Air Vice Marshal (Ret’d) Mark Skidmore – a member of the QinetiQ Australia board – has offered some key suggestions for ex-service staff looking to make the shift into working in the defence industry.
Skidmore told Defence Connect’s Phillip Tarrant that the defence industry was a nice destination for many ex-service people.
However, Skidmore also emphasised that it was important to get this process just right.
“I think one of the first things you should do, and it's something that I didn't do, is actually take some time,” he recommended. “Take some time to ease out of the services, relax a bit."
Skidmore said it could also be beneficial to just decide to take about three to six months, “and then have a good look around and decide what you actually want to do".
He emphasised that – contrary to what some assume – there are many opportunities out there for Defence personnel.
“The skills they've grown and developed inside the Defence Force are fantastic and we really need to transition those into the defence industry and help support [the sector],” he added.
Meanwhile, former Lockheed Martin ANZ chief executive Rear Admiral (Ret'd) Raydon Gates said there were in fact some ex-forces staff who had made that very transition across.
"It's the idea of talking to the people that are already doing it," Gates said. "My experience was buying that cup of coffee for someone who had been there before me was money well spent, just to get an understanding of what life is like in industry and how different it is to life in the military."
Additionally, Gates said it was important to consider what skills learned in the military one could bring into industry – particularly leadership and organisational skills.
To hear more from Skidmore and Gates, tune in to our podcast here.