The Value of Networking

Hello, my name is Tony Grayson, and welcome to another edition of Transition Tips. Today I wanted to talk about the value of networking and the value of talking to people in the industry you’re most interested in. This is so important because when you apply for that job, you need to put yourself in the mindset of that recruiting manager or hiring manager that’s looking at your resume or looking at your LinkedIn profile and asking the simple question, “Can this person do the job?” Now, more than likely when you’re applying for that first job for the military, they’re going to have an answer of, “No,” because what we tend to do is research stuff on the internet, research articles, and tailor our resume or LinkedIn profile to what we think the company wants. In reality though, each hiring manager, recruiting manager, is probably looking for something a little bit more specific, a little bit different, and just by copying what the company line is, you’re not really going to stand out in the crowd.

So how do you overcome this? Really, it’s simple. It’s networking. It’s reaching out to people in the industry in the role you want or similar roles that you want, raising your hand and asking for help to translate your resume into something that a hiring manager will want. This is so important, but it’s also so hard for us in military because we’re taught from day one to come with an answer, not come with a problem. The greatest example of this is when I was a junior officer and I was taught this thing of Message to Garcia, which is, “I’m going to give you a nebulous task and you’re going to have to use individual initiative to go figure it out,” But it’s essentially a go find a rock experiment.

That’s not how things work in the civilian world because your boss knows that wasted time means wasted project time, and they don’t want to do that nor do they want to pay you for that. So reach out to people that you’re interested in. Most people are more than willing to help out people in the military, and don’t be afraid about role and title. I hope you find this was helpful. Please, as always, let me know what you think below with comments and let me know of anything else you want to hear in the future. Thank you.