JMO Career Search – Goals and Choices

I have been a JMO Recruiter, or a military headhunter as some people call it,  for 10 years this month.  I primarily work with Cameron-Brooks’ client companies and during the 10 years, I have continually heard companies say they want JMO leaders who set and achieve challenging goals.  Recruiters are always impressed when they interview a JMO who has taken time to research options, set challenging goals, developed action plans to reach them, overcome obstacles and difficulties, and if they did not reach their goals, learned from the failure.  In interviewing, it is very important for  a JMO candidate to understand the difference between setting goals and making choices.  A goal is defined as “a result one is attempting to achieve.”  In your career, having goals provides the incentive and drive that propels you forward.  Career goals should be broad enough to allow you flexibility in achieving them, but specific enough to ensure that you have focus in working toward them. 

If you are a JMO interviewing for leadership opportunities with a company, you can expect to be asked about your goals.  Company recruiters will want to hear the career objectives you set for yourself in the military and in the future.  By communicating your goals, your plan to reach them, and the ones you have reached, you will convince a recruiter that you are motivated and driven.  Company recruiters value this highly.  Past Career Conference candidates who best demonstrated goal orientation, motivation, and drive, are the ones who thought through how each career opportunity for which they were interviewing would help them achieve their goals.  This impressed the recruiters and demonstrated a strong level of interest in the position and the company.

A choice is defined as “one selection”.  By its very nature, a career choice cuts out other options by selecting one path over another.  When conducting a development career search, there is a point when you make the choice of the right opportunity for you.  I find it very rewarding to watch Cameron-Brooks candidates gather as much information as possible before making their choice as to the one opportunity they feel will help them reach their career goals.  When you conduct your career search, it is critical to establish your goals first, gather as much information as possible, and then make educated choices to help you achieve those goals.  Making choices too early in your transition may actually hinder your ability to achieve your goals in the end.

A great example of the difference between choices and goals is how location can impact a career search.  I choose location because it comes up frequently as one of the factors when making a career choice.  A development candidate has a career goal of being a business leader.  At Cameron-Brooks, we ask our candidates to give us their geographic preference. We and our clients want them to have geographic preferences, but by not limiting choices based on location, we can show them every great opportunity for which they are qualified and have interest.  With a tighter job market than the past (though we are seeing signs of continued improvement), it is important to have geographic flexibility to see opportunities in your preference area  AS WELL AS other great opportunities outside of your preference.  Candidates who use this strategy, utilize the full value of Cameron-Brooks services and client company opportunities, and benefit from their own hard-work in preparation to launch a great long-term career.

Joel Junker