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Is Currency Important in Your Career Search?
Currency is important in your career search, right? Of course. But today, I challenge you to think about currency in your career search in a different way.
We are in the process of putting the final touches on the January Career Conference, and I wanted to share a story I thought would be helpful to JMOs in their career search journey. One of our January candidates, an Air Force civil engineer, recently accepted a position with a leading provider of products and services to the electric utility, telecommunications, tree care, lights and signs, and contractor markets. He had a very successful Conference! He interviewed with 14 different companies, nine pursued him in the follow up process and he earned five offers! And, out of his five offers, the one he accepted was actually the lowest in terms of compensation/currency which may seem surprising to some.
When we think about “currency” we usually think immediately of money and how much we will earn. But in 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 different ways. I would submit to you that there are actually three different forms of currency – 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. Of course this makes sense, as a career in 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, and having the time to get involved in the community or enjoying hobbies, etc.
If, prior to the Conference, I had told our January candidate that he would accept a position with the company and salary he finally did choose, he would have (most likely) told me I was crazy. But, by conducting a full career search, seeing all the possibilities, and then evaluating his offers using these different forms of currency, he was able to make a great decision for him, his career, and his family.
So, is currency in your career search important? Of course, but it’s how you think of currency that can make all the difference!