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Ralph Freese Manassas, VA

I served 6 years on active duty and reserve service. I was a 0811 - Artillery and 0531 - Civil Affairs. I left the service as a E-5. I currently have a variety of experience in the private sector including real estate, security, and data entry. Secret level clearance. I also have a BA - History with a Human Resources Management.
I am trying to find the right "fit" and or company to improve my long term career outlook and provide guidance on how to progress to the next level in my career. I currently have a Data Entry job with a big company, however, other opportunities are limited in the company.
I am looking for advice and guidance to try to improve my skill set or try to find the correct industry to pursue.

31 August 2020 4 replies Career Advancement



Anna Jacobs Cupertino, CA

Hi Ralph
First off, thank you for your service.
Regarding finding the right "fit", it has been my experience that it is a more effective use of energy to create the right position into a company. I have had a variety of experience across multi sectors and industries. Spent a good deal of time trying to find what as right. It wasn't until I had an opportunity to grow within a company (that had a culture I could get behind) that I finally felt like I have arrived. That is not to say I am "at home" all the time. But where I once did not see opportunity I have found that I have progressed beyond anything I could have seen coming. Find a mentor and find passion for what you do. If you can feel you are making a difference, even better. Starting at the entry level is preferable. And lastly, big companies should always have room for an individual to grow. If not, its not a good company.
Just my 2 cents.
Good luck.

2 September 2020 Helpful answer


Eric Kaltenberger Ault, CO

Ralph: I totally understand where you are coming from. I'm not a big believer in the "find your passion" mantra, most of us do what we **have** to do before we get to move on to what we **want** to do. 20 years ago I chose a field (IT) that had a strong upside, offered decent starting pay, and seemed like something I could do long term. You have your Marine experience, degree, and data entry experience. Your security clearance should be a big asset where you are located. Check out the job sites of some of the local defense contractors (big and small), or even the larger job sites that focus on cleared positions. View some of the positions that interest you and note the required skills that you might be missing. Take a chance on applying for a job you might not have all the skills for, but emphasize your security clearance - you might be surprised by the result. I have found that many employers will hire someone with an existing clearance and a demonstrated ability to learn even if they don't have all the skills/experience. If you find you need/want specific skills, check with your local schools (e.g. UMUC, NOVA) to see if they offer short certificate programs that teach them. This has been the path I have used my entire career, and it has worked out pretty well for me. Message me directly if you wanna discuss this further...


David Andersen Alexandria, VA

It seams that you have several goals with your question. Ping me directly, and we can set up some time to go through your situation and see if we can't create a plan that could work for you.


Ralph Freese Manassas, VA

Well I tried clicking Answer not helpful, but seems like you cant switch it once you click it.

I have tried a mentor before (this ACP specifically).. was not helpful for me.

Perhaps this wasn't really a good idea, posting on this message board, I think I need more directed advice rather than just job searching and broad advice.

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