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BY Joel Junker

The Investment Mindset for Transitioning JMOs

In my last blog post, I wrote about the concept of the development candidate and having both the ability and desire to be a leader in Corporate America.  I wanted to continue on that topic in this blog post to elaborate a bit more on the desire part of being a development candidate.  It’s what we call “The Investment Mindset” for transitioning JMOs.

Ability is a bit more quantifiable and easier to understand as it’s about one’s track record of success and performance, and past success typically begets future success.  However, the desire to be a development candidate tends to be a bit more nebulous, but I believe much of it is rooted in the idea of making an investment.  Sometimes the fallacy that JMOs make is they have served their country, have sacrificed time, their families, their health even, etc.  And all of that is 100% true!  As a veteran myself, I would echo that sentiment.  But when it comes time to make the transition from the military, the attitude sometimes becomes I want, or even deserve, to  be rewarded for that sacrifice, and they want to proverbially slide their chips across the table and cash in.  So the mentality, when entering the next chapter of their professional lives, becomes “What will I get” and “How will this company take care of me,” etc.  This is the mindset one has of simply looking for a job and thinking there is only one more chapter to write after the military when it comes to their career.

So to contrast this, let’s examine the definition of investment.  According to the dictionary, an investment can be defined as “an act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.”  With the career-minded, development candidate person, their mentality is different.  They recognize that I’m trying to make the successful transition.  Over the course of my business career, there will be many chapters written, and it is important to think and play the long game.  They approach the transition from a “What do I have to offer this company”, and a “What problem can I solve for them” perspective.

It’s no different than investing money and the idea of compound interest over time.  If you start saving and investing early, the likelihood of reaching your financial goals by the time you retire is much greater.  This is the same as investing in your career when you are younger so you can reach your career goals later.  I encourage any JMO to start with their career goals.  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  20 years?  Do you see yourself as an executive development candidate?  If so, you have to invest early in your career and be on the path at the 5-year mark and have developed that strong track record of success with a leading company in a developmental role.  This is the Investment Mindset for transitioning JMOs.

There is no shortcut to your career goals.  Does that mean you have to just move anywhere?  Or take any job?  Absolutely not.  But investing in your career means there will be some sacrifices and tradeoffs early on to ensure you meet those long-term career goals.  It does not work if you say you want to be a key leader in business in 10 years but wait for 5 years to begin getting on the path because you were initially unwilling to invest in your career from the beginning.  It is very difficult to catch up.  Adopt the Investment Mindset” for transitioning JMOs, and it will open up a world of future potential.

Interested in exploring your options with Cameron-Brooks?  Curious about how to make a successful JMO-to-business transition?  Check out our website,  YouTube Channel, and follow us on LinkedIn.  If you are a JMO considering a transition to business and would like to be part of a future Cameron-Brooks Career Conference, reach out to us for a personal consultation with one of our Transition Coaches.