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Episode 160 – Why Finding the Right Opportunity Fit is More Important than Location
Welcome back to another episode of the Cameron-Brooks Podcast. In Episode 157, I talked about the similarities of financial investing and managing your career for future opportunities— which ties right into why finding the right opportunity fit is more important than location. After I recorded that podcast, I wanted to find an alum who modeled this. Coincidently, I spoke with C-B Alumnus Chris Parks that day. Chris called asking me for advice. He just had an incredible offer to leave his current company and be a Director of Sales at another company. Chris had only been out of the military for 5 years, so this was very fast to be considered for a Director level position.
During my conversation with Chris, I asked him how he earned such an opportunity so quickly. He credited it to two decisions he made in the transition. I asked if he would share those decisions on our podcast.
Chris agrees: The right opportunity is more important than location, so he prioritized opportunity. Chris accepted a position in sales with Pactiv Evergreen in Sacramento, CA through Cameron-Brooks in 2018. He said, “California was the last place I wanted to go.” However, the company really needed someone there and explained if he did well, he could move. After 18 months of hitting his sales goals, Chris took a promotion to his ideal location in New Hampshire. He invested, made a sacrifice and got a huge return in 18 months – great job, ideal location.
Chris said he then prioritized the fit with the company over what some would say are more exciting industries. Pactiv Evergreen is a packaging materials company. Chris sold packaging materials mostly to restaurants and other food-related companies. He would be the first to say selling software gets a lot more attention from people at a cocktail party. However, he just really clicked with the other people at his company and customers. That great fit allowed him to thrive.
What are the lessons?
Getting into the right role where you can excel early can help you achieve faster promotions. Additionally, you are more likely to thrive if you are in an environment that “fits” you. The location on a map or a zip code or the type of product you sell will not really contribute to your career success as much as the opportunity and the people you work with.
Chris’ story will cause you to think about how to make the transition and what to prioritize. Just remember…the right opportunity is more important than location and can have a lifelong impact on your career.
Do you want to make a successful military to business transition like Chris? Do you want to be in a top leadership role at a leading company? If you do, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to help you get there. You can follow former military officers who have become key business leaders‘ steps for career success.
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.