From Navy To Northrop Grumman: A Transition To Civilian Life

Meet Pete, an Australian Navy Veteran who speaks to his experience transitioning to a civilian career and his journey from program management to business development. 

Pete, talk us through your career to date.

A large part of my career – twelve years in fact – was spent in service of the Australian Navy. I joined the Navy as Combat System Operator specialising in Anti-Submarine Warfare and departed as a Combat System Supervisor focusing on Above Water Warfare.

In 2016, I decided to re-join the civilian workforce, primarily to foster a stronger work-life balance with my family. I chose to transition into the Defence industry so I could increase my skills and professional development whilst still supporting Australian troops. 

Leaving Defence as a qualified trainer in various military systems I soon developed an interest in project management and completed tertiary studies in this area. As a project management contractor I was then able to successfully lead several Defence projects within the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group structure.

I thoroughly enjoy solving complex problems and creating solutions that support our deployed forces.

Since joining Northrop Grumman Australia as a Program Manager in 2019 I have recognised a lot of synergy with the business development skillset. Over the years I have been able to respond to complex customer requirements and utilise my stakeholder engagement skills to support and grow customers business. I have now been lucky enough to make this my full time role at Northrop Grumman Australia as a business development manager.

How did you find the transition to a civilian career?

The transition from military is not always an easy path, however you will find that Australian industry is very welcoming to veteran employment. I know from personal experience that Northrop Grumman values the specialised skill sets and perspectives we bring to the business. In fact, as an integral part of our workforce, we even have an Australian Employee Resource Group dedicated to past and present military personnel.

I also found Defence has several comprehensive programs to support ADF members and their families, prior, during and post-transition.

These provide a range of services to ease the transition to civilian life. My advice for anyone contemplating the move from Defence is to identify where you want to be in 10 years and then utilise the available services to help develop a plan to get there.

What do you enjoy most about working at Northrop Grumman Australia?

People are what makes a difference at Northrop Grumman Australia. In various situations and employment scenarios worldwide you will find various team dynamics and connections, some positive, some not so positive. The workplace culture and positive team outcomes in my mind come down to ensuring strong interpersonal relations are maintained, with shared successes and challenges.

Northrop Grumman Australia sets itself into a league of its own with its people. Our employees come from all walks of life, with all types of different experiences and the people in our organisation are always postured to support each other. This is what I enjoy most about working at Northrop Grumman Australia.

What are your passions outside of work?

Outside of work I like to get out and about camping and Four Wheel Driving around the East Coast with the family. Cruising around Australia is one of my passions, seeing new areas and having fun in the outdoors. I have been lucky enough to travel to around 50 countries, and now I enjoy seeing our own backyard.

Northrop Grumman employees are Defining Possible every day. Learn more about life at Northrop Grumman in Australia and explore career opportunities today!