• Episode #29: Adapting to the High-tech Culture as a Veteran with Jerry Prochazka  


A Navy veteran and a veteran of the gaming industry, Jerry Prochazka transitioned out of his military service as a nuclear engineer and eventually navigated to his current position as the CEO and co-founder of  Ganymede Games, a start-up game design company that is launching its first game later this year.  Jerry shares insight into the different structure and communication style of the tech industry while also discussing the common factors he has seen among the veterans who achieved success in the high-tech career field. 


Lessons Learned:

  • Don’t expect your post-military career progression to be linear. You’ll learn what you need to know at each step.
  • In the tech industry, a top HR executive might be called a “Chief People Officer” or “Director of People.”
  • Comparing work in the military to professional services, the former is mission-focused while the latter values sales of self and the team.
  • If you’re considering transitioning from the military to a position in the high-tech industry:
    • If you love hierarchy, then you will not love the flat organizational structure of tech.
    • Tech pays well, is a currently hot industry and people come in with passion.
    • Tech employers need leaders who empower their people, remove roadblocks and get cross-functional teams to work together.
    • Passion is preferred to experience.
    • Keep an open mind. Don’t come in with the attitude that you know what is best for the organization.
    • Come in with adaptability and support for the company’s mission.
  • People who work in games and creative spaces are excited to talk about what they love doing.
    • Reach out via social media to ask them for more details.
    • Google the names in the video game credits to figure out whose work you like and with whom you might like to work.
  • In any industry, focus on positively impacting the customer. Empathize with them.
  • Post-military roles can be very team-oriented, depending on the industry and company.
  • No one is completely ready to transition out of the military.
  • Be kind to yourself and pursue what you love.
  • Use the “in” you have as a veteran to talk to people, because most are willing to talk to you.
  • Learn about different company cultures.
    • Remember that every industry has good and bad parts.
    • Companies are looking for diversity, multiple perspectives and enthusiastic employees.
  • For all you gamers, check out xenotheria.com or go to www.ganymede.games for more details…

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