Season 2 Episode #40: Networking Your Way to a Brand New Career with Brian Arrington
After serving a career in security forces, Brian Arrington retired from the United States Air Force ready for a new challenge. Landing a role with Wells Fargo as a business consultant right after retirement, Brian’s successful transition is a testament to his hard work and determination. In 2019, Brian launched Vets2Industry, a non-profit dedicated to serving service members and their families. Today, Brian is the Director of Military Programs and Recruiting for Military Hiring Accelerator.
The far-reaching impact of Vets2Industry is a product of Brian’s own transition. Rewind back to March of 2018 when Brian stumbled upon a website called LinkedIn. His first connection led him to Centurion Military Alliance. From there, he connected with mentors who helped him navigate the transition beyond the TAP curriculum. Like many veterans who have transitioned before him, Brian thought his veteran status and leadership experience would be enough to land a role as a marketing manager – a position that required a background in marketing which Brian didn’t possess. Through informational interviews, Brian realized that the skills he developed in the military would translate well to a consultant role. Intentional, consistent networking led him to a recruiter from Wells Fargo who was eager to hire a veteran for a business consultant role.
When asked what his biggest challenge has been since leaving the military, Brian is quick to reply that an obstacle he faces now and faced while transitioning is not having a vast knowledge of companies. He tells a story about attending his first career fair and only going to the Amazon table because it was the one company he had heard of before. Recounting this story to others, he says lots of transitioning service members approach job fairs this way. He encourages everyone to visit all the tables, engage with the recruiters, learn about opportunities and build connections. Every organization has infrastructure, projects, operations and facilities.
The idea for Vets2Industry began early in Brian’s transition. Realizing that TAP wasn’t enough and learning independently that there are over 40K VSOs, Brian wondered how many airmen he had failed as an NCO with his lack of awareness for the free resources beyond TAP. Over 100,000+ military-affiliated people have been served through resources offered by Vets2Industry. Their monthly networking events attract recruiters from all industries, and the webinars cover topics like salary negotiation, resume writing, TSP rollover, life insurance and budgeting. Every VSO featured on the website has been vetted. For those who would like to gain valuable skills, increase their marketability and strengthen their resumes, Vets2Industry needs volunteers.
As the Director of Military Programs and Recruiting at Military Hiring Accelerator, Brian Arrington focuses his attention on finding great paying positions across the country for the military community. Brian oversees sourcing and runs the organization’s SkillBridge program.
Head over to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22 to hear a bonus clip from Brian on how to rock your next networking event with Vets2Industry.
You can connect with Brian on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianarrington933/
Explore Vets2Industry resources at https://vets2industry.org/
Browse the jobs board at Military Hiring Accelerator at https://www.militaryaccelerator.com/
Connect with Brian about SkillBridge, internships and open positions by emailing him at [email protected]. Don’t forget to mention that you learned about Military Hiring Accelerator on this podcast!
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