He said although IT wasn’t an obvious choice when looking at careers, the project management side of it was, as it was a ‘natural fit’ for someone who was former Electronic Warfare Systems Operator. As a Solutions Owner, his core role is putting together IT proposals covering a whole variety of Microsoft services, with the second part of his role being as a ‘technology, innovate leader’ - driving the conversation internally, around how technology and innovation can help the company achieve better outcomes.
David said the key transferable military skills he uses in his role everyday are leadership, empathy and the ‘get stuff done’ attitude. He explained: “Leadership is the key one. Sometimes when the going gets tough on a project, if things start slipping you have to bring the team back round again and drive them forward to success.
“Empathy is another one people don’t associate with military people, but we do show an awful lot of empathy, that’s a crucial element. And the ‘get stuff done’ attitude is everything - people will follow you if they see you doing this. Also working under pressure - even now in my job we come under enormous pressure. Things happen beyond your control, you have to have the ability to bounce around it and bring things under your control and that’s probably the most important skill that you develop naturally in the Service and you don’t realise how useful that little skill is.”
The key qualifications David has are: PRINCE 2 Project Management Practitioner, Agile Project Management Practitioner, ATMT Management Qualification, Microsoft 365 Fundamentals, Azure Fundamentals, Power Platform Fundamentals. But he said he would advise transitioning military personnel to focus on networking, work experience and if possible - a mentoring scheme to figure out where their skillset might be suited as ‘cyber security is not a one size fits all role’. He added: “Helping people get out the military is one thing - but helping them get into the right career for themselves is the second thing and if that means a bit of trial and error on the way then so be it. We have all been there.”
David said ex-military people are suited to roles within IT because of their in-built discipline. “There is a discipline about IT. Ex-military people are experienced in taking orders, having self-discipline while working under pressure which is crucial within IT. Communication is also key - that’s the empathetic side of the military and what makes them well-suited to this industry.”