New Candidate Manager: Brisbane Office

New Candidate Manager: Brisbane Office

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.” 

Connect with Nicole in LinkedIn:

Veteran roles at Amazon Web Services…

Veteran roles at Amazon Web Services…

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.”

Register for our Sydney event, May 3rd from 5pm. 

Training Academy Expansion: New Ex-Navy Hire

Training Academy Expansion: New Ex-Navy Hire

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.” 

Connect with Va on LinkedIn. 

Ex-Navy member joins our North Sydney office

Ex-Navy member joins our North Sydney office

Name: Joel Vanderzwan
WYWM position: Candidate Manager
ADF Background Service: Royal Australian Navy (2007 – 2013)
Rank: Able Seaman Marine Technician

What was the highlight of your military career? 

To highlight one thing is hard because the Royal Australian Navy provided many highlights but probably the 2010 Rimpac trip to Hawaii on HMAS Kanimbla. During this trip I was exposed to multiple breakdowns across multiple systems, as an engineering department we learnt more about each other’s capabilities as well as our system capabilities. Another Highlight would be my time on Armidale Class Patrol Boats patrolling the Australian Economic Exclusion Zone (AEEZ).

Was your transition from the defence force difficult?

“My transition was quite different to many as I was medically discharged after a motor bike accident. But I definitely felt that I was not prepared for employment in the civilian world. Upon discharge I attempted to re-skill to cater for a new career, however attending TAFE did not provide me with the professional network I needed to obtain this.” 

What have you learnt about transition after a week in your new role? 

“Speaking to many veterans a day, most do not realise that skills obtained during their time in defence can actually be very favourable to potential employers. New signups say things like; “I was a platoon leader, but I have not had much experience in management” my reply to that is; “you definitely have management experience, we just need to re-write your CV so the civilian recruiters understand your skills”. Most transitioning veterans are proactive in their transition but are unsure what qualifications or RPL they will hold upon discharge.” 

What was your previous role and why did you make the move? 

“Prior to joining the WithYouWithMe team, I was working in the financial services sector as a debt collector, in this role I was speaking to people who needed education on their finances, however I wasn’t able to really affect change for my customers due to the negative stereotypes of the debt collection industry. Working with veterans is not only rewarding but I feel like I am helping to solve unemployment and underemployment in Australia.

Link up with Joel if you would like advice about your current situation… 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAAF addition to the WithYouWithMe team

RAAF addition to the WithYouWithMe team

Name: Adam Renfree
WYWM position: Account Manager
ADF Background Service: Royal Australian Air Force (2006)
Rank: Maintenance Manager – CPL

What was the highlight of your military career? 

“The highlight of my RAAF career was the travel I was able to do with C130s. I was able to visit the US, Europe and Asia on several occasions for both operational deployments and exercises. I was also able to deploy to the Middle East on several occasions which was challenging, but also extremely rewarding. During this time I also developed and consolidated managerial and leadership skills that I have found highly transferable in my roles post-service.”

Was your transition from the defence force difficult?

“Absolutely! My biggest obstacle when leaving the RAAF was determining the kind of career I wanted to move into. Initially I left and accepted an aviation management role that I thought would be ideal given my background, but very soon I found that despite an attractive salary – I wasn’t enjoying it. Disenchanted, I spent a significant amount of time exploring a range of industries and applied for 80+ jobs. I waited for the influx of responses…and waited… Soon I was facing a similar reality to most ADF professionals embarking on civilian career pathways – I had to accept that a master’s degree and extensive management experience simply wasn’t going to be enough to get my foot in the door.” 

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

“Start early, be prepared and build a professional network. I’d encourage veterans who are looking at transitioning to research their desired career pathway extensively. Make sure you’re actually going to enjoy your new career and don’t be solely focused on money. Once you’ve decided on a career pathway start up-skilling to enhance your value proposition to a prospective employer (there are free options for this so be careful not to get stung). Finally, reach out to people in the industry. Most of my mates have landed jobs because of who they know rather than what they know.”

Speaking of networking and who you know – how did you land a job at WithYouWithMe? 

“I worked with Tom Larter at Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) and when I saw he worked in a veteran recruitment company, I reached out for a catch up and a coffee (you’d be amazed the amount people that will meet with you if you buy them a coffee). He thought I’d be good at sales despite an aviation/ops management background and a chat over a coffee quickly turned into a job interview. Despite my initial reservations, I’ve since discovered that my personality is suited to sales and account management.” 

What do you like about working for WithYouWithMe?

“I really enjoy being able to have a positive effect on the lives of veterans and working toward improving the big issues surrounding veteran employment. I also love being part of a dedicated and driven team who are like-minded and believe in what we’re doing. I am four weeks into my training program and have been learning the ropes by looking after on-boarding and customer service – I have spoken to hundreds of veterans signing up to the program during that time and hearing their stories has really re-affirmed my purpose. I love coming to work every day knowing that I am making a difference.” 

In your opinion, what is the best part of the program?

“I think there’s two “best parts” of the WYWM program. The first being the guidance we provide veterans when choosing their career pathway. This guidance is based on a number of factors and is not solely base on their previous roles. Just because someone has had a career in a certain field, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re suited to that pathway. I’m a great example of that. The second is the free training. Because we’re trying to solve the big issues surrounding veteran unemployment and underemployment, we’ve created a business model that is able to provide free training to veterans which is unparalleled in the recruitment space. This is clearly beneficial to veterans as it allows them to develop the hard skills that will make them employable in their chosen industry – quickly and easily.”

Link up with Adam Renfree if you would like advice about your current situation…