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How Robert Jenkins Worked his Way Up to Deputy Program Manager with GardaWorld Federal Services in Afghanistan

November 18, 2020

After starting at GardaWorld Federal Services in 2015 as a shift manager in Kabul, Robert Jenkins worked his way up to deputy program manager. He talks about the importance of holding himself to a high standard and going the extra mile for colleagues. 

 

After military and contracting deployments in Iraq over many years, I wanted to help secure peace and prosperity for people in Afghanistan. In addition, I saw more opportunities for career advancement with GardaWorld Federal Services that I did not see with my previous employer. 

I joined GardaWorld Federal Services in 2015 as a shift leader in Kabul. I worked my way up through several promotions to my current position as deputy program manager. I think I have gotten where I am today because I hold others and myself to a high standard of performance. I have a broad base of experience and I connect with people and understand other points of view, ideas, or concerns. This helps me to see where we can improve. 

 

Going the extra mile to help each other 

One of the aspects of the culture here at GardaWorld Federal Services that I really appreciate is that we consistently go the extra mile for each other. For example, a couple of years ago, an employee wanted to travel home to be with his wife while their two-year-old son went through a major surgery. We planned for him to get home securely, and his appreciation was genuine and sincere. 

This appreciation for our employees also extends to the community around our operations. I have been afforded this privilege most recently in my role overseeing transition efforts as the United States scales down its military support here. Much of this change has been dealing with the transition of personnel to new work opportunities. 

I have also been fortunate to expand this transition, planning to help a local small business that was supported by our operations. The eight Afghan citizens who worked in a small café in one of the military camps were worried about how they would feed their families when that closed down. I was able to use my influence through strong relationships with our clients in the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to relocate that small café to the Embassy. Now, those Afghan citizens no longer need to worry. 

 

The importance of continuing professional development 

My advice for anyone looking to grow their career at GardaWorld Federal Services is to always set goals for yourself and to continually seek to improve yourself, both personally and professionally. Beyond a college or university degree, those wishing to pursue a career in management should consider additional learning and certifications, such as PMP and Six Sigma. There may be a technical aspect of your profession for which additional certifications can give you an edge. 

There is room for both upward and lateral mobility within GardaWorld Federal Services. Whether you need to challenge yourself or need a change, there are opportunities for you. Talk to your managers about what you are seeking with your career, as they may be able to help fulfill your goals. 

 

 

See how you can build a successful career at GardaWorld Federal Services. View our job opportunities here.