Our Podcast

BY Hope Nunnelley

Episode 156 – The 5 Most Common Misconceptions About Business

When you hear the phrase “Corporate America,” what imagery immediately comes to mind? Personally, my brain first goes to a fictional photo of Wall Street – probably something snapped in the mid-1990s that would be found in a dusty textbook. My mind forms lots of gray buildings and gray suits.

However, I think this idea of Corporate America is a stereotype where a lot of misconceptions about business are founded.

I’ve had multiple conversations with military officers who have told me something along the lines of, “I don’t want business, I want project management.” I think the knee-jerk reaction to this statement stems from our stereotypes (e.g., the Corporate America imagery exercise above). Because of these conversations, Pete and I decided to tackle the five most common misconceptions about business we hear when speaking with junior military officers on the podcast.

5 Common Misconceptions About Business
  1. Corporate America = Wall Street
    • Is Wall Street part of Corporate America? Absolutely! However, it doesn’t make up the entirety (or even the majority) of the private sector. Let’s zoom out for a moment. There are three categories we can use to distinguish economic sectors: public (the military), private, and non-profit. Anything that is not classified as public or non-profit would fall into the private sector category. And Corporate America wants to bring value to their customers! Think about your favorite candy bar, pair of shoes and car washing service, for example.
  2. Lack of mission and heart for service
    • Few professions will have the same sense of service, duty and honor to country. However, every company is mission-oriented. You’ll find pharmaceutical companies that are conducting research to help patients live with rare diseases or companies that work every day to help save the environment. Every company is made up of people just like you and me! Good people doing good work.
  3. “Make a buck” mentality
    • The idea that the private sector is full of “money mongering” suits is another stereotype. Profit is important to companies because they have to pay employees, pay bills, re-invest in the business and want to have the ability to donate to different causes. Without profit, companies would cease to exist! Even non-profits have to have a cash flow.
  4. Career fields
    • Corporate America is more than just Wall Street finance. We represent a variety of career fields, including business analysis, corporate engineering, manufacturing, operations, marketing, IT and professional sales. If you don’t want a “desk job,” you don’t HAVE to be in one. There are SO many career field options available in the private sector. If you’d like to explore this topic more, check out our “Career Options” webinar.
  5. Pay and benefits aren’t as good as the military
    • The military offers great benefits! However, if the differences were that drastic, wouldn’t everyone want to serve in the military? Our client companies keep pay and benefits competitive in order to attract and retain talent.

AND – we add a bonus misconception at the end of the podcast episode. We encourage you to give it a listen!


If you’re interested in learning more about your transition options, contact us.

You can also check out our Transition Guide on “3 Game-Changing Strategies for JMOs Making the Jump to Business” for additional transition tips.

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