What kind of support veterans need when transitioning into the workplace
- Posted on November 10, 2021
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
In honor of Veterans Day in the United States and Armistice Day in the U.K on Nov. 11, we chatted with senior security analyst Brandon Tipton about his experience serving with the Tennessee Air National Guard, 119 Cyber Operations, where he continues to serve part-time today. He discusses the transition from full-time military to part-time, how Avanade has supported him through that journey, and the importance of finding a network and support system in the workplace.
Tell us about your experience serving in the military and how your career led you to Avanade.
I started serving full-time in the Tennessee Air National Guard in 2017 but was made part-time when COVID-19 hit. In May 2021, a friend of mine who worked at Avanade submitted me as a referral and that’s how I ended up here, working in Avanade’s security talent community, mainly focused on digital identity. Today, I’m working full-time at Avanade and continue to serve part-time with the Air National Guard.
How has your career with the Air National Guard prepared you for your career with Avanade?
It gave me not only a strong technical background, but an excellent foundation for leadership and never being afraid to jump in and learn something new.
How do you balance both careers?
Honestly it takes hard work, dedication and sacrifice to balance my career here at Avanade and my service with the Air National Guard. I have some amazing people in my life like my wife, Cassidi, who has always helped me to balance home life and my civilian career at Avanade with my military career.
What was the transition like going from full-time active military to part time, and how did Avanade support you?
It was very different going from putting on my boots every day and going out to my unit, to working from home but still having commitments to the Air National Guard. I definitely experienced some culture shock initially, but Avanade has always made me feel more than welcome and has 100 percent worked with and supported me when I’ve had to leave for training events. I just returned from a joint training operation with the Army National Guard named Mountain Ice. It was an operation with a platform called the JISCC (Joint Incident Site Communications Capability), which we use for things like supporting the presidential inauguration and disasters like Hurricane Katrina to restore communications to emergency personnel and rescue teams.
How have you found support within Avanade as a member of the military?
I joined the Veterans Employee Network and have found it beneficial to have a support system of people who have gone through similar experiences. There are others within the group who are still serving and people who are veterans – but regardless of our individual journeys, it feels like a family unit within the larger Avanade family.
What sort of support in the workplace can be helpful for veterans?
It seems simple, but just being able to talk to people and have people who are willing to listen makes a big difference. Having resources available and a support group in place means a lot to people. Many individuals may not have this support available to them in their workplace, so I am grateful for my experience at Avanade.
What advice would you give others who are transitioning out of the military and into another career, or those who are actively doing both like you are?
If you’re transitioning out of the military, I would say to take advantage of all your training and never turn down an opportunity to do something new. If you’re doing both like I am, be prepared to miss some birthdays and sporting events with family but still take advantage of all the guard or reserves has to offer you. You never know what saying yes to that training or trip can lead to down the line. And when you aren’t working, enjoy all the time that you do get to spend with family and friends. Keep your chin up, always keep learning, and keep moving forward.