In this dog tags to data tags blog we talk to Chad Walker, a former infanteer who's now transition from a career in the military to a tech role with the industry leading Oracle provider NAMOS solutions.
The experience of leaving the military and resettling into a new life can be a challenge, no better explained than by those who have gone through the process of resettlement themselves.
Chad Walker joined the military in September 2009, serving with the 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster Regiment before deciding to leave to pursue new challenges. Although Chad was excited to move on to new challenges, he was also anxious about whether he possessed the skills and qualifications to find employment and provide for his family.
In his favour, the military had given Chad, and the 20,000 service members who leave every year, the soft skills such as resilience, confidence, versatility, drive & determination to successfully resettle into civilian life. With the drive and resilience to overcome any problems in front of him, Chad says he approached the resettlement process with a plan to “find an initial role that would enable a smooth transition” before then going on to broaden his scope once settled. With this at the forefront of his mind, he began working as an Engineer for Openreach, which provided him with a good salary and the time to study and upskill at his own pace.
It was during this time that Chad found out where his passions lay. He twinned his love of using new equipment in the military with his studies to retrain in the tech field. It wasn't long before he was qualified and experienced enough to secure a role as an Associate Oracle ERP Functional Consultant with NAMOS Solutions, working to implement and configure software.
Chad admits that, despite the technology industry being one of his first thoughts to pursue during the resettlement process, he was nervous that he would struggle to break into the industry. Looking back he says that his employer has been like a mentor.
"Namos as a whole, from onboarding through HR, being guided by L&D and working alongside senior & associate consultants, Namos has been there for me in many shapes and forms."
Chad’s advice to those leaving the services and considering retraining is to go for it with full commitment.
"Do your homework, research 3 industries and work out qualification requirements, providers, employment opportunities for each. Look into the current employment market, see what jobs are under-resourced and look for employment opportunities in those areas. The job you have when you first leave may well not be the same job you have in a year, prepare to move around unless you are very lucky and find a job you like, excel at, which in that case, you’ve got it right first time".
“The resources are available and there are tools out there aimed specifically at helping those going through the resettlement process. Although the output you get depends on the effort you put in, if you use every tool at your disposal, network, take gambles and push yourself out of your comfort zone, then you can achieve far more in your civilian career than you first think is possible".