
“This was an absolutely positive experience, I learnt that veteran technicians have a lot of highly desired skills and training within the resource and mining sector and it has broadened my mind to different careers.”
– Phil Bleach, Aviation Technician
“It was a very informative night and highlighted a number of different pathways for veterans with a technical trade that I had not previously considered.”
– Daniel Willoughby, Marine Technician
“I have really struggled to find the right career to pursue post defence and this type of information is what I needed to help me move forward. I am now seriously considering a career in the mining sector as a maintenance planner or reliability technician.”
– John O’Shea, Marine Technician
If you’re a veteran with a technical trade who is looking for a new career then get in touch with Thomas Mynott thomas_mynott@withyouwithme.
Name: Nicole Gow
WithYouWithMe Position: Veteran Candidate Manager
ADF Background: Royal Australian Navy (2002 – 2012); Leading Seaman Stores Naval
What was the highlight of your military career?
“One of the many highlights of my military career was onboard H.M.A.S Success, where I had a number of adventurous jobs on top of my daily duties as a Naval Stores Sailor. I was a member of the boarding party team, jumping out of helicopters performing fast rope training as well as the man over board swimmer for the ship. Getting into a wetsuit and jumping overboard to rescue someone from the waters below is something I will never forget.”
Was your transition to the civilian world difficult?
“My transition from the defence force was a little different… I took my long service leave and travelled Australia in a caravan for 18 months straight. However when it was time for me to seek a civilian job, I found it awfully difficult to know which transferrable skills from the defence force I should highlight on a CV for my next employer.”
What have you learnt about transition after a few weeks in your new role?
“We have some extremely talented people leaving the defence force, many of which are not using their talents to their full potential. I have found the WithYouWithMe career pathway matching methodology is definitely making the decision easier for many veterans who don’t know what they want to do on discharge.”
What was your previous role and why did you make the move?
“Having an entrepreneurial spirit, prior to joining the WithYouWithMe team, I ran my own business from home selling Australian grown tea whilst I finished off my university degree. On completion of my degree I wanted to get back into the mainstream workforce and kick start my new career – I’m very thankful I get to do that working with a company I’m incredibly passionate about.”
Amazon Web Services is now recruiting veterans across a number of WYWM Veteran Training Academy pathways including Cyber Security, Sales and Skilled Labour. Register for our Sydney Info Night [May 3rd] to learn about the roles available at AWS and meet WYWM veterans like Irwin Moodley who have joined their team….
“I started my job hunt while I was still serving and I had no clue of where to start and how to even apply for a job. The Navy was my first career and that’s all I really knew.
I was lucky enough to have a LinkedIn account that was seen by Tom Moore who reached out and asked if I was interested in a technical job opportunity. In classic form told him that I wasn’t interested [which was a lie]. I was just scared of the unknown, I thought ‘what do I have to offer the civilian job sector?’ He gave me the registration link, leaving it in my hands to contact his team when I was ready.
I signed up not long after and the process that WYWM used to work out what career paths would be the best suited for me was really helpful, not to mention the training courses that were offered with the career path I chose. However the most valuable tools that WYWM gave me had to be the power of effective networking and how to approach interviews.
I ended up securing a role within AWS in the Data Centre Engineering Operations team. For any other veterans considering a similar path, I believe having a technical background is very important but you aren’t expected to know every technical aspect of a data centre and how it operates. I have found that Amazon are just looking for people who are highly self motivated, always willing to learn, improve and grow with the team, ‘possessing the right attitude’ so to speak.
Even though I’ve only been with Amazon for a short period of time, I can already safely say I couldn’t see myself working for any other organisation. Expectations are high but not unreasonable, everyone is very approachable at all levels and the team are extremely helpful.”
Name: Va Hart
WithYouWithMe Position: Learning & Development Manager
ADF Background: Royal Australian Navy, Lieutenant Training Systems Officer
What did you enjoy most about your military career?
“The highlight of my Navy career was the varied job roles you could get. One minute I would be assisting with the launching and landing of the helicopter onboard, the next I would be investigating training shortfalls and providing transition information. There was rarely a dull moment.”
Was your transition to the civilian world difficult?
“Yes, I felt lost and a little overwhelmed trying to sell myself to companies. For so many years I had gone from posting to posting without having to put an application together or even interview for any job. I also lost confidence in my skillset because the Navy bubble that I had been in was outdated in the Learning and Development field.”
What key piece of advice do you have for other veterans moving from the ADF into the civilian workplace?
“I was swept up in my job and relocating the family at the time of leaving and really didn’t focus on my transition plan. I kept putting it off until the last couple of weeks. Luckily during my last minute panic I decided to search for past colleagues on LinkedIn and Facebook that had already transitioned, and ask them for advice. I was told to look up the WithYouWithMe website! My greatest piece of advice is to build your network as soon as possible and work on maintaining those relationships, because you never know when you might need it.”
What do you like about working for WithYouWithMe?
“I really am blown away by the passion and drive in this company. I personally believe that our people are our greatest assets, and it’s nice to work for a company that believes in the same motto.”
In your opinion, what is the best part of the program?
“I was excited to learn how far WithYouWithMe has come in such a short time, and I’m excited about the potential scope for the WithYouWithMe Veteran Training Academy, that I have been brought on to expand. The Academy is the tool that empowers those transitioning to take control of their future by up-skilling them for a career they are passionate about. Making a difference to the men and women leaving active service is so important to me because they have already given so much and deserve to be looked after for their next career. I love that we can add so much value – and that I never have to charge a veteran a cent.”
An ‘Assessment Centre’ is a small mini-career-expo of sorts. We run them for individual employers who have multiple open roles for veterans. It gives potential candidates the chance to meet the team and get a feel for the culture in a more casual setting, plus learn about career pathway options with top performing Australian-based companies.
Usually they involve office tours, presentations and sometime beer and pizza. We often also run speed interview sessions for pre-matched candidates, enabling veterans to face-to-face with hiring managers and sell their skills.
Earlier in the month veterans on our Skilled Labour Pathway in Perth attended Tasman Rope Access, with a number being quickly employed by the company. We also took a group of veterans to Stryker in Sydney, to showcase both entry-level and executive-level logistics and warehousing roles and give candidates the chance to go behind-the-scenes at the company that has been voted #1 place to work in Australia!
Last week veterans on our Facilities Management Pathway attended Glad Group in Sydney CBD – more details on hires from that event to come. Plus another small group from our Sales Pathway attended Charterhouse in Sydney to learn about careers in recruitment and why the military mindset is a great match for this line of work.
Keep an eye on our weekly email and social media pages to learn about upcoming Assessment Centres. For your diary: Amazon Web Services in Sydney, May 3rd, more details to come.