It’s a slow day in your Washington, D.C. office. You’re bogged down in red tape. And tomorrow holds exactly as much promise as today. You soon find yourself dreaming of a cross-country move. But you know your security clearance holds value in Washington – is the same true of Silicon Valley?
Short answer is yes. If you want to switch to a different environment but don’t want to lose the value of your clearance, companies from Amazon to Google have some element of cleared workers in their offices. Of course, if you want to work in national defense in Silicon Valley, it’s absolutely an option.
Anytime it is a slow day at the office and red tape bogs you down, it’s easy to wonder if your security clearance can snag you a job in Silicon Valley. You worked hard for that clearance, and it’s normal to wonder if your clearance has any value outside of working directly for a contractor or federal agency.
Short answer is yes. If you want to switch to a different environment but don’t want to lose the value of your clearance, companies from Amazon to Google have some element of cleared workers in their offices. If you’ve spent a career in the military or government service, it can be difficult to imagine a life outside of the defense industry. If you want to work in national defense in Silicon Valley, it’s absolutely an option.
Three Ways a Security Clearance Can Be Valuable in Silicon Valley:
If you can get a security clearance, future employers should have a higher level of confidence in your personal ethics and trustworthiness. While a security clearance focuses on finding ways people could potentially extort or bribe you, it also establishes how trustworthy and honest you are. Your ability to obtain a clearance does communicate a good message about you to any future employers.
Not all Silicon Valley jobs require a clearance, but you may be surprised to find how many are out there. California is one of the hottest markets for security clearance holders, with more than 1700 current openings. It is more cost effective to hire a candidate who already holds a security clearance than to find one who still needs to obtain a clearance. Smaller companies may also contract out much of their facility security work. Bringing on someone who is already knowledgeable about clearance workforce issues in both a time savings, and a great way for small companies to add to their industry knowledge.
If a clearance makes you more marketable for open, cleared positions in Silicon Valley, it also gives you more bargaining power. The company is able to get right to work with a candidate that already holds a clearance, and they do not have to go through the cost of getting an employee cleared. At a minimum, you could request a large sign-on bonus.
Sometimes, your interests will take you outside the cleared environment, but sometimes you get to merge the two worlds together. Our country’s defense is indebted to the technology developed by government contractors, but we continually find more ways to bring in technology and advancements from Silicon Valley to support the work of the federal government. If you find yourself at a career crossroad, your choices aren’t limited with a clearance. Instead, your ability to obtain and maintain a clearance will always be to your benefit.