Problem solving and project management are closely related, but they are not exactly the same. Personally, I differentiate them this way: Problem: I am getting one result when I am expecting or need a different one. Project: I like quality guru, J.M. Juran's, definition “a problem that has been scheduled for a solution.” This podcast is not about how to solve problems or manage projects but rather how to answer questions about them in an interview and how to differentiate. We would have to write a book if this post or podcast was about the topics themselves and there are plenty of other great books out there on each topic. I often hear from JMOs transitioning asking for help in differentiating questions about the two subjects. Once you listen to this podcast, you will have clarity on how to answer each question and even be able to modify answers that you have already created to them. I explain why recruiters ask about your ability, experience or methods in solving problems and managing projects. I also share what steps in each of these are similar and where they diverge. You will learn to address what's most important in your answer so you can keep you answer to about 3 minutes. With such big and important subjects, you could talk for hours on each one, or at least 15 minutes, and you certainly do not want to do that. In addition to this podcast, my colleague Rob Davis wrote an excellent blog post "Describing Projects and Problems" in September of 2019. You can also read more about it in PCS to Corporate America, 4th Ed. pages 156-159. I enjoy simplifying the interview process and hope this reduces stress and accelerates your preparation. Please remember, my tips are my words and guidance. Recruiters do not want to hire me, they want to hire you. So, be you, use the guidance but make it your own. Find your own interview voice. To learn more about turning your JMO leadership skills into a successful transition and business success with Cameron-Brooks, visit our website and check out PCS to Corporate America. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Joel Junker
More episodes from "Cameron-Brooks"
Episode 136 – My Spouse Is Thinking About Making a Transition … Now What?
37:39Today on the Cameron-Brooks podcast, we're tackling a NEW topic that can be half of the equation when officers consider making a transition. SIGNIFICANT OTHERS. We're always believed that significant others make a SIGNIFICANT difference in the transition decision and process. And, at Cameron-Brooks, we like to ENCOURAGE involvement from significant others from the very beginning. It's a large life decision and requires a lot of thought, reflection and research. As we discuss the role of spouses and significant others in the transition decision, we thought "what better way to share tips and tricks than by hearing from the spouses of our own alumni?!" So I want to introduce you to my colleagues and new Cameron-Brooks teammates: Julie and Val! Julie and Val both had their spouses come through the Cameron-Brooks program, so they have first-hand experience in the transition experience as a spouse. We wanted this particular episode to cover the idea of, "... my significant other is thinking about making a transition ... NOW WHAT?" So, the FIRST thing we wanted to share were THREE QUESTIONS to help you get your bearings on your personal and professional goals as a family. 1. What's your WHY for getting out. We ask officers this question a lot, but it's important to discuss your WHY as a family. You want to be aligned! 2. What are your options? What do you want to do, hopes/dreams, what's even viable... 3. What resources are available to you? Val walks us through these questions and dives into even more detail on things you'll want to discuss as partners considering a transition. We also talk through the process of what working with a military officer recruiting firm looks like if your significant other decides to utilize a firm, and we note different areas for significant others to get involved. Our hope for this episode was to be a resource for military officers and their significant others as they consider a military transition. To stay connected, we encourage you to check out our website, YouTube Channel, follow us on LinkedIn.
Episode 135 – Avoid This ONE THING When Making a Transition
48:53We speak with thousands of military officers every year about making a transition, and we've picked up on a couple of patterns. Our ultimate goal at Cameron-Brooks is to help ensure the long-term success of our candidates and our client companies. We've found that military officers who really set themselves up for success avoid this one thing when making their transition. The career do-over. Establishing a solid BASE of business experience the 3-5 years after making a transition is critical to building out your career progression. You wouldn't bake a wedding cake and stack the smallest layer on the bottom. The bottom layer is the largest to ensure its stability. Approach your career strategy with the same idea! Our candidates are searching for the long-term opportunities that will present both a good challenge and a reward. So, how do you avoid a career do-over? We've published a document that discusses exactly which mistakes to avoid and how to avoid them. You can download the document, here. We also tackle this subject in today's podcast. We hope that chatting through these 5 most common mistakes will help you as you consider making a transition and eventually if you decide to "push the button." The episode highlights include ... How to avoid kicking the can down the road ... especially when your OPTEMPO is crazy busy. How to avoid confusing the importance of extrinsic vs. intrinsic factors in career satisfaction. Making sure you get connected with companies who understand (and value!) your military experience and skillset. How to best prepare for the transition. Why it's important to know about the HR filtering process. We hope you find a few nuggets of helpful transition knowledge when thinking about the future. And, if you find this episode helpful, we would encourage you to share this episode with a friend who might be "kicking the can down the road" because they don't know where to start. To stay connected, we encourage you to check out our website, YouTube Channel, follow us on LinkedIn.
Episode 134 – One Thing Business Leaders All Have in Common…
25:55What do business leaders have in common? They read. For the first 20 years of my life, I was not a reader. I paid the price. My verbal, reading and writing standardized test scores were average. This was an indicator that I was missing out on a whole world of development and education out there. Not until my spring break as a sophomore in college did I start reading. I picked up a novel by John Grisham called, The Firm. Not exactly a professional development book, but it kick-started my love of reading and took off from there. Now, I have insatiable appetite for all kinds of books. If you want to be a leader, you need to be a reader (read this article by Forbes for additional reading). Why? The business world and leadership is dynamic. One way to not only keep up but to stay ahead is to connect with experts. Most of us cannot schedule a meeting with a leadership expert like Jim Collins because we don't have the network to get in with him; we can't interact with a manufacturing and process improvement expert like Taichi Ohno because he passed away in 1990; or the founder of the JMO to business transition, Roger Cameron, because he is retired and on the golf course. Yet, we can learn from their expertise by reading books and articles they have written. Additionally, reading is like food. Even though you ate a meal last week, it won't sustain you today. Even though you read several leadership books last year, how much do you really remember? You need to keep reading to stay sharp! Finally, if you are making a transition from the military to business, reading is critical for several reasons. My colleague, Pete Van Epps, highlights them in this blog post. They include preparing to interview and explaining how your background relates to companies. You want to be able to connect your military experiences to business terms so they understand what you have done. Additionally, you want to ensure a smooth transition and hit the ground running. You want to learn as much as you possibly can before you start your new job. Some of the books I recommend in the podcast include: PCS to Corporate America 4th Ed. by Cameron, Alvarez and Junker Mindset by Carol Dweck The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl I would share more of my favorite books, but these are 4 at the top of my list. Enjoy! Joel
Episode 133 – Career Management? Do What You Are Good At!
41:28When I ask officers in the military what they are looking to do when they get out of the military, I often hear something like, "I want to do something I am passionate about." When I follow up with a question, "Like what?" I typically don't hear a clear and specific answer. I think I know why. When a leader really examines what they are passionate about it's NOT a hobby like golf or surfing. It IS typically LEADERSHIP. I speak to former military officers all the time and the thing that I hear over and over again is they are passionate about leading teams, solving problems, leading projects, thinking critically and making a difference. Whether that is a medical company, a consumer packaged goods company or another company. That is exactly what the guest of this episode, Stevie Solano, said. Stevie is a former Air Force Aircraft Maintenance officer who transitioned in early 2018 and went to work at USAA in a business analyst role. In this episode we talk for a moment about her Air Force career, her experience partnering with Cameron-Brooks and her career management since her transition. We also talk about the Career Conference she attended and why she ultimately chose USAA over all of the other offers she received. The conversation ultimately landed on the topic of how she managed her career into the role she is doing now as a Senior Strategy Analyst. This is similar to the role she started in, but describes how she used her skills and experience to navigate to a role where she can really capitalize on her ability to build relationships, think creatively and come up with solutions that make her company better! I think you'll really appreciate this episode because Stevie gives further perspective on her role as a business analyst and insight into that career field broadly and the things she did to find early success in the role and the company. To learn more about how Cameron-Brooks can help you prepare to interview, contact us at (210) 874-1500. Best, Pete To stay connected, we encourage you to check out our website, YouTube Channel, follow us on LinkedIn.
Episode 132 – Post-August 2021 Career Conference Review
1:12:02Welcome back for a special episode! Rob Davis, Transition Coach, interviewed 5 recent alumni of the August 2021 Career Conference for our post-August 2021 Conference review webcast. At the time of the interview, all alumni guests had already accepted an offer for employment. We really enjoy doing this type of episode because it gives those who are planning to attend a future Career Conference (or those who are curious about the details of the conference) a "peek over the fence" to how exactly everything went down. In this episode, Rob spends a few minutes sharing the "statistics of the Conference" - average number of interviews, pursuit rate, the companies who attended and the positions offered (see much more about this here). He also shares the interview schedule of a candidate from the Conference. Hearing the breadth of companies that just one officer interviewed with is very interesting. The variety of interviews coupled with the fact that no two officers had an identical schedule highlights that the career conference is personally tailored to fit the officer's needs and wants. The alumni that Rob interviewed were from both the USMC and Army and different branches including Infantry, Signal, Intelligence, Aviation and Air Defense Artillery. He engaged them in the following lines of questions: Your reason for partnering with Cameron-Brooks. The biggest surprise from the Conference The most beneficial thing you did to prepare for the interview. Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? How did you grow professionally through this process? Then, the panel fielded questions from the live audience on topics such as: What caught you off guard? What is the follow up interview process like including "dinner interviews?" Salary-based questions What about remote work? Location preference The transition timeline Virtual vs. in-person interviews How did you prepare? What are you most excited about? These episodes are so insightful because you get to hear perspectives from officers who just wrapped up their career search days before this webcast/podcast. I hope that their perspective gives more insight in your future transition. To stay connected, I encourage you to also check out our website, YouTube Channel , follow us on LinkedIn. As always, if I can be a resource you can contact me directly. Best, Pete (210) 874-1519 // [email protected]
Episode 131 – Leadership Lessons from the C-Suite
51:26Twenty years ago, Matt Beliveau transition from an Army Officer to a Human Resource Specialist at General Mills. Today, he is the Chief Human Resources Officer of Sarah Lee Frozen Bakery. To thank all of those who helped him along the way, Matt wrote the following post on LinkedIn. It is definitely worth 3 minutes of your time to read. After reading his post, I reached out and invited Matt to be a guest on the podcast and share his leadership lessons. It was clear Matt knew that the transition from the military is more complex than just finding a "job" in the right location and having a paycheck. Additionally, to make it to the C-Suite level, he managed his career well, finding mentors and sponsors while taking a proactive approach. In the podcast, Matt describes the complexity of the JMO to business leader transition that includes changing identity from military officer to civilian, learning a whole new functional role and finally a new company culture. Being a CHRO, Matt has great perspective on work and sees a future that includes more work-life balance and a hybrid work environment, especially for those who work in office environments. Matt also talks about how his military leadership allowed him to lead through the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020 and 2021. He likened it to being on deployment where success depended on being agile, caring about people and following through on commitments. All things top performing JMOs do well. Finally, Matt share some great leadership lessons. Some of the best I have heard on the podcast. If you want to hear them, you just need to listen to the podcast! Joel
Episode 130 – Economy Update from Chuck Alvarez
28:01Welcome back to the Cameron-Brooks podcast! I am excited to bring this particular episode to you, because we have the pleasure of bringing back Chuck Alvarez, Cameron-Brooks CEO. Chuck has been with Cameron-Brooks for over 25 years, the last 9 of which has been at the head of the organization. He has personally helped over 2,500 JMOs move from the military to Corporate America, so he brings a wealth of insight and perspective to the conversation. Back on January 4, 2021 our Senior Vice President, Joel Junker, interviewed Chuck - his first appearance on the Cameron-Brooks podcast. In that episode (114), Chuck looked back at the year that was 2020 (and the massive ups and downs that occurred) and looked forward to 2021. He took time to fully describe the word "transition" as it relates to the JMO and how valuable comparing multiple opportunities in an interview process can be to finding the right career. That episode spawned two more episodes on each of those topics - Episode 116: Defining the JMO Transition and Episode 118: The Power of Comparison. We have affectionately coined those three podcasts "The Trilogy" as they have helped so many people consider how to navigate a successful transition. If you haven't heard those yet, I'd encourage you to give those a listen, as well. Here we are in August 2021 and we wanted to hear from Chuck about what he's seeing in the market and his thoughts on the state of the economy. He spends much of his time exploring the opportunities that companies bring to Cameron-Brooks and so he is getting a daily, first-hand account of what is happening in the economy. "Is now the right time?" That is a question that I get from JMOs who are considering making the move to Corporate America. In this episode Chuck takes that question head on. If you are on the fence about staying in or getting out, this episode is for you. I think you'll find Chuck's advice timely, insightful and ultimately helpful in making a decision (regardless of the direction you ultimately take.) If you are interested in exploring your options with Cameron-Brooks and curious about how to make a successful transition, I encourage you to check out our website and YouTube Channel and follow us on LinkedIn.
Episode 129 – Feel Like You’re in A Professional Plateau? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions.
16:53Stuck in a rut? Feel like you are on a professional plateau and not sure where you are going? Wonder if you are "traveling" on the right personal or professional path? Do you have clarity on your goals? If you have or are asking yourself these questions, good. That means you are human and you want grow and develop. I mean, if you didn't have these questions, you would probably be okay with the rut and plateau. I am an overachieve and never satisfied with the status quo. There are pros and cons to this mindset, but for now, I will stick to the pros. I ask myself these questions all the time and I recently found a model to help me answer them. I wrote about this model during my recent Career Tip "3 Simple Questions to Spur Personal and Professional Growth". Getting clarity on your goals, finding the right path to get there and identifying what must be done to accomplish your goals starts with asking yourself a question, "What does success look like for me?" This is a general question of course. You need to specify it to whatever area you want to work on. For example, for me, "What do role do I want to have at Cameron-Brooks in 5 years?" Or, "What do I want my relationship with my children to be like when they are grown and out of the of house in 5 years?" I asked myself those questions, and then I did an exercise called Preferred Futuring where I wrote in my journal my vision for each of those areas. You can do this exercise for any domain of your personal or professional life. Now that you have clarity on what you want, you need to take stock on where you are and what you need to do to get there. I recommend asking yourself, "Where am I now?" Then, "What do I need to start doing and/or stop going to get to where I want to go?" There are more questions I recommend during the podcast, but those are the main one to ask if you feel like you're in a professional plateau. I also reference a couple of sources in the podcast that I want to give credit to: Chris Perry at Market Sense, Inc. Sandler Training, Michael Bungay Stanier (aka MBS) author of The Coaching Habit and The Advice Trap, and Caroline Webb author of How to Have a Good Day. Joel
Episode 128 – So You’re Thinking About Making a Transition. Now What?
42:47So, you're thinking about making a transition. But where do you start? Which strategies should you focus on first? We live in the information age. Every generation after us will have more information and faster access than ever before. Which also means the amount of information out there can be overwhelming. Imagine walking into the Library of Congress. You have over 170 million items to choose from, if you so please. Now imagine there was no librarian or digital categorization or even a card catalog. You'd have to search 170 million different items to find what you wanted. Yikes. I imagine this is how it feels for military officers who are thinking about making a transition and don't quite know where to start. Often I hear, "researching new industries/career fields/job listings is confusing and, honestly, overwhelming" from officers. We'd suggest embracing these four mindsets to help you get started and, ultimately, succeed in reaching your goals. MINDSET #1: Be curious. Ask questions. If you were lost a needed directions, you'd be one question away from being pointed in the correct route. The same goes for researching transition options. Talking to people who are familiar with the process + have facilitated multiple transitions would be a wealth of knowledge for you. At Cameron-Brooks, we have a great team who would be happy to talk through different options with you. MINDSET #2: Define what "transition" means to you. Sit down and ask yourself these three questions. After you reflect on what making a successful transition (short-term & long-term) looks like for you, it'll help steer you in the right direction. MINDSET #3: Avoid career false starts. "My buddies got out and snagged the first thing they came across ... hoping it would work or just find a better fit down the line." I've heard this a lot, too. What if I told you that you could love the first job you had after the military? We've found that one of the most productive ways to find a career you love is to interview for a broad range of opportunities. Our candidates typically average ~12 interviews at a conference, across a variety of industries and career fields. Comparing these options side-by-side does wonders! And who doesn't love options? MINDSET #4: Find a sherpa. Once you figure out which direction you want to take your career, find someone who can lead you through it. There are people who have walked the trail before you (and some many, many times). Utilize these "sherpas"! We hope you enjoy the podcast episode as we break each one of these down. If you'd like to download our (free) PDF on the 4 Mindsets, click HERE. If you are interested in exploring your options with Cameron-Brooks and curious about how to make a successful transition, I encourage you to check out our website, YouTube Channel, follow us on LinkedIn
Episode 127 – Is The Economy Back?
53:09So, here we are - July 2021. Is the economy back? Well, there are probably way too many factors at play to truly allow that to be a binary YES or NO, BUT at the Cameron-Brooks June 2021 Career Conference, the average number of interviews per JMO was 13. You read that right. The average number of interviews that officers had was 13 interviews with industry-leading companies who attended the Conference with actual open positions that they plan to fill with non-traditional leadership talent (aka JMOs). One of the hardest things JMOs have to do once they make a decision to leave active duty military is navigating the treacherous waters of the application and interview process. In this episode, we hear from 4 Cameron-Brooks alumni who attended that Conference and successfully navigated those waters. The intention of this episode is to give you a "peek behind the curtain" in terms of WHAT they saw, HOW they made decisions, and WHY they chose or did certain things. I guide the conversation and we hit on a few key topics like: The biggest surprise at the Conference? What did you do really well before the Conference that helped you at the Conference? If you could change one thing about what you were thinking before the Conference, what would that be? What do you wish you would have done differently knowing what you know now? What is the biggest thing you learned at the Conference? The Conference can be transformational in some ways - how did you grow or get better in such a short amount of time? Favorite interview and why? Give this podcast a listen and answer this question for yourself "Is the economy back?" What do you think? Featured alumni: Rachel Wolfe: Army Engineer Captain. USMA, BS Geospatial Information Science Jon Saddler: Air Force Space Operations Captain. University of Delaware, BS Chemistry. Steve Burke: USMC Logistics Captain. USNA, BS Systems Engineering. Cliff Crofford: Army Aviation Captain. USMA, BS Mechanical Engineering. If you are interested in exploring your options with Cameron-Brooks and curious about how to make a successful transition, I encourage you to also check out our website, YouTube Channel , follow us on LinkedIn and can listen to our podcast here.