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Beyond the Uniform

Beyond the Uniform is a show to help military veterans navigate their civilian career. Each week, I meet with different veterans to learn more about their civilian career, how they got there, and what advice they'd give to other military personnel.
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Now displaying: March, 2017
Mar 29, 2017

“Not every conversation that you have should up with a hiring "yes or no" decision at the end of it. You've got to spend some time going out there and finding what's out there. The right job is out there for everybody. It's a matter of us finding it."
– Dan Piontkowski

Dan is the Manager of Sourcing for all the hourly roles at Marriott in the US. He has worked in a variety of recruiting capacities at Amazon, KPMG, Hewlett-Packard, and Booz Allen Hamilton to include leading and launching many of the veteran recruiting pipelines and initiatives. Dan started out as a Corporal in the Marine Corps, before going to the Naval Academy and then serving as a Surface Warfare Officer. His last tour in the Navy was as an Officer Programs Recruiter stationed at Penn State that got him hooked on recruiting.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Job Search - Dan has worked with some of the best companies in the world, and has some great advice on common pitfalls veterans can avoid in their job search and interview process
  2. LinkedIn Advice - Dan leverages LinkedIn quite a bit in his job, and has some tactical advice for how veterans can best utilize LinkedIn in advancing their civilian career
  3. Recruiting - for veterans interested in Recruiting as a possible career, Dan provides an overview of what this job looks like. He also talks about how his involvement in recruiting within the military helped prepare him for and inform his decision to pursue this as a civilian. 

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 2:07 - Dan's background
  • 2:44 - Dan's decision to leave the military and how he approached this decision
  • 3:48 - Dan's first job search and what he learned from this
  • 8:20 - Based on Dan's experience and having worked with many different veterans, some common mistakes he sees veterans make in their job search
  • 20:35 - What Dan does as a recruiter, and what his job looks like on a typical day
  • 26:40 - Advice for how veterans can best utilize LinkedIn
  • 31:14 - Other resources Dan would recommend for veterans
  • 34:27 - One piece of advice Dan would give to someone on Active Duty on how to prepare for their career transition
  • 38:43 - Final words of wisdom
Mar 22, 2017

“That self-discipline and drive, the foresight and focus on accomplishing a goal larger than yourself and more important than quenching your thirst (literally and figuratively) is what drove me to succeed in boxing and what drives me now to succeed in sales and other positions I may have in the future."
– Mike Benedesso

Mike works in New Business Development at Google as part of Google Cloud. He started out at West Point, where he was the Boxing Team Captain and a National Champion. He served in the Army for five years: first as an Executive Officer (XO) of a Military Intelligence Company and then as a Platoon Leader and Team Captain of the Army Boxing Team in the Army's World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colorado. There, he trained to earn a spot on the 2012 US Olympic Boxing team. Since leaving the Army in 2012, he has worked at Sony, LinkedIn, Google, and earned his MBA from UCLA.The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Determination - Mike didn't get into Google until his third time;  he is a case study in persistence and he talks about how boxing and the military prepared him for this.
  2. Sales & Account Management - Mike provides a great depiction of an Account Executive role, what the sales aspects of this actually look like. Mike had no experience in this role, and has a great description of what life is like and why other veterans may like this
  3. Google & LinkedIn - Mike has worked at both of these iconic companies and provides a good overview of what life is like here

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 2:16 - Mike's Background
  • 3:00 - How Boxing helped Mike prepare for his civilian career
  • 5:38 - When Mike decided to leave the military
  • 7:00 - Mike's first job search
  • 9:20 - An overview of Mike's experience at UCLA's Anderson School of Business getting his MBA
  • 10:40 - What lead Mike to LinkedIn
  • 13:38 - What Mike's role as an Enterprise Account Executive Role looked like
  • 15:40 - Signs that veterans may enjoy an Account Executive Role and indications you might not enjoy it
  • 18:34 - What led Mike to Google
  • 20:22 - What Mike's day-to-day life looks like at Google
  • 22:00 - Advice for veterans seeking to work at LinkedIn, Google, or a highly-desired company like them
  • 27:00 - A mistake Mike made sense the military and what he learned from it
  • 29:29 - What habits Mike has had to break from the military to be successful in his civilian career
  • 31:49 - Final words of wisdom
Mar 15, 2017

“They have no issue negotiating a Syrian and a Kurd ceasefire in the mountains, unarmed with warlords. But if you tell them - what's next for you? They don't know how to do that. Because they've been very frontside focused on the mission in front of them for the last 5, 10, 15, 20+ years. So from that moment it all began for The Honor Foundation."
– Joe Musselman

Joe Musselman is the Founder & CEO of The Honor Foundation. He started out at DePaul University. Joe enlisted in the Navy with intentions of becoming a Navy SEAL, but as he says, “God had other plans.” He sustained an injury that ultimately lead him to found The Honor Foundation. He is also the Founder of The NEXT Series and The SOF Garage.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Founding - how he did a simple step to help one veteran, and how that led incrementally to founding an incredible organization. Joe's story is one of obsession - of taking massive action to make a difference in the world.
  2. How to find your dream job - Joe talks about a very prescriptive process that has helped countless members of speical forces though the transition process
  3. Learning - this is a theme of Joe's story - reading everything he can each year, studying happines (in the workplace and in life), studying unhappiness, artificul intelligence, and writing a white paper at the end of the year about he's learned.

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 3:21 - Joe's background
  • 3:55 - Joe's unexpected departure from the Navy and how he started The Honor Foundation
  • 15:43 - One of Joe's biggest mistakes in starting The Honor Foundation
  • 18:20 - What it looks like to be involved with The Honor Foundation as a participant
  • 21:30 - Joe's advice for other veterans thinking of starting their own organization
  • 24:45 - Common mistakes that Joe has seen veterans make in their career transition
  • 29:55 - What Joe's day-to-day life looks like
  • 34:30 - How Joe has used interactions with world-class thinkers, leaders and doers to catapult his own learning and The Honor Foundation's growth
  • 36:48 - Joe's involvement with the NEXT Series and the SOF Garage
  • 41:05 - Books, podcasts, and resources Joe would recommend to listeners
  • 46:34 - Things that Joe had to unlearn (and has seen other veterans have to unlearn) from their military experience
  • 50:40 - Final words of wisdom
Mar 8, 2017

“I’m so passionate about entrepreneurship, I think everyone should have their own business on the side. If you’re a career person and you like your day job, I would still encourage you to start a business on the side. It’s really liberating, you learn a lot about customers and about marketing and I think the same rule applies to those who are still in the military."
– Drew Sanocki

Drew is a Founding Partner at Empire Growth Group, a hybrid consulting agency, services provider, and investment vehicle. He started out Harvard, after which he served in the Navy as an intelligence Officer for four years. After his transition from the Navy, Drew attended Stanford Business School. After a role at Commerce.TV in Business Development, Drew co-founded Design Public, an 'inventoryless' ecommerce company focused on the home furnishings market, which Drew bootstrapped from $0 to 7 figures in under one year, eventually selling the company after eight profitable years. Drew also runs the site NerdMarketing.com, where he writes about marketing automation and customer segmentation rules that have driven over $100 million in transactions in 2015.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

  1. Everyone is an entrepreneur - Drew's advice for veterans is very practical and tactical. He talks about how he got an MBA and took his first job to boost his confidence, but neither of these are necessary for a veteran to start their own company
  2. Lifestyle - Drew has an awesome perspective on lifestyle (and a blog post about it here). He also talks about how e-commerce is great for vets, as they can start these companies without a technical co-founder. He talks about looking at the skill set you have that people would pay for, and how to productize as much as possible
  3. Functional SkillDrew has really grown his expertise in eCommerce of over a decade. He's a great example of one potential route for veterans, and it echoes what Steve Reinemund advised about a Hip Pocket Skill for veterans

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

  • Another great interviews that talk about starting a company while on active duty: http://beyondtheuniform.io/btu-20-ian-folau-tactical-advice-for-starting-a-company-even-while-on-active-duty/
  • Drew wrote an EXCEPTIONAL blog post that I speak about in the interview. You can read it here: http://www.nerdmarketing.com/lifestyle-goals-2017/
  • Drew’s site: http://www.nerdmarketing.com
  • Drew recommends Ramitz Seffy - http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/ . It’s really solid training that spans from getting started to make $1k on the side all the way to building, sourcing, and delivering your own product online

Show Notes

  • 3:55 - Drew’s background
  • 4:55 - The point at which Drew knew he was going to leave the military and how he approached this decision
  • 5:33 - How a lack of confidence lead Drew to graduate school, and advice he has for other vets about how to consider graduate school
  • 7:18 - Advice for steps veterans may take while on active duty to better identify their next move
  • 9:40 - Drew’s experience at CommerceTV in Business Development and Drew’s thoughts on gaining experience prior to starting one’s own company
  • 12:40 - The Genesis of Drew’s company, Design Public
  • 15:09 - One of the most difficult points of growing Design Public
  • 19:33 - “I don’t want to be a billion dollar company, here’s what I want instead” - an exceptional article Drew wrote, and how his thoughts on running his own company has evolved over the years
  • 23:30 - Advice for veterans of thinking of starting their own company
  • 25:58 - Resources that Drew would recommend to aspiring veteran entrepreneurs
  • 28:46 - What lead Drew to start NerdMarketing and what his life looks like on a day-to-day basis
  • 32:20 - Drew’s other venture, the Empire Growth Group
  • 33:30 - How Drew determines how and where to spend his time while he is working on multiple projects simultaneously
  • 36:16 - How Drew has built up Career Capital around e-commerce marketing, and his advice to veterans on doing the same
  • 41:36 - Drew’s final words of wisdom
Mar 1, 2017

 

“Master something and suddenly you’re going to start noticing very compelling opportunities. Start from scratch, and it’s like you’re at the kiddie table - you’re not really going to come up with something the world cares about."
– Cal Newport

Cal Newport is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, who specializes in the theory of distributed algorithms. He previously earned his Ph.D. from MIT in 2009 and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2004. In addition to studying the theoretical foundations of our digital age as a professor, Cal also writes about the impact of these technologies on the world of work.He is the author of the recent book Deep Work, which I am reading next. The book we’ll discuss mostly today, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, argues that “follow your passion” is bad advice. Inc Magazine listed it as one of the best business books of the year, and Cal’s related Oped in the NYT was one of their most emailed articles for the entire site.

This is one of the MOST influential books I read in 2016, and I feel it is a message that every veteran should hear.s

Our Sponsor:

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links

Show Notes

  • 2:20 - backstory on this interview and a brief background on Cal Newport
  • 4:08 - the context around which Cal wrote So Good They Can’t Ignore You
  • 5:38 - the central premise of So Good They Can’t Ignore Your - follow your passion is not just bad advice, it is potentially harmful advice
  • 8:15 - how we often focus on “the match” of finding the right job places more pressure on one in their job search
  • 12:30 - the Craftsman Mindset and how this is a more compelling approach than a Passion Mindset
  • 17:55 - Career Capital and how veterans can think about their initial transition from the military, and every career transition thereafter
  • 32:00 - Finding a Mission, and how operating at the cutting edge makes this more achievable
  • 35:35 - Deliberate Practice vs. Hard Work, and how the former is essential for developing expertise
  • 43:44 - Control, and how if it is acquired without career capital it will not be sustainable in a career
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