The Agile Mindset Blog

Agile Profile: John Sproul

Agile Profile: John Sproul

A challenge so many of our service men and women face as they transition from military careers to civilian life is that the job titles between the two worlds don’t map well.  This was the case for John Sproul, a transitioning officer serving in the US Army.  “Job titles like Fire Support Officer, S4 and Headquarters Battery Executive Officer don’t translate easily to civilian job descriptions,” he explained, “yet, the experience does.”

As John was promoted through the army ranks, his responsibilities grew.  He took on more management, budgeting, and project oversight duties, eventually taking command of a team of over 100 soldiers in Afghanistan to train, partner with and mentor the Afghan National Security Forces.

When John began to look towards moving out of military service and into a civilian position, he realized much of his experience was directly applicable to civilian job descriptions.  But he needed a way to link the two together.  He came to my Certified ScrumMaster course in Austin, TX to do just that.

“What I loved about the CSM course was how similar conceptually it was to how military planning is supposed to function.” John told me.   “The daily Scrum, reviews and planning meetings are all invaluable tools.”  John hopes to find a project management position that will allow him to use both his military experience and his new-found Scrum knowledge. He feels that, by highlighting both in his resume, potential employers will know that he not only has deep project management experience, but can apply it in an agile way.

His advice to fellow transitioning military personnel is to do the same.  “Gain certifications.  While a civilian hiring manager might not know what a Fire Support Officer is, he or she will definitely know what the certifications are.  Begin early - terminal leave is far too long to wait.  Create, update and maintain your LinkedIn account.”

If you are a transitioning military service man or woman, a certification could be that special something that makes your resume stand among countless others – and that edge may be just what you need to get you in the door.

If you would like to learn more about John, feel free to contact him via LinkedIn.

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