26 U.S. V T RANS MAGAZ N WWW.USVETERANSMAGAZINE.COM
CAREER & EMPLOYMENT
pproximately 62,000 active- duty Soldiers transition out of the U.S. Army every year. For me, that process began when I started my terminal leave in May 2021. After nearly a decade with the U.S. military, serving in Iraq, South ,!!'!)!*!! found myself settling down in Austin, Texas. Although I had years of experience in leading global operations and project management, I still had no idea what I wanted to do, and I had the thought every transitioning Soldier experiences. I need a job, and I need it now! Thankfully, my father, Peter Newell, a successful Army !!! gave me solid advice: Be comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to
1,000 Cups of Coffee:
My Journey from Soldier to Civilian Employment
By Army Captain Reserve Ian Newell
reach your potential. I started with a severe case of imposter syndrome, with the unshakable feeling that the skills and talents I accrued in my eight years in the Army wouldn't translate to the civilian world. In units where commanders valued innovation, as in deployments, I exceeded expectations and helped drive mission success because I was able to try new approaches. But under other commanders, my ideas and abilities were limited to the rank on my chest. To quote a !!!! time I had met him: "Defense Innovation is a 2030 vision which isn't a real thing. If you care about this stuff, you should stop wasting time and get out of the military." Upon starting terminal leave, I began my journey of having conversations over "1,000 cups !!!!!
Phase 1: Fact-Finding, Expanding Aperture, Discovering "Me"
)Nbz!up!Kvof;!Dvqt!pg!Dpggff!2.361* .!!!! were a mess. I was all over the place, with no structure for who I was reaching out to or how to prepare or build relationships. 8!*!!!*! thought that I had to go to UT Austin for an MBA because I loved Austin, Texas, and wanted !!!!!.!!! conversations were with my family and close mentors I've known for years - the next 15 included leaders in military transition at UT Austin. For conversations 26-50, my network expanded from family friends to members of my dad's company (BMNT) and startup founders who had launched the Hacking 4 Defense academic course. It became clear receiving an MBA was not the !!!!! could be successful in civilian life. The following 200 coffees !!! Conversations 51-100 included tech VPs, startup founders !!!! about to transition themselves. A VP from a large tech company told me he would never hire me because my resume sounded like an "Army ******bag," and a startup founder told me not to waste someone's time by not doing research into the company and preparing questions. I realized I needed to not only expand my education but to better prepare myself to answer people who look past my previous achievements and ask, "OK, what are you going to provide me now?" This led me !!!!!! courses from Coursera. After completing the Google Project .!!*!! !!! !!! blockchain. And I dedicated myself to completing transition support services such as those provided by the COMMIT Foundation. 5!!! conversations helped me learn I was drawn to space and that my strengths lie in my ability to learn and innovate in complex environments rapidly. These realizations culminated inPrevious Page