From military veteran to safety leader
How does one face change? If you’re a leader, you adapt. You innovate. You look at every situation as an opportunity, a chance to grow.
Such is the case with Becky Peavler.
Years ago, Becky found herself in uncharted territory. After graduating from West Point, Becky was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the military police corps and stationed in Germany to support the U.S. Army Europe Command. Becky was living her dream.
Duty. Honor. Country.
But five months into her role, Becky was injured in a Humvee rollover that effectively derailed her military career before it could even get started.
“It changed everything that I had,” she said, “and what my life was going to be.”
After four surgeries and countless rehab sessions, reality slowly set in. Becky realized her injuries would limit her advancement opportunities in the Army. With a heavy heart, she eventually decided to take a medical discharge, putting herself in career limbo.
She was 25 years old, and her world had changed.
“I had no idea what was possible after leaving the Army,” she said. “I just believed that if I put in the hard work, I could continue to grow. I knew I had an opportunity to turn the situation around. That’s the way I thought of it, as an opportunity.”
Fast forward to 2019, and Becky is thriving.
She’s proof that veterans can successfully transition to civilian life, an example of leadership in the face of change.
As a Lower 48 field safety and occupational health manager for ConocoPhillips, Becky has found an environment where leadership, performance and accountability are prevalent, a workplace where an Army veteran like herself can thrive, and a culture of positivity and integrity.
“ConocoPhillips values the discipline, service and mission-first qualities a veteran brings,” she said. “I’ve been given opportunities and lots of support and encouragement. And I continue to learn new skills and grow within the company. What drew me to the company was the culture of how they treated people.”
At ConocoPhillips, Becky manages a safety team that identifies operational risks and provides mitigation solutions. Her team also verifies the presence of controls during work and fosters a safety culture.
“I value the time I spend with our frontline workforce,” she said. “It helps me better understand how work is done, what is needed to promote a safe work environment and, even more, continue to educate myself about our operations.”
“Treat every situation as an opportunity.”
—Becky Peavler Lower 48 field Safety & Occupational Health Manager
Like many veterans who transition to civilian life, Becky questioned how her military skills would translate to a civilian job.
“When I left the military,” Becky said, “it was hard for me to see how I was competitive for anything outside law enforcement roles. But since joining ConocoPhillips, I’ve had a variety of positions within crisis and emergency preparedness, regulatory, government affairs, and health and safety. And with each role, I continue to see my future options are plentiful.”
At ConocoPhillips, Becky calls upon the emergency and security planning skills she learned in the military. Such skills align with ConocoPhillips’ vigilant crisis and emergency preparedness principles and high standards. And in her supervisory role at ConocoPhillips, Becky uses the same leadership skills she learned in the military, skills that enable her to effectively communicate and collaborate with colleagues.
ConocoPhillips’ SPIRIT Values and culture of accountability and performance parallel what Becky learned at West Point, where during every military class she attended, she was told: “Your platoon is out there waiting for you. They’re waiting for your leadership.”
Reflecting on how far she’s come during her 11 years at ConocoPhillips, Becky credits the leadership skills she acquired during her military days. Such training, she said, has proved invaluable, enabling her to weather any storm.
So when change comes your way, Becky has some words of wisdom.
“Be confident,” she said, “and treat every situation as an opportunity.”
ConocoPhillips is proud to be a military-friendly company that recognizes the life experience, technical knowledge and leadership skills that transitioning military or former military employees may have to share. Visit http://careers.conocophillips.com/united-states-military/ to learn about our commitment to supporting and hiring veterans. In addition to job opportunities, you’ll find a Military Occupation Specialties translator that will match your military experience to available ConocoPhillips career opportunities.