Kris Milne served in the Australian Army for 14 years. Despite the toughness and fortitude required to go on deployment to places such as East Timor, the most difficult thing he’s done is leave the army and adjust to life in a civilian job.
He knew the minute he left the army he would lose his security clearance and have to reapply all over again if he wanted a job which required one. That narrowed the job market. After so long in the army, he looked at his resume and wondered what civilian employer would need a man with weapons training, parade ground marching and bush survival techniques.
Now an account executive at recruitment firm Effective People, Kris helps people translate their military acquired skills into a civilian resume, along with providing career advice and mentoring enlisted Australian Defence Force (ADF) veterans who want to transition into a civilian role.
“I look at an ADF resume and immediately I can see whether a person has leadership skills, administrative skills, strategic thinking and so many other talents that are desperately needed in the civilian workforce,” says Kris.
“What I want to do is specialise in helping enlisted ADF veterans, first responders, paramedics, firefighters and police to get a job in the civilian workforce, and help with their resume, help with interviews and place them with employers who genuinely appreciate the skills that a military or first responder career gives you.”
Kris is calling for all veterans and first responders to register with him to receive help and job opportunities through Effective People, which focuses on a holistic program to help people into a civilian role.
“I also want to make sure employers who offer jobs to our first responders and veterans understand PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and other mental health issues associated with serving your country,” he says. “With all the talk about mental health at the moment, now is the time for people to truly understand what PTSD is and what it is not.
“We need to educate the community – and employers – about PTSD. Some of the most successful people you see in business have PTSD or a diagnosed mental illness, but you wouldn’t know. It’s a manageable condition. Part of the solution is having a job where you feel useful and genuinely appreciated for your skills. We believe we can provide that through the employers we have on our books.
“This year, we’re planning on doing a lot more education on PTSD and the advantages of employing an ex-ADF veteran or a first responder.”
Effective People is one of the largest suppliers of staff to the ACT Government and has the ability to sponsor security clearances through its affiliate company PayMe Australia, which will help enormously for ADF veterans looking to exit the service and begin a civilian job, says Kris.
“If you have a current security clearance, doors open at the Department of Defence, which is always looking for contractors with clearances,” he says.
“We are at the start of our program to assist veterans and first responders into civilian jobs, and it will develop and expand during the next year. Anybody who wants to start the transition to a civilian job and lifestyle should contact me. As a veteran myself, I understand the challenges and I’m here to help.
“Employers need to know it’s a badge of honour to employ a veteran or a first responder. Their skills are as good as, if not better than, most candidates, and they have much more self-discipline, attention to detail and they always finish the job they started. And they’ve served our country, whether in an armed forces capacity or as a first responder. These are the people we owe our current way of life, and our survival, to.”
If you are a first responder or Australian Defence Force veteran seeking a civilian job and want help with the transition, contact Effective People on 1300 946 471.
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