From the age of nine, Laura wanted to join the Police. In 2003, she moved from her home in rural Northern Ireland to England to become an Officer – and went on to serve in the Police for 19 years.
Although she enjoyed a fulfilling and successful career, Laura grew increasingly interested in pursuing a different role to support a more balanced lifestyle.
One day, while listening to the Blue Light Leavers podcast, Laura heard an episode featuring WithYouWithMe Founder, Tom Moore, where he explained how the organisation was helping veterans and former first responders transition into tech.
Interested in the idea of an entirely new field, Laura signed up to the Potential platform and completed her psychometric and aptitude testing, after which a member WithYouWithMe’s Career Success team suggested she enter the Cyber Pathway.
Self-paced training to specialise in cyber security
Laura began her cyber security training while she was still with the Police, fitting modules in around her busy work and home life.
“I found the training pathway easy to follow as it was broken down into small segments which I could complete in my dinner break or during the evenings once I had put my children to bed. Sometimes a lot of new information can be overwhelming, but the format made it easy to learn new concepts, digest them, then refresh my knowledge with questions at the end of each module,” she explains.
A few months into the pathway, Laura expressed her interest in a role with Leonardo. Her psychometric and aptitude testing matched closely with the requirements of the role, and following a few short interviews, Laura was hired as a Senior Cyber Security Consultant.
“The process was so different to applying for a new job role in the Police; it was simple, swift and made me feel at ease,” adds Laura.
A sustainable new career pathway
Having spent many years cancelling holidays, having leave denied and missing out on special occasions due to work, Laura is glad to be working ‘normal hours’.
“The work/life balance has been the golden ticket for me, allowing me to spend more time with my family.”
Since starting her role, Laura has also found many of the skills she learnt during her time with the Police have been applicable in her new environment.
“Working as a Cyber Security Consultant has allowed me to retain my love of meeting people and growing human connections, despite being in a different field.”
Moving forward, Laura is eager to expand her knowledge as much as possible and intends to work her way up through Principal and Managing Consultant positions. Having spent her career in predominantly male-dominated workplaces, Laura is a huge champion of high achieving women. Through her new role, she aims both to be one and to inspire others.
“I am striving to succeed in this new career, both for my own development and to show other women that there is more than enough room at the top for us!”