Season 3 Episode 110: Bouncing Back from Being Laid Off with Jonathan Fisher

US Army veteran Jonathan Fisher spent his military career in aviation maintenance. When he decided to retire, he also made the decision to start his next career in the IT industry. Using SkillBridge as a launching pad to land his first role with start-up company, ByteChek, Jonathan worked as an Auditor and GRC Engineer. With financial trouble looming due to economic uncertainty, Jonathan and his coworkers unfortunately lost their jobs. However, using the power of LinkedIn and relying on his network, Jonathan was hired into a new role within a week.

Jonathan is no stranger to the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast. In fact, this is his third appearance. On this episode, he brings fresh perspectives on the military transition and a realization that it continues long after retirement. Jonathan started networking and connecting with people years before he retired from the military. He reached out to organizations like Veterans2Industry, Hire Our Heroes, FourBlock and Veterati and took ownership of his transition.

After making the decision to dive into the IT field, Jonathan practiced the basics through CompTIA A+ and Security+ to gain a foundational knowledge of the industry. It was only after talking with mentors that he realized his military skills gave him an edge that could help him bypass an entry-level position. His previous career in aviation maintenance had given him significant experience with risk assessment, documentation management, quality assurance auditing and problem solving – skills that lined up with Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) roles in IT.

Accepting his first role with start-up, ByteChek, Jonathan reflects on the experiences that allowed him to grow professionally. Being the 7th hire for the company, Jonathan influenced the work culture and had the opportunity to influence future hires as a member of the interview panel. He enjoyed the diversity in his new workplace and learned how to become more inclusive. Jonathan played a pivotal role in the standardization and building of processes at the organization.

When he lost his job due to company financial problems, Jonathan leaned into his network on LinkedIn. Within 6 days of posting his availability for a new position on LinkedIn, Jonathan interviewed and was hired into a new role. While at ByteChek, Jonathan continued to build his network with people in the IT industry. Keep your connections fresh on LinkedIn and start to build your network beyond the veteran community, even when you are happily employed.

To end this episode, Jonathan urges servicemembers to make time for their families. Start building good relationships with family members and don’t be afraid to reach out and seek professional help on how to be a better spouse and parent. After taking a more active role in the lives of his children, Jonathan has seen improvement in these relationships. Remember, the military transition is much more than finding a job, and it involves the whole family.

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To learn more about how to navigate the military transition with your family, click here for Season 1 , Episode 8 with Ben Killoy.

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