An Interview with James Lawrence, Founder at Ex-Military Careers
At BioTalent, we work on a CSR (corporate social responsibility) framework that encapsulates different elements of diversity, equity and inclusion in order to make a tangible difference on the issues that matter the most to us. One of our chosen pillars in our framework is veterans – our social enterprise Ex-Military Careers, offers support to ex-forces personnel with mentoring, education, and career advice and guidance. Ex-Military are proud signatories of the Corporate Covenant
To commemorate Ex-Military Careers reaching 100,000 followers on LinkedIn, we caught up with the Founder, James Lawrence to talk about his motivations behind starting Ex-Military Careers, what the benefits are when hiring ex-forces professionals, and what is in store for them in the future.
Why did you start Ex-Military Careers?
“I founded Ex-Military Careers due to my own frustrations in trying to access civilian employment after leaving the Army. I found that although there were companies set up, to help officers, there were only a small number of recruitment firms specialising in ex-military personnel.
I quickly identified a gap in the market, recognising that there were no recruitment firms offering a full recruitment service to ex-military personnel. Ex-Military Careers aims to bridge the gap between military and civvy street.”
What is the biggest achievement/impact with Ex-Military Careers?
“Ex-Military Careers has become a global programme and bridges the gap for veterans to access employment. One of the biggest achievements is placing and mentoring professionals into employment. This is what motivates me and enables us to know we are making an impact for our ex-forces community.”
How can businesses get involved with Ex-military Careers?
“Businesses can get involved with us a few ways:
- We have our jobs board that they can advertise their vacancies.
- We can discuss the benefits of hiring a diverse pool of professinoals and ex-forces personnel in particular.
- We have access to a unique diverse talent pool of ex-forces personnel that can support your business.
- Partnership opportunities.
- Mentoring opportunities.
Reach out to us to find out how you can get involved.”
How can ex-forces personnel help to innovate teams?
“Ex-military personnel have a huge skill set and determination to succeed. Most veterans are natural leaders and are always willing to learn new skills to improve themselves. Veterans are selfless, team players, communicators, go-getters and most importantly, problem solvers.”
What are the benefits of employing ex-military professionals?
“Highly trained workforce, and a ‘can do’ attitude. Military workers are very task-and-results orientated and are used to motivating and inspiring themselves and their teams to work in a productive, dynamic environment. They are taught to exercise collaboration and co-operation in order to achieve their targets, as the military thrives on structure and organisation.”
What advice would you give to veterans who are looking for civilian employment?
“I would recommend knowing what you want to do and work towards it. Ask yourself, ‘am I going to enjoy this?’ You don’t want to work towards a career in Civvy Street to then realise you don’t like it, that’s why planning is important.
Also reach out to the community and network. Building your network can open up doors that you may not have even known existed.”
What does the future hold for Ex-Military Careers?
“We have set up in the USA; we have also seen an increase in emerging countries joining our platform, such as India and Brazil. I’m excited for the future, in continuing on our mission of bridging the gap between military and civvy street for ex-military personnel.”
We would like to thank James Lawrence for generously giving his time for the interview. If you’d like to learn more about Ex-Military Careers, or if you’d like to find out more about the transferable skills a veteran has to offer, visit: www.exmilitarycareers.com