By Theodore Wiggins
Benjamin Franklin may have been on to something when he used the phrase “God helps those who help themselves” in his Poor Richard’s Almanac. I can honestly say I am a great example of that phrase coming to fruition.
The phrase places emphasis on the importance of self-initiation, especially when it came to my career and future at White Sands Missile Range.
I joined the Optics Branch in Range Operations at WSMR in April of 2014 after leaving active duty service, where I was a signal officer in the U. S. Army.
My background has always been in IT/information security and I have had several years of military experience in the IT/ information security field.
Being in optics allowed me to learn a lot about the range as a whole, but I knew that my passion was in information security. Before coming to WSMR I wanted to be in the GS 2210 series, but I wasn’t having any luck.
I realized I lacked the education and training I needed to get into that job field, and I knew I needed to add that to my resume to make me more marketable. So, I took the initiative and decided to go back to school to get my masters of Science degree in computer information systems, with a concentration in information security at Boston University Online.
My decision didn’t come without sacrifice, hard work and dedication.
It was a hard decision to make because at the time my wife was pregnant and I knew that there would be some sacrifices, especially after my son was born.
I was very determined to complete my degree because I knew that was the key to meeting my goal. I was able to complete my degree in 18 months by taking a course every six weeks.
As soon as I had completed at least 24 credits I began to apply to GS 2210 positions throughout the government system.
I realized there was a possibility that I might have to move if they offered a position outside of WSMR. So, I set my plan in place and began to research job opportunities and to network with the leaders at WSMR for any insight they might have in the job field.
My family and I were willing to move wherever I was offered a job. Fortunately, once I completed my degree I was offered a position to join the newly formed WSMR G6. The G6 team is an awesome group of individuals who bring a lot to the WSMR organization and I am very honored to be a part of this new team.
Some could argue that my getting the job was pure luck or as a result of who I knew. Although those things could very well have played a part in my getting the job, it didn’t hurt that I had armed myself with the necessary tools, specifically my degree, to qualify to do the job right, allowing me to step in and perform at my best.