Awhile back I interviewed Brian Kent for the NC Technology Association (NCTA). Retired Army sergeant & officer, Brian is now CEO of K3 Enterprises, a Fayetteville-based company he founded in 2005 to help tech companies work with the US Department of Defense.
This Veterans Day, with many vets in the job market, it seems appropriate to refer back to that conversation. I asked Brian, When you left the Army, which major adjustments did you have to make upon entering the civilian business environment? His surprising response:
“Probably the biggest adjustment was having a funding stream that was not dedicated. Working in the military, you had a budget and a paycheck. It was really about accomplishing what you had to accomplish. In the civilian business environment, finding money becomes a major player in your decisions. That’s not a part of the military planning, where you can really focus on your job while someone else above you figures out the financial piece. . . .
“The best thing and worst thing that happened to me was retiring from the military. [Now] I’m not boxed in by my environment. The military keeps you on a structured path. Since then, I’ve been able to expand my mind and try lots of things. But I can also get overloaded.”