Veterans and those who love them make no shortage of sacrifices on behalf of this country. But one sacrifice that’s perhaps not as readily acknowledged is the obstacles both veterans and military spouses can face when building out their careers in the civilian realm. This Veteran’s Day, Fairygodboss and Getting Hired asked folks in the veteran and military family community to share the ways this identity has aided and at times impeded them professionally, as well as their No. 1 pieces of advice to fellow military community jobseekers.
Do you believe veterans and their families should have the right to build civilian careers free of obstacles and biases? Show your support and #Pledge4VetFamilies here.
Who: Kelly Mayo
What: Corporate Controller, Allegis Global Solutions, Inc. (AGS)
Where: Hanover Corporate Office
How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?
I have been the financial controller of AGS for just over two years. Prior to AGS I worked at Aerotek for eight years, the past five as a controller.
What factors were most important to you in transitioning from a military to civilian job? Are there any challenges associated with that transition that people may not be aware of?
The most difficult part of transitioning was having a resume that involved many moves in support of my husbands continued career in the military. I wasn’t able to settle into my career until we had a final duty station, prior to his retirement. As an accountant, there were not opportunities for me in remote locations, so I worked as a teacher’s aide for handicap classrooms.
Another obstacle involved how to create a resume and cover letter that was acceptable outside of the government industry.
What did your company do to help ease the transition, and how have you felt supported working here?
Coming to the Allegis Group Family was a family friendly move from corporate accounting in a public company. My choice to put my family first and still have a successful career kept me at Allegis Group companies.
Do you believe your military background has provided you with any unique perspectives or talents that aid your career today?
What’s the first (and/or last) thing you do at work every day?
Review my calendar and plan for the next day.
What about outside of work — how do you most enjoy spending your time?
I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling with them.
What’s the one career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
Leaving the public corporate world of accounting and finding success in a people-oriented company.
What’s your #1 piece of advice for women, and especially other women veterans, who are looking for jobs right now?
Don’t be afraid to wait for the right opportunity. Get your foot in the door and work hard, it will lead you where you eventually want to be.
My experience easily translates to veterans and spouses of veterans. I took every opportunity to educate myself while in the military and when I transitioned to civilian life. Perseverance is the strength that got me through all stages of my career.