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Networking is the single most important skill to help ensure that you get a serious look from hiring managers in a weak economy. Unfortunately, it is also somewhat misunderstood. On the surface, networking may just look a lot like meeting and having conversations with people who do stuff that interests you --- or worse, that doesn’t interest you --- and there’s some truth to that. However, in the purest sense, networking is about building rapport, having substantive conversations, and finding commonalities with other professionals in a limited amount of time. Most importantly, when done properly, networking is neither sleazy nor forced. With practice, you can explain yourself to people in compelling ways and develop the starting points for new professional relationships in only a few minutes.Here are some key points that I wish I had known when I started out on my transition into the civilian economy several years ago:
This is obvious, but also important. As you transition into your civilian career, you need to think carefully about what you want from your professional and personal life. The more that you understand where you want to go with your life, the better that you can explain yourself to people and the easier it will be for them to help you achieve your dreams. Don’t panic if you aren’t sure exactly what kind of job is right for you. Start instead with what you do know, such as where you want to live, or what kind of environment you want to work in.
Know the organizations that can help.
If you’re on this website, then you’re already smarter about this than I was when I began my job search. There are dozens of organizations, such as Hirepurpose, and individuals dedicated to helping veterans transition successfully into the civilian world. Even if you feel a bit lost about how to start, these resources will help you learn how to get your foot in the door somewhere.
Know the boundaries.
It’s important to know what is appropriate to ask for when you’re speaking with a new professional connection. It is inappropriate to directly ask for a job, especially with someone you don’t know well. However, it is perfectly acceptable to inquire about openings, and ask for suggestions in the application process. Most people will want to help if they think they can, you just have to try to avoid putting them on the spot.
The people you most want to speak with are also usually the busiest people. You need to be able to build a connection during a professional discussion with someone in less than five minutes. In some situations, you might need to be able to approach someone in the hall on the way out of an event, introduce yourself, and establish a basic rapport with them before you even get outside. This may sound artificial and contrived, and it is, but that really misses the point. If you know who you are, what you want, and what kind of a follow-up conversation you could foresee with someone, it shouldn’t take long to explain that and set up something over coffee for next week.
Follow up, like a boss.
In this sense, networking is a bit like dating. To do it well, you need to be charming, interesting, and engaging without turning people away by being needy or giving the impression of desperation. In general, just try to be your best self and build enough of a connection with someone to serve as the basis for following up via email later. This is where it might help to print out or order a few dozen business cards; if you’re nervous, busy, or shy, just offer someone your card. Nine times out of ten, if they have a card, they will offer it to you in return. From there, it is simply up to you to contact them and explain how you hope they can help you learn about an industry, job opportunity, an unusual hiring process, or their own professional development strategy.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.
The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.
These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.