JMO Career Transition Research and Preparation

We are now in the follow-up process from the August Conference. It takes 2 to 5 weeks after the Conference to complete the interviews that will result in companies making decisions about offers. As the August candidates wrap-up their follow-up interviews, we ask them to leave comments on the Discussion Area http://bit.ly/xgUOp where you can read their feedback. I’d encourage you to return often to the Discussion Area over the next couple of weeks to stay up to date on their ideas for you.

In the post right after the August 2009 Conference, we mentioned an example of a process improvement that some of our client companies are using to power out of the recession. We chose this example because of the importance of efficient and effective production and operations to help companies meet demand in an economy that is expected to grow by the end of the year. While there is still some uncertainty as to the nature of the turnaround, most economists are saying we are at the end of the recession or very close and the cyclical trends in our economy suggest that growth is a certainty. While companies prepare for the growth, they will focus on creating increased output without adding cost so that they can stay effective through the ups and downs of the recovery.

At the August Conference, a few candidates had used their business research and reading effectively enough to be aware of this trend. When companies brought up initiatives like Total Productive Maintenance, Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing and other improvement initiatives, the informed candidates were prepared to connect with them. This really impressed companies looking for team leaders and project managers to get involved in their organizations. Instead of having to take time to explain the initiative to the candidate, the recruiters were able to listen to the candidate connect their background and prove their fit. That resulted in more companies pursuing the prepared candidates after the Conference.

You can use this information to improve your preparation. We listen to each candidate before their Conference and build a plan related to the career fields in which they are interested. Working with the career fields in Module 3 of Workbook 1 or reviewing them on our website http://www.cameron-brooks.com/candidates_career.html will help you identify where your experience fits into a business career. As you research those career fields, look for current trends and how businesses are using initiatives to drive performance. Here are some suggestions that will help you get started:
• Business periodicals – As you read through The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week or any other business periodical, keep an eye out for trends. Make a copy, save a link, or cut and paste into a document or file where you can reference information related to each career field. If you have access to online sites for these sources, try a search to see what articles emerge. Build your understanding of where companies have been and where they are heading. You are looking to become a leader in this environment, use these sources as your “Intel” to know how best to get results.
• Wikipedia – Do a search on www.wikipedia.org for the career fields in which you are interested. Develop your understanding of how you would work within a business and use this source to identify key initiatives used by companies in these areas. Take some time to review related searches, links and external resources to broaden your understanding of this career area.
• Google/Online Search – Use your favorite search engine and type in the career field or business area plus the word “trends”. You’ll find a whole range of organizations, articles and reports that comment on current issues and opportunities in that business area. Use this to augment your research and find online references to which you can return to stay up to date.

This type of research will help distinguish you in the eyes of a recruiter because in addition to leadership, you’ll be able to demonstrate business acumen. By focusing on effective research techniques like those above, you’ll minimize the time needed and maximize your results. If you find a resource that is particularly valuable, it would be great to hear about it. You can post a comment on the Discussion Area, our Facebook page, or even just email it to us. The officers working with Cameron-Brooks make up a powerful community of go-getters that are out there leading the way in the military while preparing to lead the way in Corporate America. We look forward to continuing to work with you on your career.

Scott LePage