MSEJ November 2018 - Page 15

ELD: What were the driving factors in your move from active duty to the Navy Reserve and work in the private sector? Are those factors the same that you see for today’s veterans?

DG: I left active duty one month prior to 9/11. After the attacks, my duty was clear; I joined the Navy Reserve and am still going strong 17 years later. I dedicate my service to two friends who were murdered in the Pentagon on 9/11. I think many folks joined the military for similar reasons—to protect and serve our country at a time of great national need. While there are many great reasons join the military, I think a desire to serve others is the most important and says a great deal about a person’s commitment and character.

ELD: What do you wish you had known about this stage of your life or transitioning out of active duty before you made the leap?

DG: When it comes to transition, there’s perhaps nothing more critical than investing time in research and really hard thinking about what you want to do. More specifically, you need to answer at least two of these three questions, or you’re not ready to look for employment:

1. Where do you want to live?

2. What industry do you want to be a part of?

3. What function do you want to fill?

When it comes to answering these questions, I don’t mean, “what sounds interesting.” Rather, you need to dig deep and understand what a day, a week, a year in the life as a marketer in the consumer-packaged goods industry is really like. Get beyond the image of these situations, or what you imagine they might be like, and really understand the implications. Do informational interviews with vets in these roles, get a tour, do temp work—whatever it takes to get a deep sense of what it means to work in these capacities. If you don’t do your research and can’t answer these questions, there’s no way to know if a job will be the right fit for you.

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"Invest time in research and really hard thinking about what you want to do ... Get beyond the image of these situations, or what you imagine they might be like, and really understand the implications."