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BY Brock Dudley

“Leaders are Readers”: Jan 2024 Conference Recap

Hello everyone and welcome back! We have just completed our January 2024 Career Conference where officers interviewed with multiple A-tier, industry-leading companies last week. This is the first step in launching their business careers! We are now in the follow-up process where officers and companies that have shown mutual interest in one another are taking the next steps in the hiring process. Some are even interviewing and conducting site visits as we speak!

We continue to work with officers in the follow-up process as they prepare to earn offers. We are excited to see where everyone lands and will keep you updated! As a data point, in 2023, Officers averaged 15 working days from completion of the Conference to earning an offer and launching their business careers! Things are certainly fast-paced and moving along quickly.

Getting “Over the Bar”

I’ve been talking about this “bar” a lot recently in my posts. It’s a major topic as it pertains to the economy, and it seems to be a topic we discuss daily here at the office. So, where is this bar? Right now, very high! We are in a tight market. Companies are being very selective with their new hires, and they expect you to connect your military experiences and accomplishments while interviewing. They also expect that you will be able to immediately start contributing when you begin your new career. Reading, studying, and understanding business is the only way to do this.

Reading business books and periodicals is one of the most important steps in preparing for a transition to the business world. It’s also one of the few things that you have 100% control over. There is a direct correlation between the number of books read and the success Officers have in getting “over the bar”.

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” – Harry S. Truman

If you search on the internet, you will find thousands of articles that stress the importance of reading. The two most important things that reading does are enhance your vocabulary and strengthen your communication skills. You will find quotes from very successful people on the importance of reading as well as their reading habits. When I learned that Warren Buffet spends 80% of his day reading, which totals roughly 500 pages per day, I was blown away. A couple minutes later I realized that makes total sense and that is one of the many reasons he’s been so successful. He’s invested in himself day after day and his business knowledge has compounded, as well as his bank accounts!

We’ve all heard the phrase “leaders are readers”. As an officer and a leader of people, programs, projects, and equipment, you must be a reader! The same applies to your transition to the business world. I am here to tell you that the amount you read needs to increase 10x if you want to be successful in the business world. When you switch careers, it’s like switching sports at the professional level. It’s hard, and therefore you must learn about the sport you are going to be playing. You must read and learn what you’re getting yourself into. In fact, my boss brought me into his office today and handed me 6 books from his office library!

Your ability to speak with more intelligence and depth on business topics and apply what you’ve read and learned to your accomplishments in the military so that a business leader understands your military accomplishments is one of the most important things you must do when it comes to the transition! You must put yourself in the job when interviewing! The Hiring Manager needs to see you in the job and the easiest way to do that is to speak their language.

Want help with your transition?

If you have any questions or want a recommended book list, please don’t hesitate to reach out below. At Cameron-Brooks, we see ourselves as guides in your transition process. This is your story, and we want to help you reach your goals and act as a sounding board. We’ll help you build a game plan, work timing specific to yours, and help you increase your business knowledge through our reading program and get ready to interview competitively. If you’re interested to hear more about how we can help, please reach out below.

Stay tuned as my colleague Pete Van Epps will conduct the post-January 2024 Conference review webcast on March 5, 2024! You can give it a listen along with other relevant content on the Cameron-Brooks PCS to Corporate America Podcast as well!

Brock Dudley

Principal, Transition Coach


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