My Story: Josh Jones
An infantryman’s job is simple: Find the enemy, understand the enemy, kill the enemy and conduct an after-action review. Substitute “hazard” in place of “enemy” in the previous statement and you will start to see why it was a natural transition for me to go from soldier to safety professional.
When I left the Army, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Although I knew I needed to have a purpose in my career choice, I needed to continue to serve and the stakes needed to be high. If it’s not a matter of life or death, is it really all that important?
While drifting through a local university trying to “find myself,” a classmate started talking to me about safety. He went to the school to play football and was about to receive a degree in safety – a field that is in demand, has high job-satisfaction ratings and pays well. That was enough to get me to the first class. Once there, I quickly realized that safety was what I had been looking for. Safety is a purposeful career in which the cost of failure could mean death and “the enemy” can be elusive. I realized that my hazard recognition skills honed in the Army easily converted to a workplace. I may not know the specifics of a hazard, but I can identify it as one.
Additional skills developed in the Army have aided me to become a trusted expert within my company. I am willing to make a decision and live with the consequences of that decision. Right or wrong, I made the best call I could with the information provided to me and I own that call. I can stand in front of a group and speak confidently on a topic – the Army taught me that, too. I know that I am part of a team that is tasked with the mission to oversee safety for 4,000 employees. Teamwork is the lifeblood of the Army.
I know that I wouldn’t have transitioned as successfully to the civilian sector had I not found safety. If you know a veteran who is looking for a post-service career, encourage him or her to look to safety. If you’re an employer who is looking to hire, look to veterans.
Josh Jones, CSP
Senior Corporate Safety Specialist – Safety Planning and Compliance