Nick Hartley was a senior officer in the RAF and now works in cyber security for BT.
Tell me about your military career
I joined the RAF as an engineer straight after graduating from Manchester University, having been in the University Air Squadron. I served for 29 years and left in January 2018. I completed three tours as a Group Captain in Joint Forces Command, I was previously appointed Deputy Director of the Advanced Command and Staff Course at the Defence Academy and then became Head of Capability Development for Cyber, Cryptography and Influence operations in Joint Forces Command at Northwood.
Why did you leave the RAF?
I wanted to use my skills and experiences in other industries and experience a new challenge. I had just turned 50, and it would be harder to start a new career if I waited any longer. I also wanted greater domestic stability, because I was tired of relocating my family every time I got a new posting.
How are you finding to your new career?
I’m adapting well, partly because I still work in a Defence and Security environment. My work for the Ministry of Defence involved identifying capability requirements, and now at BT I help to find the solutions to those Ministry of Defence Cyber and Crypto programmes. Plus many of my new BT colleagues are also veterans , so there is some continuity.
What are the biggest differences about your new career?
My work now is more independent, and the company is less hierarchical, compared to the Armed Forces. There is also more responsibility on me to complete tasks. I talk to people because of their knowledge, skills and experiences, rather than rank, which is refreshing. I have also developed new skills, including learning about profit and loss within a commercial framework.