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BY Brock Dudley

What’s Your Plan and Who’s Your Guide?

Hello everyone, and welcome back! I hope everyone had a great Independence Day and Fourth of July celebration with family and friends. A month ago, I wrote a blog posing the third question in my four-part series: What are your biggest military transition obstacles?

I’m back to pose the fourth question in my series that will hopefully help junior military officers gain more clarity on their options outside the military if they decide to make the transition out. Question one was formulated to help a junior military officer think about their personal and professional goals, question two to help one navigate which route to go as they consider the transition out and question three was developed to lay out some obstacles that military officers may face when making the transition out of the military,

Today, I conclude this series with one more question: “What’s Your Plan and Who’s Your Guide?” For a military officer reading these blogs, maybe you’ve taken a couple big steps in the decision-making process already or maybe you’re just doing some research.  Hopefully by now, you know who Cameron-Brooks is, you’ve thought about your options outside the military, and you’ve identified some common obstacles in the transition. Now, it’s time to decide if you need help and if so, who will be your guide?

Climbing Mt. Everest? Find your Sherpa!

Have you ever heard the quote, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”? I believe this is applicable to the business transition. Achieving success often requires the support, skills, and perspectives of others. Working together allows for pooling resources, sharing knowledge, and providing mutual support, which are essential for enduring and overcoming challenges over time. While individual effort can be efficient, it can also be limited by one’s own abilities and perspectives. If you go at it alone, it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. Of course, anything is possible.

Let’s take a hypothetical and turn the military to business transition into climbing Mt. Everest, which is the highest mountain in the world above sea level. I think there are similarities when it comes to having a guide.

If you traveled to the Himalayan region to summit Everest between Nepal and China, would you find a Sherpa? Most likely. Why? Sherpas are critically important to hiking Mount Everest for several reasons:

  1. Expertise and Experience: Sherpas are indigenous people of the Himalayan region. They possess an extensive level of knowledge and experience of the terrain, the weather, and challenges associated with Climbing Mount Everest. Their experience is invaluable for navigating the treacherous environment as they’ve been integral to the history of Everest climbing since the early 20th century. They live in the Himalayan region which allows them to be exceptionally proficient and adaptable to changing conditions, which helps them acclimate better and reduce the risk of altitude sickness compared to non-Sherpa climbers.
  2. Logistical support: Sherpas handle essential logistical tasks, such as setting up base camps, carrying heavy loads, establishing routes, and ensuring climbers have the necessary supplies and equipment. This allows climbers to focus more on the ascent itself.
  3. Route preparation: Sherpas are often the first to ascend the mountain each climbing season to set up fixed lines, ladders, and camps. This preparation is essential for creating a safer and more navigable route for climbers.
  4. Mental and Emotional Support: Sherpas also provide encouragement, motivation, and companionship, helping climbers stay focused and positive throughout the expedition. Climbing Everest is not only physically demanding, but also mentally and emotionally challenging.
  5. Safety and Coordination: Sherpas are trained in mountaineering safety and rescue operations. They can provide crucial first aid and evacuation assistance to climbers which enhances the overall safety of the expedition. They act as team leaders, ensuring effective communication and management of the overall progress of the expedition to achieve collective goals.

When attempting something life-changing like climbing Mount Everest, you’d ask “What’s Your Plan and Who’s Your Guide?”

In summary, Sherpas play an indispensable role in the success and safety of Everest expeditions, providing essential expertise, support, and guidance that make the climb possible for many adventurers.

Transitioning to Business? Find your Guide!

At Cameron-Brooks, we don’t have expertise in climbing Everest, however, we have 50+ years of expertise in helping junior military officers transition from the military to business which to junior officers can be difficult.

Pretty straightforward, but we’re a firm in corporate America that guides officers in transition preparation to conduct a broad and robust career search. We create an opportunity for officers to find and ultimately work for a great company, using their skills to do fulfilling, meaningful work that has a purpose and balance in life. While that certainly is a tall order, that is the target. When I talk to officers who want to launch a business career, that is typically what they want, and that is what we strive to deliver.

We view ourselves as your sherpas. Why?

  1. Expertise and Experience: We have 50+ years of experience helping military officers transition to the business world. At Cameron-Brooks, we possess an extensive level of knowledge of the business world. We know what A-tier, industry-leading companies are looking for when it comes to talent acquisition and succession planning. High-potential JMOs are highly desirable in business, and we know this because we talk to companies every single day. Our extensive network and experience allow us to be exceptionally proficient and adaptable to changing market conditions which in turn helps junior military officers prepare and acclimate to make the transition into developmental roles. Like Sherpas, we help de-risk the ascent out and up into developmental roles in business.
  2. Logistical support & Route Preparation: Sherpas set up base camps, establish the climbing routes, and ensure climbers have the right tools. Cameron-Brooks bypasses the filters, and vets the roles to ensure you step out and up into a developmental role. We set up interviews on average 4.5 months to the left of your separation date based on your career field interests and objective qualifications. Like sherpas, we go before you and clear the way. We provide the essential tools and focus on the behaviors that will help you interview competitively and earn offers. This allows you to focus your efforts on preparing to interview and not on trying to get past the filters themselves.
  3. Mental and Emotional Support: The transition can be hard. We understand the challenges and uncertainties that military officers face when transitioning into civilian careers. We’ve been there ourselves and know what it’s like to navigate the job search process and find companies that value your background and experience.
  4. Safety and Coordination: As experienced transition coaches, we help military officers derisk the transition by building a plan together. We act as a career guide. Our extensive experience and knowledge about the job market, industries and career paths can provide you with valuable advice on how to navigate the career search effectively. We help you build a game plan to set realistic and achievable career goals and assist you in creating a clear career plan and provide you with coaching and accountability towards your objectives.

Just like your taxes, of course you can do them yourself, but the more complicated and advanced they get, it can benefit you financially and save you a bunch of time by reaching out to a professional tax expert such as a CPA. So it’s important to answer my 4th question: “What’s Your Plan and Who’s Your Guide?”

Want to know more about your options?

If you ever want to talk about your transition options, or you’re curious about how Cameron-Brooks can help, don’t hesitate to reach out below. I’ll get you scheduled for a personal consultation.

Brock Dudley

Transition Coach