The pandemic shifted DoD billable personnel’s thoughts on working in a SCIF five or six days out of the week. Experiencing a taste of the work from home lifestyle helped to change their perspective on what work / life balance means. Whether burnt out from putting their phones in a cubby while entering a government building or feeling closer their families as you they spent less time commuting and more time getting kids off the school bus, going into the SCIF full-time is no longer attractive to most cleared candidates.

But there are ways to support the national security field without going into a SCIF.

The Security Clearance Careers Podcast hosted Marisol Maloney, a US Navy veteran with an eclectic background. She’s a former enlisted Sailor, turned Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) Navy Nurse Corps officer, who later became an all-source intelligence officer while dabbling in project management, lean six projects, and strategic speech writing for 3 and 4-star flag officers. After working as a contractor, she turned to recruit secret squirrels which provided for more flexibility working outside a SCIF. She’s an expert at online branding, so tune in to our discussion about how she was able to master the military transition, pivot her career to working outside the SCIF, and how cleared recruiters can master reaching veteran talent.


Maloney is the only person to this day who was able to be released from nursing to transition to the Intelligence Community. She tells us about how she was able to pivot careers while active duty, and some tips for our transitioning military audience on mentorships and how they can land a civilian career.


Following Maloney’s transition, she worked as an intelligence analyst and as a consultant for a few contactors. Working inside the SCIF as a contractor was much different than active duty, but it still entailed giving her children’s day care three separate telephone numbers to reach her if her child was sick. Maloney is also a military spouse, and while her husband was deployed, that causes much anxiety to working parents in the cleared industry.

As her husband was pulled in another direction for a military move, Maloney had to leave her intel job. And after six months, her contractor reached out to her about a remote recruiting position since she knew the intel market so well. Today, she recruits secret squirrels and has a side hustle supporting transitioning military.

Transitioning from SCIF dweller to a remote recruiter can be an easy way for cleared candidates who are burnt out to still support national security, and enjoy the perks of supporting the DoD without going into a SCIF.

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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸