Our Podcast

BY Joel Junker

Episode 155 – The Formula to Launching a Successful Business Career

What is the formula to launching a successful business career? And what does a “successful business career” mean for a military officer who wants to transition? We define this concept more HERE but wanted to share a story of how a Cameron-Brooks alum utilized three strategies to successfully transition with a long-term goal in mind.

When we published the Transition Guide3 Game-Changing Strategies for JMOs Making the Jump to Business”, I thought about many of our Alumni who executed these strategies perfectly and are now achieving the personal and professional success they envisioned when leaving the military. They committed to investing in their careers early by getting on board with an industry-leading company that valued their JMO experience and built a track record of success within the first 3 to 5 years.  They made tradeoffs such as time to get their MBA, starting in a good location but not the ideal location and avoiding easy assignment for the tough ones that moved their organization forward. 

I specifically thought of a friend, Notre Dame classmate of mine and Cameron-Brooks Alumnus, Dan Farrell.  Dan transitioned from the Army in 1999  to Kraft Foods in Brand Management in Chicago, IL.  Despite his family in Florida and South Bend, IN, Dan explored a broad range of options, including winery operations in California, corporate procurement in retail operations in Texas, marketing with Kraft Foods in Chicago, IL and many others.  He chose a company that valued his background and provided the foundation for him to launch a career in sales and marketing.  Along the way, he earned his MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business.  After 5 years with his track record of success, he moved back to his hometown of South Bend, IN.  In fact, he moved into a home on the same block as his parents.

I get it when JMOs want the ideal location and best opportunity.  I want the same thing for them.  However, I get concerned about JMOs who want an engaging and fulfilling career and the ideal location. Prioritizing the ideal location immediately out of the transition could lead to a tradeoff on the quality of the opportunity.  If Dan chose to prioritize South Bend immediately, he most likely would have taken a step down in opportunity, changed companies a couple of times in the first 5 years, and continued looking for an ideal career fit.  Instead, he prioritized a premier opportunity. By doing so, he now lives in his ideal location, works remotely for a company based out of Nashville and is one of the top 5 people in his company.

Dan focused on the 3 Game-Changing Strategies:

  1. Build a track record of success.
  2. Work for an industry-leading company.
  3. Be a part of an organization that values the JMO skillset.

By following this formula, much like investing and saving early in personal finance, he is now reaping the rewards later in his career.  You can learn more about how he did it in this podcast and his advice to JMOs making the transition today.

If you’re interested in learning more about why companies hire from Cameron-Brooks, contact 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.

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