While it is valuable to know what is trending, it is critical to contemplate what benefits your future and what empowers you to fulfill your personal potential. Assess viable options. The Federal Government offers opportunities in Contracting, Human Resources, Budget and IT. When I made my transition from my military career, I had to balance my internal and external needs. I highly recommend the same introspection for you:
Treat interviews as two way conversations.
All organizations have motives. Know what they are.
Know “I have the power to own my experiences and evaluate potential actions”.
Know “I have the power to make wise choices based on analysis”.
Balance your external mind with your internal mind
Balance purpose with acquisition.
Experiences have greater value than material things. Value is the goal.
Be honest with yourself and find the path that illuminates your purpose and drives you to a better life.
As I prepared for my transition from military service, I realized all success is built upon my failures because of the experiences in the journey. Today I appear successful, but that success is built on information gleaned through the things I didn’t get right. On a family trip to Michigan, I spoke to a friend, a Marine Officer transitioning after 20 years of service. He asked my percentage of job offers to interviews. He was clearly nervous about separating from the military. I told him that he needed to examine closely the word “transition” and what it meant to him personally. I told him to question others about successes. While it may appear on the surface that I am successful, I am a cultured product of the lessons I learned from my failures. My successes are flowers planted in soil of my failures.
I gained more from my experiences than experiences talked about by others. During my time in the Navy I had the opportunity to visit many countries and sample many cultures. The difference between Eastern and Western culture struck me as polar. The Western world is programmed to think externally and materialistic. The Eastern culture is purpose based and thinks internally. While either extreme can unbalance thoughts, I believe that the ultimate goal is to balance and find happiness inside. Happiness followed by attachment and unfulfilled desires leads to frustration and anger. Examine what makes you happy, what defines you. Work in a field that enhances that happiness and builds a better you.
Prior to beginning the Professional MBA Program at George Washington University, I gained valuable experience, awareness and cutting edge business practices as my career encompassed diverse organizations/brands. I had to understand my fit between three career types; Sole Contributor, Organizational Leadership and Project Management. As I looked at successes and failures, I began to understand who I really am. I am currently working toward an MBA with an emphasis in Finance, building on my background and continuing to grow as a Senior Leader within the Federal Government.
My background is mine. You must conduct your personal soul search, weighing your history, your internal standards, values and your honest feelings about opportunities. Make a plan based on your analysis to become all that you dream of. Going into the world without a plan is planning to fail. It is up to you to plan the garden, work the soil and plant your flowers in the soil of your own failures. The Federal Government was my answer. Do not settle for a job that does not fulfill your potential, but delve deep into your internal workings and weigh job descriptions. When you secure the interview, make it a two-way discussion, analyze the data to make an informed decision. Careers in Government just might be what builds a better you.