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BY petevanepps

Will the Economy Support Your PCS to Corporate America?

Will the economy support your PCS to Corporate America? One of the first blog entries Cameron-Brooks ever posted was published on March 20, 2009. The title of the post is “The Economy – How is it Impacting Cameron-Brooks Candidates’ Career Searches?”  The unemployment rate in March 2009 was 8.5% and it would rise to the highest level relative to the economic down turn of 2008/2009 to 10.2% in October 2009. The numbers look even worse when considering “Real Unemployment”, that is the combined rate for the unemployed, the underemployed and the discouraged, (U-6 data) to 15.8% in March 2009 and 17.1% in October 2009. The bottom line is that the U.S. economy was at one of its lowest points in history.

Will the economy support your PCS to Corporate America?At the moment, the U.S. economic picture is in stark contrast to where we were in March 2009. The unemployment rate as of August 2018 is 3.9% and Real Unemployment is at 7.4%. To put an exclamation point on this fact, take a look at our Career Conference statistics at the end of the first week after the August 2018 Career Conference. (You can also read more about the August 2018 Conference here and here.)

If you are interested, you can scroll through and read every blog post from 2009 to today – they are all archived on our website. If you did so, one of the consistent themes you will find is this – regardless of the state of the economy, Corporate America values your military leadership experience.

Corporate America Values Your Military Experience:

At Cameron-Brooks, we have been helping military officers transition to the business world for over 50 years. In that amount of time, we have never cancelled a Career Conference (even in 2008 and 2009). The reason for this is simple – leadership is difficult to find and expensive to cultivate. It takes companies years of practice, training, and trial and error to grow leaders. For that reason, companies like to hire leaders who have business and industry experience – it’s just a less risky hire. When companies are not growing or not leading in their industry, it is relatively easy to fill open positions with industry experienced leaders. But when companies are leading and growing, they often have a leadership void that cannot be filled from within. This is where companies look outside of their traditional hiring sources to a resource that is filled with real world leadership experience –  the military. And though it is often more costly and more risky to bring a non-traditional business candidate, for the right candidate, businesses recognize that the JMO is an excellent source of talent because of their deep leadership experience.

Preparation is the Key to a Successful Transition:

Because JMOs are non-traditional business candidates (remember, you are currently a government employee in the industry of National Defense), one of the best ways to maximize success in an interview is preparation. We’ve literally written dozens of articles on this topic in our blog. The bottom line is that the jobs that high-potential JMOs want are complex and competitive. In golf parlance, they are not a gimme. The single biggest quality that a JMO brings to a business interview is leadership experience. Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes I see JMOs make in interviews is assuming their military experience is sufficient preparation for a business interview. Of course, if the interview was for a Government Service or Government Contracting job, their assumption would likely be correct. In a business interview, a JMO must be prepared to translate their experience and connect their background directly to the competencies and functions of the position for which they are interviewing. We dedicate an entire chapter to this idea and provide extensive practical preparation advice in PCS to Corporate America by Roger Cameron.

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Best of success,
Pete Van Epps