Comcast Veterans Give Advice on Balancing Military and Civilian Careers

November 16, 2017 4:37 pm

Phil Johnson

HR Manager

Comcast — Oregon/SW Washington Region

U.S. Air Force veteran

Best advice for transitioning service members?

Use your GI Bill! I started going to school as soon as I started with Comcast. It wasn’t a race, and sometimes I would just take one class online. I worked full time and still managed to get my bachelor’s degree.

What tactics worked best in your job search?

Using the internet and all the available resources out there. Also, talking to people and networking. If you have the opportunity, try to job shadow. I almost followed in my father’s footsteps by becoming a police officer. I did several ride-alongs with various police departments before joining Comcast and thought that was what I really wanted to do for a career…until I joined Comcast (I made the right decision).

 

Janet Mays

HR Coordinator

Cable Entertainment, NBCUniversal

Army Reserve officer

Watch this video about Janet.

What is the most important information or advice you received regarding the process of balancing your military and civilian careers? Please be specific.

The most important information I received regarding the process of balancing my military and civilian careers is to preplan your annual commitments. In terms of the military, map out what your year will look like considering annual training, professional development and military education, battle assembly weekends, etc. Then, think about your annual commitments for your civilian job. If anything overlaps, you’ll have plenty of time to talk to both employers to figure out how to balance both commitments.

Best advice for transitioning service members or Reserve component service members balancing their military and civilian careers?

The best advice I can give regarding the process of balancing your military and civilian careers is to try and blend the two. I continuously look for opportunities to apply what I’ve learned from one position to the other, and vice versa. For example, when I learned a new Excel trick from my civilian job, I immediately applied it to my military job. I was able to create a workbook that streamlined the tracking of pertinent information. As a result, my readiness metrics have improved and my leaders are spending less time manually tracking the health of their platoons. I also look for opportunities to intertwine both careers. For example, in the past I’ve invited my Talent Acquisition (TA) Team at NBCUniversal to host an Officer/NCO Developmental Program for my company. During their hour-block on the training schedule, TA conducted a résumé review, gave social media tips and discussed possible opportunities at NBCUniversal.

 

Robert Burns

Recruiter

Comcast — West Division

U.S. Army veteran

What is the most important information or advice you received, before or during your own transition, regarding the process of going from the military to the civilian workforce? Please be specific.

Be able to talk about yourself and your military service accomplishments when in conversations, with examples and specifics without coming off as arrogant or conceited, especially while attending networking events.

Best advice for transitioning service members?

Start preparing early, get professional help with your résumé (there are many nonprofits that do outstanding work), order professional business cards, have a family meeting, regularly attend professional networking events and take advantage of the many transition programs afforded on your military installation (and if there are none, find one at the nearest sister branch installation and get involved).

 

Sam Waltzer

Project Manager

Comcast Military and Veteran Affairs

Army National Guard officer

Watch this video about Sam.

What is the most important information or advice you received regarding the process of balancing your military and civilian careers? Please be specific.

Be upfront with both military commanders and civilian supervisors regarding the obligations of each career. Be sure your civilian supervisors know your military schedule and obligations as far in advance as possible, and that your military commanders know about the requirements of your civilian career. With good support and planning, everything can be balanced. Also, share your accomplishments in each career with your supervisors. This may lead your supervisors in each career to more eagerly support your other obligations.

Best advice for transitioning service members or Reserve component service members balancing their military and civilian careers?

Seek out civilian employers supportive of the military community! Don’t consider continuing to serve in the military or finding a fulfilling civilian career as mutually exclusive options. Examine the company’s military reservist benefits, any ESGR awards and the company’s support of veterans and military spouses. Unfortunately, some civilian employers support service in the Reserve Components more than others, but by seeking out a supportive employer, it is possible to have the best of both worlds. I am fortunate to work for Comcast NBCUniversal and receive first-class benefits and support for my military career while I advance in my civilian career.

 

Ernest Easter

Customer Account Executive

Comcast Business

Army National Guard member

Watch this video about Ernest.

What is the most important information or advice you received regarding the process of balancing your military and civilian careers? Please be specific.

The most important information or advice that I received regarding the process of balancing my military and civilian career is to first remember the key word “balance.” Never take on more than you can handle or you could tip the scale forcing that excess to pour onto your civilian career. We do a dangerous job and there are a lot of stressors that if you do not speak to someone about or take a moment to yourself it can burn you out, and this is not a weight that you would want to carry with you at your civilian job. Be thankful for everyday and leave all worries behind you.

Best advice for transitioning service members or Reserve component service members balancing their military and civilian careers?

There will be times when you may feel overwhelmed trying to juggle both a military and civilian career, times when some days are better than others. Just remember no matter what the issue may be, every situation has an expiration date or season that will pass and a new day will bring more opportunities than the last — a fresh start in which you could make a difference in the lives of many, as well as the opportunity to be a valuable asset to your employer.

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