Alumni spotlight: Lejla Heldic's journey back to Leidos
Lejla Heldic worked for Leidos for seven years in numerous roles — from human resources administrator to executive assistant to recruiter. After leaving to join a different employer where she worked as a recruiter for two years, Lejla realized she missed the Leidos team and its culture. She has since returned to Leidos and, just 18 months into her new tenure, has already achieved a career milestone.
Thanks for speaking with us, Lejla! While working elsewhere, when did you start to consider coming back to Leidos?
I left Leidos because I had received a job offer for a higher-level recruiting position. It sounded like a good opportunity, so I accepted. But, during my time there, I realized that I missed the Leidos culture — both the team I worked with and the company's values.
Even as a remote employee at Leidos, my colleagues gave me a warm, team vibe. I never felt like a loner. Remembering this great environment and my wonderful managers, I started regularly checking the Leidos career website.
Is that how you found out about the job you were rehired for?
Actually, I have to thank my Leidos network for that. I had been staying in touch with my old colleagues, and one of them saw an opening that looked like a good match for me. I'm not sure I would have spotted it on my own since it was posted as a position in Virginia, so I'm thankful that she noticed and pointed it out to me. She also recommended me to the hiring manager and asked if the position could be remote.
So, now you're once again benefiting from the great work/life balance that Leidos offers?
Yes. One of the things that I appreciate about Leidos, especially having worked somewhere else, is that flexibility is part of the culture. The onboarding team was especially helpful in making things work for me as a Leidos alumnus and as a remote employee.
What changes did you notice upon returning to Leidos, and how has your rehire experience gone so far?
Our company has grown quite a bit since I left, and I'm truly impressed. You really do not know how good you have it until you go somewhere else. I'd love to end up retiring here because I see mutual growth for Leidos and myself.
For instance, I returned as a recruiter and did that role for a year, but I've already been able to take on a new position in talent analytics on the staff augmentation team, a role which aligns well with my career goals. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to take on a new challenge.
There are so many career opportunities at Leidos — even more than when I worked here before. It's an exciting place to be as we grow and expand.
Wonderful! Do you have any advice for fellow Leidos alumni?
Stay in touch with your former colleagues. If you've lost touch with them, reach back out to get reconnected. As my experience shows, their recommendations could play an instrumental role in getting rehired!
If you're interested in joining ENCORE, the Leidos Alumni Network, visit Leidos.com/alumni.