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Dazed and Confused and Hopeful


Myles McGee Issaquah, WA

I don't know what to do... I had grand dream to transition into cybersecurity but I feel like that won't work. Many programs I've found are looking for people who are transitioning out of the military and have free time to invest 2-3 months for training. I've looked in using my VA/GI Bill for training but it would require for me go to school for 3 months straight and I can't invest that time because I have to work to take care of my family. I've found one week certifications classes but they are way too much money and I'm not sure which one to take. Everyone is giving me advice and basically I'm too old, will have to start from the ground up making way less than what I'm making and I basically can't work and learn a new skill at the same time unless there is program out there that isn't too expensive, that would really work with older veterans, and that could I can do while I'm working a full time job. I'm beginning to feel like the IT world isn't a good fit for me unless I could go back in time and have started once I got out of the Navy. Or if can work and learn at the same time but I don't know what to do. Now, my background is in intelligence and personal/physical security. I do not know what other skills I already have that I can actually lean on and find employment/career security. I've advised by financial/bank recruiters that I should look into financial careers but I'm not too familiar with the career paths and what classes/certifications I can received and if I can work on them while working a full time job while taking care of my family. Basically, I need step by step advice of realistically what I should focus on, what jobs I should apply for and what skills I have that lean on that would help me move forward in a professional career. I don't know many people, I don't have many friends, but I know if I was just given an opportunity and direction, I will be successful.

28 December 2022 5 replies Career Exploration



Saul Gomez Chesapeake, VA

Myles, I honestly believe we may know eachother or have crossed paths in some shape or form during our military time. I would strongly recommend what others already have and if you have not seen the navy "CyberWarrior" come up, definitely look them up - they have a rather flexible program that may suit your needs - no prior experience needed.


Jason Aepli Springfield, VA

Hi Myles,

IT is a very very broad field so not knowing specifically what you want to do in the field I’ll give you a few free training opportunities to get you into the field:

- Syracuse Institute for Veterans and Militia Families offers free training programs for a variety of fields including IT and Cloud. I applied and got Project Management Professional training for free when I was transitioning about 8 years ago.

- If you’d like to break into the Computer Networking side (routers and switches) I highly recommend ThinQTank for Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) training. It’s the most recognized entry level network administrator certification out there and ThinQTank does a great job with their training. They normally charge a few thousand dollars for a week long class, but when I took their training about 5 years ago they were offering veterans 1 free training course as a thanks for your service. If you’re interested I would recommend contacting them to ask if they’re still offering that. You can tell them you heard about it from me, a former learner of theirs.


Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

Hello Myles! Thank you for your service!

What a wonderful question and OPPORTUNITY you have! Now it is time to step back from the daily grind and re-ask yourself, "What do I WANT to do with the rest of my life?" Is it REALLY in IT?

As a retired vocational counselor and human resources professional (for many years), I find that most every applicant and employer wants to focus on experience and education. That is too bad because whether looking to fill a position or seeking other employment, the real question is, from the employers' perspective, "What are the TALENTS necessary to do this job?"; and from the applicants' perspective, "What are MY talents and how do they fit in with the demands of the job?"

If you are nodding your head so far, then consider this: having a "good education" means that you CAN learn. Having an appropriate exposure to past like-experiences means . . . . well . . . . not much. But, if you have the talent (which cannot be taught) then you have the necessary building blocks that neither education nor experience can provide.

One simple example: If you were to be hiring for a receptionist position, do you want someone who is an introvert or an extrovert? Would you want someone who is shy or outgoing? I think the answer is apparent as extroversion and an outgoing nature cannot be taught in the classroom or from experience.

All of which baits the question, JUST WHAT ARE YOUR TALENTS?

Almost the first thing I do, when taking on a new client, is to have them take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). That provides an initial assessment of someone's inherent talents. At the bottom of this note, I have provided you with a link to a FREE assessment tool. It helps you come to grips with defining YOUR talents and provides some good ideas about the career direction someone with your combination of talents should look into.

If you want my thinking about the results of this assessment (also FREE to fellow Vets!), please provide me with the letter and numbers associated with each of them. It should look something like I - 20, N - 45, T - 28, & J - 10. Feel free to contact me off this channel at

TALENT trumps education and experience every time!

Here is the link:


John Popelka Blacklick, OH

Hi Myles,

I'm a retired Army Master Sergeant and I've been in the Financial Services Industry for 17 years. I have seen it done before where people with zero cybersecurity experience enter the field, so it is possible, but can be difficult unless you do a ton of networking. My best advice I can give you here:

1) Don't give up hope. In my personal experience, this is about mindset. Opportunities are out there - that doesn't mean it will be easy, and there are tradeoffs that you will need to consider (relocation? hours? pay?) but you took an important step by asking for help.

2) Get a mentor. If you are interested, feel free to find me on Veterati ( - this is no cost to you. If that doesn't work, you can also message me on LinkedIn. Very happy to connect to help you navigate this next chapter of your life.



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