Our Podcast

BY Joel Junker

Four Promotions in Six Years – The Successful JMO Transition (E179)

Ted Lindell is a former Marine Corps F18 Officer who transitioned to a business career with Conagra Brands in 2017. His transition journey started in 2015 when Ted and his wife, Carrie, reflected on what they wanted for their family. They decided they no longer wanted the long deployments and the risk of Ted’s flight operations. They wanted a better quality of life. While they knew they were going to leave the Marine Corps, beyond that, they had two main options on what to do next.

One option, they could exit the military and focus on just the quality of life by conducting a job search focused on the northeast region of the US near family. This would meet the need to be home more frequently, spend time with each other and their children, and be close to siblings and parents. This would have narrowed their search and opportunities to a smaller geographic area. Fewer options meant an increased risk of starting in a “good enough” role but not the right fit. As a Marine Corps F18 pilot, settling was not in Ted’s DNA. He knew that would quickly lead to looking for another position within one or two years post-transition.

As Ted was finishing up his master’s degree, he knew he wanted career growth and development and quality of life. He did not define the quality of life by geography but rather by the fit with a community, schools, and activities for his children. He also knew that if he had a fulfilling career, he would stay with a company instead of pivoting and uprooting his career and family. Ted chose to balance his career ambitions and quality of life goals by doing a broad career search.

Ted’s choice led him to partner with Cameron-Brooks, where he attended a Career Conference interviewing with a broad range of companies and career paths. an Internal Audit position with Conagra in 2017. This position provided him with broad exposure to the almost $12B company and allowed him to build a network within the company. Within two years, he was promoted to a new role and earned four promotions in six years.

Interestingly, he accepted a position in Omaha, NE which he would never have considered without conducting a broader search. However, after visiting the city, though some distance from his preferred geographic location, he found the mid-sized Midwest city an excellent fit for his family. After evaluating all of the factors, including quality of life, company fit, career path, and the nature of the work, he made the decision to launch his career with Conagra Brands.

Ted and Claire’s reason for leaving the military is a common one. While they wanted a better quality of life, they also considered Ted’s professional goals. This led him to explore various options, finding the right fit at Conagra Brands and successfully transitioning with four promotions in his first six years in business.

I encourage you to listen to the full podcast because Ted’s choice is one that most JMOs have to make before their transition, yet they do not always know the likely outcomes of each option.

To stay connected, we encourage you to check out our website and YouTube Channel and follow us on LinkedIn.

If you want to learn more about your transition options, please get in touch with 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.