31. How to Get Security Clearance

Show Notes | April 23, 2020 | Episode 031  

 We know security clearances can be tricky, especially when navigating life after service and telework. In this episode, we break down how to put your security clearance to use, how to maintain your clearance, and how to obtain security clearance. Kimber sits down with Jeff Bennett of DoD Secure and Red Bike Publishing to answer all of our questions about security clearances and gives us hope that, yes, you can work from home in a job that requires security clearance. 

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Links and Resources  

VirtForce Podcast on Apple Podcasts   

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Kimber Hill LinkedIn  

Jeff Bennett LinkedIn   

In this episode, we discussed the following resources:  

Red Bike Publishing  

Insider’s Guide to Security Clearance 

DoD Secure Podcast 

Security Clearance Application 

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We know security clearances can be tricky, especially when navigating life after service and telework. In this episode, Kimber sits down with Jeff Bennett of DoD Secureand Red Bike Publishing to answer all of our questions about security clearances and gives us hope that, yes, you can work from home in a job that requires security clearance. Jeff is a veteran and security clearance guru. Together, he and Kimber break down the following questions: 

  • How do I put my security clearance to use after the service? 
  • How do I maintain my clearance? 
  • How do I even start the process to obtain security clearance? 

If you are transitioning out of the service, or are already considering what life after the service may look like for you, rest assured that any clearance you may have when you exit the service can easily be transitioned to a new job. But here’s the catch – you must transition your clearance to a new role within 24 months. If you don’t, you will need to restart the process to get re-cleared. 

So, if you’ve got your eye on a job with a government entity or government contractor that requires a clearance, we’re going to cover what that means.  

Here is a pro-tip from Jeff: if you know you want to do work that will require a security clearance, go online and download a form (SF-86 or the Security Clearance Application). Start by gathering your addresses for the last 7-10 years, the places you’ve worked, the people you’ve known, etc. Having this list ready is something you can control and a great way to prepare. 

What is a security clearance?  

 To break it down simply, there are three levels of clearance:  

1) Confidential (lowest level),  

2) Secret (could damage national security), and  

3) Top Secret (could cause extreme grave damage to national security).  

If you have a low-level clearance, you can absolutely apply to a role that requires a higher clearance. If you have no clearance, absolutely still apply. What is important is your skill level. You should be communicating is your ability to do the job, do it right, and do it better than anyone else. Your strategy is to get your foot in the door with an organization that can get you security clearance or will accept the clearance you already have. It is easiest to start in a position like this actually on-site. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of positions that will start out as telework friendly. However, try something onsite local to your current duty station, do a stellar job, and then pitch yourself to shift to telework during your next PCS.  

For more information on all things security clearance, tune in to this week’s episode. 

Make sure to tune in and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts (Apple PodcastsSpotify).  

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