Nathaniel Davki Security quote

Pathways to employment during COVID-19: Finding a new post-service career amidst a global pandemic

After 10 years in the Australian Army, Nathaniel left Defence and worked abroad in private security. Returning to Australia in March 2020, to find a new meaningful career, he faced a challenging COVID-19 employment environment. Nathaniel reached out to Soldier On for assistance with his job search with incredible results.  

Nathaniel joined the Australian Army in 2004, initially as a reservist in the Infantry Corps before going to fulltime service with the Army as a ground crewman in aviation in 2006. Nathaniel’s Army career spanned a decade and included deployments to East Timor and Afghanistan.

“I learnt a lot in Afghanistan – professionally and personally, I learn a lot about mates and friendship. It was a highlight of my career,” says Nathaniel. 

After 10 years of service in the Australian Army, Nathaniel decided to move on from the ADF in search of a new career. He went on to work in private contracting and had a number of high-profile contract roles abroad, including at the Embassy in Kabul.

Coming home to Australia in March 2020, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, Nathaniel faced a challenging employment market. He submitted over 100 job applications over a period of 3 months, without successfully securing a permanent role. 

Finding that he was getting fatigued as an uber driver, working 12 hour shifts for irregular income, on the recommendation of a friend, Nathaniel made the life-changing phone call toSoldier On’s Pathways team for employment support.

“I heard about Soldier On through an ex-military member. We worked together and he told me to give Soldier On a call after coming back from Afghanistan. My mate told me to get in contact with Soldier On because of the support they can give in helping you find work in this current environment, especially during COVID – knowing the difficulty of finding employment and I’m so glad I did.” 

Nathaniel rang Soldier On and was put in contact with a local Pathways Officer in Queensland. That phone call set his new career in motion and helped to fast-track him into his new career in concierge security.

Soldier On’s Pathways team provides veterans and their families with free employment and education support. This includes practical employment assistance like resume building, help with job applications and introductions to veteran-supportive employers. During the COVID-19 pandemic support has continued to be available over the phone, online and in new ways including videocalls and webinars.

“The best thing Soldier On did for me was the support and hooking me up with the company – within 4 days of getting in contact with the Pathways team they put me in touch with my current employer and I got the job.”

Today Nathaniel is enjoying permanent work in concierge security for Davki Security – the company that Soldier On’s Pathways team introduced him to.

Davki Security, Australia’s leading corporate security provider is a veteran-owned company, so the organisation truly appreciates and understands ex-military, recognises the skills acquired in Defence and values the strong work ethic of those who have been in the military. Davki Security is one of over 100 organisations that have signed the 2021 Soldier On Pledge – making a public commitment to provide veteran-supportive recruitment, retention, training and workplace culture.

Giovanni Brown, Operations Manager, is proud to have Nathaniel in his team: “Nathaniel is a valuable asset to our team, in fact he is one of two ADF veterans within our team who have recently been selected to undergo our 12 Month Davki Future Leadership training program.  We are excited to see Nathaniel continue to grow as a leader within our organisation, he is a great asset to our team.”

Nathaniel has been enjoying his new role and really appreciates his veteran-supportive employer, the veteran-friendly work environment and a stable income. “I’m loving it, I’m relaxed, my stress levels are low, it’s a good working environment. I’m happy.”

Davki Leadership trainees
Nathaniel pictured with colleague Francis, both Leadership Trainees at Davki Security

Not everyone has been as lucky as Nathaniel in finding long-term meaningful work during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s hoped that with the support of Soldier On’s Pathways team, more veteran and family member’s employment journeys may be easier, and more veterans and their families will secure their future career. Nathaniel’s biggest piece of advice for anyone in a similar situation to he was earlier in the year, is to make that call to Soldier On today;

“There’s no shame in asking for help, it’s the braver action. If you’re on your own you are weaker, when you’re together you’re in a stronger position. I couldn’t have got where I’m at today, if it wasn’t for the help that Soldier On gave me. So make that call to Soldier On today.”  

Soldier On’s Pathways Program

The Soldier On Pathways Program provides fee employment and education support to current ADF members, Veterans and their families.

Start your Pathways journey today – contact the Pathways team on employment@soldieron.org.au or call 1300 620 380 and ask to be put through to your local Pathways Officer.

If you’re a veteran or family member you can also register online for the Pathways Program today to access free education and employment support.

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