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Transition Talk

by Mike Arsenault, Vice President of Candidate Services

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Bradley-Morris answers questions from transitioning military job seekers.

Q: I will be transitioning out of the military in the next 18 months. Several people have suggested that I begin “networking” as a way to make connections. Can you provide me with some examples of great networking? It seems to be a catch all for connecting, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

A: Great question! Yes, while connecting is essential in your job search, either through social media like LinkedIn or personal friendships, “networking” takes those connections to a more personal level. Consider a network as a series of individuals who place a priority on the success of their connections. If one succeeds and grows his or her network, others benefit as well with new inroads into businesses and top decision-makers. Great networkers reach out to their base with offers of help and assistance. Industry-specific associations like Rotary Club or Kiwanis have been great resources for millions of professionals across the U.S.


Other exceptional military networking opportunities exist through volunteerism. Meeting people who connect with you on a personal level with like-minded intentions can be the beginning of powerful professional relationships.


There are three organizations that work to connect people with charities and events through online portals. The first is VolunteerMatch.org, which allows you to search by location and interest. Idealist.org has several different ways for individuals to get involved that are paid and volunteer, and HandsonNetwork.org provides opportunities as well as information about ways to maximize time and commitment.


Volunteering can also assist in adding to your resume as you expand your skills. The people you meet and the connections you make will help you grow your network beyond with people you might otherwise never meet.


Of course, it may be as simple as volunteering to be a coach on your child’s soccer team. That’s how one of our Bradley-Morris employees got introduced to the company - the other coach was one of our principal managers - and that employee just celebrated their 10-year anniversary with the firm!


So if you have children, don’t discount the military networking opportunities you can do through school- and youth-based organizations. Frequently, the coaches/leaders of those groups are go-getters, and showing you have what it takes to, for instance, help lead a scout troop weekend camping trip might also introduce you to a prospective employer.

Mike Arsenault is Vice President of Candidate Services at military placement firm Bradley-Morris, Inc. He can be reached at (800) 330-4950 ext. 2105 or by email at marsenault (at) bradley-morris.com.

Return to September/October 2015 Issue