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What is the "right level" of occupation for a junior grade officer moving into the corporate world?


Mark Morris Holly Ridge, NC

I'm attempting to balance not having any industry experience, but also having plenty of real world leadership experiences that my peers typically wouldn't have just yet as a young professional. I don't neccessarily want to enter into a industry at a strict entry level position, but also understand that just might be neccessary for my own professional development.

I'm really open to any thoughts and ideas on this.

8 September 2020 5 replies Military to Civilian Transition



David Andersen Alexandria, VA

Omar, John, and Francis have provided you some great insight into how to approach your upcoming opportunities. I will say though, with the correct approach, you can have many options in front of you. Your degree serves as a great base, and as an 0802 there are many things that you can bring forward into your resume that highlight your organizational and supply chain skills. Feel free to reach out to me and we can put together a plan.

11 September 2020 Helpful answer



My two cents: Don't expect to enter the corporate world leading a Platoon. Seems to me if you exhibit that kind of attitude, your chances of being hired are adversely affected. Better to say you are a "trained Marine, who knows how to work; knows how to finish the tasks assigned, and knows how to take responsibility". Say, "I am looking for a fine company, with a sterling future, and advancement possibilities, where I can start in a junior position and prove my work ethic and my solid contributions. I suggest looking at positions starting in Purchasing/Procurement and working your way up. Don't geographically limit your job search. Contact companies like USAA which are vet friendly.

Good luck.

9 September 2020 Helpful answer


Ed Jasper Pittsboro, NC

This is a good question and one that many people struggle with!
When I coach people I tend to encourage them to find the right company with the right culture and opportunity for growth instead of the "perfect job" or one that they think is at the right level.

In every business, your leadership experience will standout, but you will need to learn the basics about the business or industry and that may mean taking a position as an individual contributor like Omar suggested instead of a position where you are supervising people right right away.

I believe if you pick the right company/opportunity and with the right attitude and drive, those next promotional opportunities will open up and you will have then have the required experience to take on those roles.

Hope this helped provide some additional insight.

9 September 2020 Helpful answer


Omar Sultan Elk Grove, CA

Without industry expertise, you should probably still expect to join the corporate world as an individual contributor, albeit one with a lot of potential. If you are successful at translating your military experience into demonstrably better performance in your new job, your prior leadership experience should give you an advantage when it comes time from advancement.

8 September 2020 Helpful answer


Matt Johnson Chicago, IL

You're on the right track in that you can build off relevant skills to get a job well ahead of entry level. Where you land is intensely dependent on how you pitch your skills, the company's life cycle (startup vs. established enterprise), and their familiarity with hiring veterans. Before getting to choosing individual companies you're interested in pursuing, it may be helpful to get high level career primers by industry.

I personally found that downloading the free primers from to helpful in my own discernment process. Even if you decide not to pursue graduate degree in business, the primers are super helpful in determining benefits, pain points, hierarchy, salary expectations, and major players in the space.

18 months before your transition, attend TRS (say it's precautionary in case you don't get Career Designation even though 95% of officers get it if you're worried about being blackballed by more rigid commands). Also start looking into the Hire Our Heroes Congressional Fellowship - it's a 12 week program with blue chip companies like Amazon, Boeing, USAA, Salesforce, or Booz Allen Hamilton. Attending one of these programs will often be looked on favorably by schools and future employers - you may even secure an offer in the process. Internships and fellowships are great ways to gain exposure when trying to break into a new industry.

Another useful tool is this list of great veteran resources which including Shift (more fellowships) or FourBlock (helps with networking and self-awareness with some live online events):

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