Why Join Us?
Trying to figure out my personal brand identity. I had lots of cool experience after 24 years in the Marine Corps, and an MBA degree, but I still didn't know what I was good at in the civilian world, what I would enjoy, what salary I should expect, or what value I really had to offer any employer. I floundered around for 2 years after retirement until I stumbled into a project management job by the grace of God and some networking. After that, I got the PMP certification, figured out i enjoyed project management and was good at it. I also figured out I was good at explaining it to other people and helping them to understand it. So, I ended up settling on my personal brand identity as a project management training expert, and started my own company, PM-ProLearn doing what I loved, was good at, and made great money too. It took me 3 years to figure all that out, so I would encourage anyone still in the service to spend a lot of time researching the hiring market and determine where you might fit. Once you do that, you can start building a roadmap for yourself of how to prepare to be highly competitive in the field of expertise that you want to be in.
I believe the hardest part for transitioning and branding has been establishing life priorities, developing plans for those life priorities and sticking to those plans. A mentor who gave me some advice as I started down my retirement path; “You have to decide your priorities in the way of job, family and location. Most will achieve their #1, some will achieve #1 and #2, while rarely all 3 will be achieved.”
For me: #1-Family, #2-Location, and #3-Job. For the time being, I have achieved #1 and #2. I am working on achieving #3 and trying to brand myself on a second career I will enjoy. Currently, what is tough with branding, is choosing what skills I have developed that bring me the most job satisfaction. I have developed a variety of skill sets that would fit any business organization (human resources, aircraft production management, budgeting/finance, security, teaming, logistics, etc). In the military, almost on a daily basis, I was able to use a variety of skills which made my job fun and I achieved high job satisfaction. However, moving into a civilian career, I recognize that I may not have the opportunity to use all of these skills on a daily basis and I have to focus on one or two skills I enjoy using and finding jobs that fit those skills. Time will soon tell if my choices were correct or if I need to start looking for other opportunities. But so far, so good.
@David Short Those priorities are great, but what if you can't find a job that pays what you need to take of priority #1 Family? Priorities suddenly shift and the job is the first thing you become worried about because you can't take care of the family without income to do it. I speak from experience!
It is true, particularly if you are in a small town. My wife & I had a few conversations centering around what would be our #1 priority and what would it take to achieve #1. That is when we had discussions on both location & jobs since we agreed family was first and what did the location and job look like. Having the perfect job is still the desire and not yet achieved.
Job satisfaction: Biggest factor for me. I believe there is nothing worse than working hard and not seeing the impact of your work.
Team vs Individual: I would rather work in a team environment than as an individual.
Solid leadership and teaming: I can put up with a lot but people who are not trustworthy, narcissistic & micro-managers is a no-go for me. Studying the company & talking with contacts helped me figure this out. Not to mention, recent observation on how companies handled COVID-19 impacts spoke a lot about the culture of the company.
Decent pay: This was tough because we truly do not know how much we are worth outside of the military. And while we do not want to price ourselves out of employment, we certainly do not want to get under paid for our talents & expertise.
For myself, it was discovering what I wanted to do after the military. I got out after only 5 years, but it was still a struggle to determine what my vision was for my future.
As far as branding myself, the hardest part has been knowing whether my experiences are worth sharing. At 27 years old, I’m in the beginning of my career and still learning a lot, so I don’t want to seem like I’m an expert at anything haha
Bruno, you don't need to discount your experiences because of your age. I wouldn't presume that they are worth less. Just be able to articulate the experience and how that is relevant to the corporation or the job.
That’s a good point Josh! I guess I’ve had trouble with that in the past. I do feel like I’m getting better at it though.