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BY Joel Junker

Is Currency Important in Your Career Search?

Is currency important in your transition to business and throughout your career?  Of course!  No one should ever really question that.  But what is the definition of currency as it pertains to a JMO transitioning?  How about after you’ve launched your career?  When we think about “currency” for most of us, monetary compensation immediately come to mind.   I would challenge you to think about currency in a different way.

When it comes to a career search and while trying to manage your business career for the long term, I believe it is important to think of currency in a variety of ways. Let’s break it down into three different forms – Monetary Compensation, Work Gratification, and Work/Life Balance.

  • Monetary Compensation – This is the most obvious form when we think of “currency”.   This encompasses everything from your annual salary, bonuses, stock options, car allowance, etc. It is essentially everything the company is paying you to perform the job.
  • Work Gratification – This is a more complicated form of currency.  Another word for this might be “fit”.  This includes things like finding the right cultural fit with the company, industry fit, opportunity to grow, ability to use skills you’ve developed in the military while learning new skills, and career flexibility.  Essentially, this is the form of “currency” we are talking about when you think of intrinsic values and fit.
  • Work/Life Balance – This form of “currency” is probably thought of as getting to an ideal location or maybe in work hours.  For a JMO, this makes sense, as the military allows you very little control over where you live and the work hours can certainly be very long with training exercises, NTC/JRTC rotations, deployments, etc.  But, work/life balance can also mean flexibility in terms of being able to attend children’s activities, having the time to get involved in the community, enjoying current hobbies or starting new ones, etc.

At Cameron-Brooks, we have helped thousands of JMOs successfully transition to the business world over our 50+ year history.  And during those transitions, we have seen officers accept positions that were the lowest offers in terms of money, officers accept positions that weren’t in their ideal location, accept positions that might not have been in that ideal industry they thought they wanted, etc.

This is the value of the power of comparison, and our CEO, Chuck Alvarez, discusses that in episode 118 of the Cameron-Brooks podcast which you can listen to it, here.

By interviewing across a variety of opportunities, the officers we partner with can compare these opportunities as it relates to these different forms of currency.  There is no “perfect 10” opportunity and all have some tradeoffs.  But, by conducting a full career search, seeing all the possibilities, and then evaluating offers using these different forms of currency, officers are able to make a great decision for  theirs careers and their families.

So, is currency in your career search important?  Of course, but it’s how you think of currency that can make all the difference!

Rob Davis