Our Podcast

BY Joel Junker

3 Keys to An Extraordinary Post-Military Career (E188)

My experience has taught me that if I want to achieve excellence in something, I should study and learn from the people who have achieved success in that area already. Why should I reinvent the wheel? So, when Cameron-Brooks Alumnus Liam Burns messaged me on LinkedIn that he wanted to be a guest on the podcast and share how he managed his  30+ year career, I jumped at the chance to interview him.

Liam is a former Navy Surface Warfare Officer who transitioned to a business career in 1991. He spent the first fifteen years of his career in various sales and marketing leadership positions with Johnson & Johnson. He used that experience to start consulting, executive coaching practices, and C-suite leadership positions with start-up medical companies for the last fifteen years.

In the podcast, Liam explains that the key to a successful career is building a strong foundation in the first ten years. With that foundation, one will have many options in the future. These options include living in an ideal location like Liam does now in Denver, choosing to continue as an executive leader in a larger company, pivoting to start-ups, or even striking out on your own and starting your own company. Liam has done all three!

I asked Liam, “What’s the key to establishing that foundation?” Liam referenced the book The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers: The Guide for Achieving Success and Satisfaction by James M. Citrin and Richard Smith. Citrin is the CEO of Spencer Stuart North America, an Executive Search firm and Cameron-Brooks client.

As or the 3 keys to an extraordinary post-military career, Liam specifically references Pattern 5: Find the Right Fit. The key to establishing the foundation is choosing positions and companies based on your ability to leverage your strengths, do work that interests you, and work with people you like and respect.

I strongly encourage anyone considering a change or launching a career to evaluate their choice based on those three factors. Make those a priority.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of other noise out there that clouds decisions. Sometimes, people want a great career but prioritize the path because it is the path of least resistance; it’s easy. The authors do not say this is easy, in fact they say it take work and preparation. Other times, people decide to pursue a career because of the pay or the location. The authors specifically advise against prioritizing extrinsic factors. In fact, they say that when one prioritizes strengths, interests, and fit, those other factors will follow! Just like they did for Liam.

If you listen to this podcast and want more than these 3 keys to an extraordinary post-military career, we are here to help. Cameron-Brooks has a 50-year track record of guiding military officers to create a step-by-step plan to learn about their options, connect their military experiences directly to opportunities in corporate America, craft a resume that will stand out to hiring managers, and ultimately launch a successful business career.

Don’t wait. Give me a call at (210) 874-1502 or email me at jjunker@cameron-brooks.com – we can have a conversation about your plans and goals and if Cameron-Brooks is the right guide to help you get there.