Recruiters, Headhunters, and other weird life forms...

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Zaphod, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    It's going to happen.

    You arrive at your first command, and the first piece of mail you'll receive won't be from mom or that Jessica Alba look-alike (multiple beers notwithstanding) you met a few weeks ago. No, it will be from one or more (probably more) of these people:

    Cameron Brooks
    Bradley Morris
    Orion
    Fortune
    MRI
    Corporate Leads
    Vertical Path
    Leaders

    In fact, you will most likely find some of these letters in your mailbox the day you ARRIVE at your command.

    Who the heck ARE these people?

    Well, what they are is recruiters for Corporate America who help Junior Officers (that folks like you after you graduate but generally before you get the O-4 lobotomy) transition from the military back to the real world. You may not think so, but these people are your best friends.

    When the time comes that you decide to hang up the BDU's and put on some civies, you will find yourself with the sudden realization that you have no earthly idea of how the real world works. What does a resume look like? How should I dress for an interview (assuming you forgot that lesson from when your BGO spoke to you)? How does one answer the question, "Tell me about yourself." without boring the snot out of your potential boss? Why is "Roger" suddenly a person's name rather than a statement of the affirmative? Well, that's what these yahoos are there for.

    Believe it or not, when you guys decide to become civilians again, you are actually VERY hot comodities. Think about it: you all have BS degrees from the most respected LEADERSHIP schools in the country, and you have ACTUALLY LED PEOPLE (sometimes even in combat). How many 28-year-old nitwits can you list that have that kind of resume? Not many! You know what? COMPANIES KNOW THIS, TOO.

    Now, contrary to the prevailing stupidity in certain corners of the culture today, corporations are NOT evil incarnate. They look for the very best people they can find, they treat them pretty damned well for the most part, and they pay well. They do these things because if they don't then they won't be in business for long. If GM treats you like crap, then you can always walk across the street and work for Honda.

    So, what these companies do is to hire these recruiters to find YOU. The companies tell the recruiter, "Look, I have 3 Manufacturing Supervisor positions I need to fill. I need someone with a degree in science or engineering, three years of leadership experience, ability to communicate, and the ability to be part of a cross-functional team."

    That is the job description of a Junior Officer to a TEE, and you have the additional heft of having been trusted enough to be in charge of millions, if not TENS of millions of dollars of equipment, dozens of lives, and confidential material. Sounds like a typical production floor (well, minus the weapons of course....... pity that.).

    So you call these guys, give them your info, and they match it up to the positions the companies have given them, and off you go to interviews! Obviously you can choose where you want to live, what kind of work you want to do (Human Resources or Quality? Finance or Safety/Environmental?) It's their job to match you up.

    Now, VERY important thing to know. The recruiters are PAID BY THE COMPANY ONCE YOU ARE HIRED. YOU do NOT pay THEM. Do NOT make the mistake of paying a recruiter. It's wasted money! (Don't ask how I know this. :frown:). Additionally, they get paid a percentage of what your starting salary will be, so it's in their best interests not only to get you hired, but to get you hired for some decent money.

    Don't expect to start making six figures at the get-go. It doesn't work that way. Also, while you may think you're all that, you really ain't, so when you start at a new company, you need to remember that 1) you're a civilian now, so barking orders doesn't work, 2) most of the people around you have been doing their jobs before you were old enough to drink, and some since before you were born, so you DON'T know more than they do, and 3) politics are more important than rank. Be mindful.

    Now, to close this out, O have worked with Cameron Brooks, Bradley Morris, Orion, Fortune, and MRI. The last three are actually huge companies with offices all over hell's half acre. Applying to one of them pretty much gets you on the system everywhere. Bradley Morris (based out of Atlanta last I checked) actually got me my first job coming out of the Yacht Club. Cameron Brooks (out of Texas) is a strange lot in that they have a somewhat rigid pipeline you go through, and there a little picky as to who they select, but they are very good at what they do. As time passes, you will develop a relationship with a handful of individuals either at these companies or at satellites of these companies. Treat them well and they will be very helpful when you need them. Don't hang up on them if they cold-call you. When you suddeenly need a job, these are the guys who help you get one.

    So anyway, hopefully I've shed some light on all this mail you will suddenly find in your mailbox.

    Good luck! :thumb:
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Excellent post, Zaphod!

    Standard advice from us to those at the 5-8 year point of AD service is go talk to these JMO Placement firms if you want to go into the corporate world. They will assist with turning officer fitness reports and performance evals into civilian resumes, coaching on interviewing skills and salary negotiation and setting up informational go-see interviews.

    Add "Lucas Group."

    Over the years, our alumni sponsor family who chose to leave active military service has enjoyed great positions and career advancement with: Michelin, Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Lucent Technologies, United Airlines, HP, Frito-Lay, an array of major federal contracting firms and many others. Federal agencies also recruit JMOs. We just had a recently separated '01 sponsor daughter report to Quantico to start her FBI career, and we have two with engineering backgrounds now with NAVSEA as civil service project engineers.

    Whenever we encounter parents with no military background, worried their sons and daughters will not have suitable job skills if they are "just" driving ships or have other military warfare skills, we show them these JMO placement firms and share successful transition stories.

    Magically, the volume of letters increases as you get closer to end of obligated service date. Most of these firms run info sessions in major military homeports/cities, worth going to even if just a look-see a few years before potentially separating. I went, back in the day, when I was contemplating leaving. The Navy dangled a few juicy carrots, and then, somehow, it was 26 years later...:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  3. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Thanks. :redface:

    I KNEW I'd forgotten someone. Yes, they're big on the whole thing, too.



    One other thing for folks to remember as they prepare to leave, something I didn't consider and now regret: you will have an ACTIVE SECURITY CLEARANCE. Therefore, if you have ANY desire to work in a firm or an agency that requires a clearance, you are IMMEDIATELY more attractive than a whole slew of other people because security clearances (especially TOP SECRET) are extremely expensive to process, and they have to have you on the payroll doing nothing until you get it. If you already have it, meet the job requirements, and don't tick off the people you interview with, you WILL be a serious contender.

    IIRC, a TS expires after three years or so. DO NOT make the mistake of letting it lapse if you might need it later. Get into the industry or agency IMMEDIATELY.

    I wish I had. I just didn't think about it. Duh. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    When the time comes, I strongly recommend you read the book, "PCS To Corporate America".

    You can find the foreword here.

    You can order it here.

    No, I don't get kickbacks. It's just a very good book that I remember getting a LOT of great information out of. It covers everything from how to prepare a resume to how to dress for an interview to how to speak at an interview. It's not a long or complex book, either. The author (who I've met) is a no-nonsense kind of guy and it comes across in the book. Some of his stories (like when he started flapping his arms at one guy during an interview) are actually pretty funny. Some (mistakes people have made) are sad and eye-opening.
     
  5. navy05

    navy05 New Member

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    Alliance Intl

    Does anybody have experience with Alliance International? What does their company line-up look like? They pay for all travel and lodging to their conference which I think is pretty generous. What is the average compensation range for separating JOs?
     
  6. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Depends upon the job, the company, and the region you'll be living in. You want to take cost-of-living into account when deciding where to go. $100K may sound like a lot of money, but it's crap in New York City, San Francisco, or South Florida, but you'll be living the high life in Tennessee, North Carolina, or Arizona.
     
  7. hopeful Mom

    hopeful Mom New Member

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    As a member of corporate america who is not involved in the defense etc industries, I can vouch for the positive aspects of a SA background. I've seen some truely outstanding performers who bring teamwork to a much higher level than everyone else around them, it often turns out that they are SA graduates.
     
  8. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    How is the experience different for an officer leaving the military as an O-5 or 0-6? Are these type of former officers still able to find good jobs in the corporate world?
     
  9. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Oh yes! :shake:

    Many senior officers, at retirement, pack up their leadership skills, technical knowlege, top security clearances and years of national security experience and move smoothly into the defense contracting world working for the biggest names in the business. They are proven leaders and have significant experience in managing large numbers of people, things and dollars, as well as Master's degrees and technical certifications. They often get head-hunted before they've even hung up the uniform.

    Some go right back into civil service in the same line of work.

    Some take those skills and pursue something entirely different. I had a friend who retired as a Navy commander, who, with her personnel and recruiting skills, could easily have transitioned to defense contracting or civil service. She chose to take her military educational benefits and go to vet school, specializing in large animals. She and her family moved back to her home state in Montana and is very happy pursuing an entirely different career. Another friend, with the kinds of clearances only a few people know the names and reasons for, could easily have earned huge dollars for a defense contractor. He didn't want to go back into buildings with no windows, was not sure what he was going to do, but happened to visit his college alma mater, dropped by the aluumni career placement center, and one thing led to another...he's now the director of that career placement center, and also very happy. Another co-worker, an engineer, always dreamed of working on amusement park rides. He is now a Disney Imagineer. Many friends have gone into non-profit, liking the idea of continuing to serve, as executives with the USO, Girl Scouts, Goodwill, large charities and other organizations.

    The cushion of having a military retirement income, coupled with some wise decisions about where to live and work, allows you to either continue to serve the nation in some way or pursue a new passion.

    I have found what constitutes my idea of a "good job" has changed over time. It's not just the money, it's the quality of life and the nature of the work. If the work feels good and the money is sufficient, and there is time for family and all things important to you, then it's a good job. IMHO.
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    "I have found what constitutes my idea of a "good job" has changed over time. It's not just the money, it's the quality of life and the nature of the work. If the work feels good and the money is sufficient, and there is time for family and all things important to you, then it's a good job. IMHO."

    The Captain nailed it PRECISELY with this last statement!!

    And I also found that to be the case.

    FYI...YES, once you reach higher grades...the headhunters (gov't types especially) start lining up and calling...sometimes it can be a bit...maddening.

    But then again...

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    More on gee, what can O-5's and O-6's do ...

    And oh yes, I neglected to mention there are many career military officers who have gone on to careers in politics. A certain SA grad, made the rank of Navy captain (O-6), was recently in the running for President...

    And then there are those who go into business for themselves and do quite well, sometimes as independent consultants or an entirely different line of business than what they did in uniform.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    One thing that I believe is KEY to have a successful 2nd career is to keep your eye on the ball during your 1st career. Too many officers forget that eventually your life in the military will end and are too busy living in the moment. There are not a lot of jobs out there for WSO's, tank drivers or submariners in the "real world". Those who recognize this end up with excellent jobs, those that don't are shocked on how hard it is to transition into corporate. We have had friends who stated all I want to do is fly, and when retirement came about they were left scrambling for a job. Bullet never did that, when he got to the 14 yr point he started to "work" his career desk job. 14 months out from retirement he was being contacted from previous commanders who went to the dark side (contractors). He started work on the 1st day after his retirement, we were even able to sell back leave. The others that did not do this had to live on their leave for months because they had no other job. He was also able to make the companies up their ante by thousands and bid on him, the others had to accept what was being offered if they wanted a job. Typically the latter had to settle for the adage "with your retirement pay and our salary you will be making the same". Bullet's retirement pay is all gravy.

    How did he do it? He got his masters, went to PME in residence, and took the dreaded "puzzle palace" job which gave him the exact requirements needed for his job. Contractors that are in the defense industry hire based on filling all of the squares. Those squares make very few people eligible for the position, thus it is supply and demand. If you are the "go to" person for a specific area then you will do great. If you spend your career just doing what makes you feel great for your desires and needs then you will have problems.

    This is true for any career in the military, specialize within it, because while you are in the military it will help for promotion, when you leave it will help with your "real world" career. If you go Intel, try to be the SW ASIA "go to", or maybe expand by going to foreign language school. Than the demand for you will be much higher than just the Intel guy who is general knowledge. If you are in tanks, be the one that has taken jobs that are weapon specific, because then the manufacturer wants you, and not the one that knows a little about all of them, but not enough about any of them.

    Take advantage of their masters programs and PME, try to do joint schools (very very competitive). Try to get to a major command. People will avoid the Pentagon like the plague if they could, but for Bullet's career it had the best long term reward. At the Pentagon, you are more visible by the higher ups than at any base. Which would you rather have on your OPR a DP from a Col or a DP from a 2 star?

    Plot your career, but be flexible...in other words, say I want to go to WIC, but don't say at yr 4 I will go there. Say I want to work in this shop, but get disappointed when they send you to another as chief of the smaller one. Keep adding onto what you have built like Legos. The design might not end up as what you thought in the beginning, but at least it is something instead of being a hodge podge of nothing.

    There's my diatribe from someone who has seen the difference in the officers that plan and those that don't.

    Happy Holidays
     
  13. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    Yeah I didn't mean to ask "can you make a lot of money," sorry if it sounded like that. I was just curious about leaving the military later on after a longer career. One of the reasons I am interested in the military is because it seems so much more rewarding than just going to work a job you hate for the paycheck.
     

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