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BY petevanepps

The Economy and the JMO Transition

As we conclude the August 2023 Career Conference and launch into the follow-up interview process, we are encouraged by how effectively the candidates at the Conference were able to communicate their backgrounds effectively, leading to companies pursuing them. As a matter of fact, each of the 40 hiring groups that attended the Conference expressed interest in pursuing candidates in the follow-up interview process and there were easily over two open positions for each officer at the Conference. That is a clear indicator that companies are hiring. So what about today’s economy and its effect on a military officer transition?

Well, we are in a competitive market. The economic rubber band effect is in full effect. We saw an over-tightening of the labor market in 2020 and half of 2021, a loosening for the rest of 2021 and all of 2022. Now, in 2023, we are seeing a move back to the middle. Coupled with inflation and a high interest rate and the message is clear: There are undoubtedly important leadership positions that are open in Corporate America and the landscape is competitive. So, what can you do to maximize your chances of being the top candidate in an interview?


One of the biggest mistakes a military officer makes in interviewing for jobs in the business world is assuming their military experience is sufficient interview preparation. To be effective in interviewing, a JMO must translate their military experience in such a way that someone without military experience will understand it and they must directly connect their experience to the functional nature of the work. This takes a specific approach of self-analysis, interview answers construction, and of course, verbalization before the interview.

Be a giver

The equation does not change – a company has a problem (an open position.) If you can convince them that you can solve their problem by demonstrating your ability and desire to deliver value, then the company will try to solve your problem by offering you a position of employment. Unfortunately, the equation does not work in reverse. The more you can approach each interview with the mentality of a problem solver, the more you will get companies to pursue you.

Demonstrate Interest

The laws of human nature are still very much at play in interviewing. The bottom line is companies will be more interested in pursuing you if they feel you are interested in them. So, how do you demonstrate interest in an interview? Simply, you tell them you are interested in their company (with depth and sincerity), you ask questions about the position that demonstrate your ability and desire to solve their problem (see the point above) and you close the interview with a strong statement of interest about the company.

At Cameron-Brooks, we have guided thousands of military officers for over half a century. We’ve been up the mountain and we know the path. We know how to coach officers to see their full potential.

If you have been struggling to make sense of the economy and how it could affect your transition and would like to speak to us about how you can prepare to maximize your move to Corporate America, regardless of the headwinds or tailwinds that the economy may present, please reach out to us for a personal marketability assessment.

Stay tuned!!  On September 14th, Pete Van Epps will conduct a post-Career Conference webcast that will include several Conference candidates who attended the August 2023 Career Conference. They will share their experiences, recommendations, and answer your questions.  For information on how to attend this webinar, please reach out to our team at candidates@cameron-brooks.com.

Of course, you can always learn more by heading over to our website,  YouTube Channel, and LinkedIn.