I recently interviewed Mark Fannin on our iTunes podcast Above and Beyond. Mark is a Brand Manager at Mars Petcare and a former USMC Logistics Officer with a BS in Economics from the United States Naval Academy. We had a great conversation about his role at Mars and what he’s been up to since making the transition from the USMC to Mars in 2013. One of the specific questions I asked early in the conversation is why he chose Mars Petcare and why he chose Marketing? His answer was one that I’ve been repeating for weeks to other JMOs when having discussions about their career field interests.
Mark said, “Focus on the company first, the role second and make salary and location the final determining factor.”
- The Company: There are many aspects to consider – the culture, the product the company makes or service they provide, team members, the values and norms of the organization and more. There are many factors to consider that go into your decision-making process when it comes to finding the right company fit.
- The Role: Consider what you will do and why? Does the role take advantage of your existing strengths and will it allow you to quickly deliver results to the organization? Will the role hold your attention by challenging you, but not overwhelming you? Will the role provide the right training and development and allow you to progress to higher-level leadership roles in the organization?
- Salary and Location: These are always factors in a career search and they are obviously important. That said, they will change over time. If you are delivering results for your organization, your earning potential will increase, and you will have control over when and where you move.
There is great value in conducting a broad search, because there is no such thing as “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to choosing the right company for you. Because all of us are individuals with different personalities, preferences and perspectives, it is worthwhile to engage in a broad search where you interview with multiple companies. I sometimes see people get tripped up in their transition from the military by only interviewing with one company. They are initially attracted to the company because it has a recognizable name or they have a friend who went to work there, only to find that they are dissatisfied after a short amount of time.
The key is to line up enough interviews in a fairly tight window relative to your separation timeline in order to allow you to interview with multiple companies and positions and ultimately make a decision based on comparing information. At Cameron-Brooks, our model is to partner with high-potential military officers, help them prepare for their transition through a robust Development and Preparation Program, and invite them to a Career Conference where officers interview with an average of 12+ companies with open positions over the final two days of the Conference. We believe this process is the best way to help transitioning military officers conduct a broad career search and choose the right company.
We have a large amount of helpful material that you can use to learn more about making a successful transition to Corporate America. Get started by going to our Resource Center here.
Pete Van Epps