MSEJ August 2018 - Page 6| HOT JOBS 6

4. Good leaders know that appearances matter. I would never leave my cellphone on during formation. I knew even one call would set a poor example—and earn me a stern lecture from my boss. In an interview, set your phone on silent and put it away. Show your interviewer that they matter, that they are your sole focus. If you can’t focus on them, how can they believe you’ll focus on their company?

5. Good leaders know when it’s time to limit the personal and stay professional. When I was in uniform, I knew there was a time for jokes and a time to be 100% professional. A job interview begins the moment you walk in the door and can include a meal or drinks. Remember, these people aren’t your colleagues or your friends; you don’t know what they’ll find funny vs. what they’ll find offensive. You’re there to get a job, and the best way to do that is to keep focused on the mission at hand, and be the best version of yourself.

6. Good leaders can deliver the details. If you recall your days of death by PowerPoint, you should remember one thing: the military likes specifics. Guess what? Your interviewers do too. They can’t know what a great platoon leader you were and how you made your team more efficient if you don’t tell them. They won’t know that you were promoted and given more responsibility based on your leadership if you hold that information back. Skip the vague answers and remember to give examples—you have to make them visualize the person you were and the person you will be in your new job.

When you leave the military, it can be easy to question whether or not you’re still a leader. However, you have to remember, the world is full of leadership opportunities. You can lead with your family, with your new job, with your community. You have a chance to build new leadership skills, to learn from new teams. Those lessons are going to help you as you work your way up the career ladder.

In this way, the civilian world isn’t so different from the military. It’s not just about being a good leader today; you’ve got to work toward being an even better leader tomorrow. Fortunately, you’ve got the training and the experience to keep that mission in mind.

Adam Cole is a Marine Corps Veteran of 18 years. He holds a BA in History from UNC Wilmington. He aspires to become a novelist and is a current member of the CASY Writing Internship.