Search & Employ® Magazine

May / June 2015

Welcome to the pages of RecruitMilitary’s Search & Employ®. One of the themes of this issue is Energy and Utilities – and recent developments in the oil and gas industry pro­vide a pretext for a discussion of job security and career planning.

During the past 12 months, the turbu­lence in oil and gas has demonstrated clearly that no indus­try is immune from disruptive change. There are still many good jobs for veterans in energy, but the current price of a barrel of oil has put pressure on the hiring and retention plans of some players.

Most people are attracted to the notion of job security. No one likes the idea of being at risk for layoff or downsizing. But what constitutes true security? Many believe that academic degrees or trade certifications will insulate them from the effects of change. Oth­ers are convinced that certain companies or industries are infallible choices.

But in my view, real career security comes from two factors – your social network and your personal abilities. You need to know a solid group of useful people well; and you need to be very good at making, selling, or counting things.

Perhaps it seems unfair, but you can count on no one but yourself for career and job security. This is why you constantly hear the refrain that you must be a lifelong learner and an active networker.

As with all professional development, it is not the volume of the activity that matters, but the quality. It is better to build a solid network of authentic friends and acquaintances, rather than a larger superficial assortment of cold LinkedIn leads.

Drilling down further, I have to point out that veterans – to generalize grossly – are not great networkers. Many are intuitively uncomfortable with what they see as self-promotion. This comes from a misunder­standing about the nature of networking. Like President John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ask not what your country can do for you . . .” speech, you should have a service mentality to your networking: If your goal is to help others, it will change your mindset and, paradoxically, help yourself more in the long run.

Regarding personal skills, think about the professional reading you did in the service. During my own service as a Marine, I was acutely aware that the commandant had issued a reading list, with totals appropriate for all ranks from private to general. You need to approach your own profession the same way. Even if your labor is more physical than knowledge-based, you have opportunities to learn new methods and techniques. There are no short cuts, but the rewards of advance­ment and security are worth the effort.

Best wishes,

Peter A. Gudmundsson

CEO and President, RecruitMilitary

peter@recruitmilitary.com

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What is Search & Employ®
Search & Employ® is a bimonthly print and digital magazine designed to help transitioning and veteran military and their spouses find outstanding civilian jobs, business opportunities, and continuing education programs.

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