Translating Your Military Skills for Security Success with Jason Hamilton
Episode 766th October 2022 • The New CISO • Steve Moore
00:00:00 00:50:26

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In this episode of The New CISO, Steve is joined by Jason Hamilton, CISO at Mutual of Omaha, to discuss how having a military background leads to security success.

After twenty-two years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Jason was able to take his skillset and move into the cyber security industry. Today, he shares what he learned over the years that prepared him for the career he has today. Listen to the episode to learn more about Jason’s military experience, tips for officers entering the civilian workforce, and the importance of corporate mentorship.

Listen to Steve and Jason discuss ways for veterans to transition into the corporate world:

Meet Jason (1:45)

Host Steve Moore introduces our guest today, Jason Hamilton. Jason shares his first mission as a Communications Systems and Information Officer. Jason also divulges what a higher-ranking officer should do, such as refining leadership skills and managing efficiently. 

Essential Lessons (8:30)

Steve presses Jason on what else he learned from his early days as an officer.

Jason explains that there’s no such thing as a perfect leader, and everyone makes mistakes. The key is to learn from your mistakes when you’re young, which applies to both the military and corporate world.

Civilian Training (10:01)

When Jason first joined the Marine Corps, information technology was separate from his role. 

To move up, Jason had to learn to work with data on the battlefield and eventually took on an instructor position. To get smart fast, he took civilian classes to ensure he could adequately train other officers on information and data.

Part Of The Job (14:56)

As Jason rose through the ranks, working with data remained. Jason learned about Cyber, formerly known as Information Assurance, and how it became a priority of the Marine Corps. As Cyber became part of the military, it became more and more a part of Jason’s career. 

The Last Ten Years (19:22)

Jason reflects on his last ten years in the corps. Like anyone who has long served, he had to broaden his horizons to reach a different level, often through education. Jason had a strictly cyber role by the end of his military career and focused on leadership.

Ultimately, Jason credits everything he did in the Marine Corps for preparing him for the corporate world.

General Feeback (22:55)

Steve presses Jason for advice he can give other officers looking to transition into civilian work. 

Jason reminds officers to humble themselves when entering the corporate sector because co-workers may not care about their military past. Also, he urges officers to work on resume writing and seek mentorship when looking for a job. 

Lessons On Corporate Culture (32:10)

When veterans come into an interview, there is a natural culture shock, primarily because workers are not as likely to be Type A outside the military. Other differences are incorporating empathy and listening into your leadership style. 

While it is up to you to quickly solve a problem in the military, in the corporate world, there is much more emphasis on nurturing your team to fix workplace issues.

The Mentor Relationship (35:31)

Jason used to meet his corporate mentor once a month and learned after his first meeting that he would need to drive the conversation. Jason then would send his mentor his agenda two weeks ahead of time to ensure that he would make the most out of every encounter.

Ultimately, veterans need to show initiative when transitioning into civilian work.

The End Of The Mentorship (37:37)

Steven asks Jason what officers should gain from a corporate mentorship program. Besides resume writing, Jason urges veterans to learn how to negotiate salaries and familiarize themselves with corporate culture.

Finally, A CISO (41:58)

Now a CISO, Jason shares his goals when starting his cyber security career. His first goal was to give himself two years in the corporate world to see how he fared. His next goal was to learn how to influence the program and take the necessary steps.

To Jason, being a new CISO means having the ability to set a direction in the corporate world. It also means giving back to his company and associates as he continues to hone his leadership abilities.

Links mentioned:

Mutual of Ohama

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