Building a Career Beyond the Military: How One Veteran Found Success in the Corporate World

SOURCE: ScottsMiracle-Gro


Justyn Clevenger spent eight years in the Army, from deployment in Afghanistan to service in the Army National Guard. He was a satellite communications specialist while in the Army, but his first civilian job while in the guard was as a mechanic.

It was our company that gave Justyn a job opportunity that aligned better with the communications skills he developed in the Army. We brought Justyn on board as a desktop analyst to undertake Windows migration work here, similar to a Windows 7 migration project he led while in the Army.

And since then, he has earned promotions and increasing responsibilities.

“I’ve had three job rotations since joining Scotts in 2014,” Justyn says. “My managers knew I had leadership experience from the military, so they put me in situations where I could lead projects and teams. It’s grown my career and my skills a lot.”

Identifying skills that translate

Justyn says this support of veterans extends to other approaches taken by our company. For example, company recruiters often partner with our Scotts Veterans Network, an employee resource group, to develop skill translations for a range of company positions. It is not always apparent how a military skill might translate into a civilian corporate skill.

“You might have skills that equate to a manager position,” Justyn says. “Our recruiters work with the Veterans Network to help identify commonalities to open doors for veterans.”

The relief of differential pay

And there are benefits for active duty military too. Years ago, when Justyn was called to active duty in the Army National Guard, we held his position until he returned, which is required by all companies. But we also accommodated his family in ways that ensured they did not have to experience a pay cut. 

Military pay often is less than what people might earn with a private employer. We provide differential pay to make up the difference, so our guardsmen and reservists retain the same income level.

“The company really tries to make sure you do not experience a financial hardship because of your service,” Justyn says. “They were so proactive about it. I didn’t even have to think about it. Our Human Resources team took care of everything.”

Advice for veterans entering the corporate world

Justyn knows it’s easy to doubt yourself when you begin a job search beyond the military. But he encourages veterans to not put limits on themselves.

“Don’t sell yourself short. The military provides awesome job experience. And that experience is useful to potential employers. You just have to find the right company that will value who you are and what you bring to the table.” 

We’re honored, and fortunate, to have Justyn on our team. If you are a veteran interested in joining our talent network, check out our careers page.

As part of our mission to GroMoreGood, learn more about how ScottsMiracle-Gro supports veterans.

Tweet me: Justyn Clevenger spent eight years in the Army, from deployment in Afghanistan to service in the Army National Guard. @Scotts_MGro gave him a job opportunity that aligned well with the communications skills he developed in the Army. #GroMoreGood

KEYWORDS: ScottsMiracle-Gro, military careers, Justyn Clevenger, GroMoreGood, Gro More Good, NYSE:SMG


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