U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez
As a 15-year-old military brat, I began lifting weights at the standard-issue base gym. Typified by their Cold War concrete, chipped gray paint, and noise-rattling drinking fountains, these high-ceilinged warehouses of iron offered an arena to achieve life-changing goals through punishing effort.
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.
When it comes to finding the right career, harmony matters. During my early years in the Marine Corps, my square peg fit well enough into its square hole. As the edges of my personality and values changed over time, however, I no longer fit the Marine Corps’ square hole. Inevitably, we grew apart and the old cultural harmony between me and the Corps veered off track and ended with frustration.
I’ve scoured through tons of resumes and interviewed thousands of job seekers, and picked up on common major mistakes candidates often make. If you’re a veteran transitioning from the military or considering a new career, I recommend avoiding the following mistakes in order to beat out the competition and win over your hiring manager.
I spent four hell-raising years in a Marine infantry battalion at Camp Pendleton, California. As a 26-year-old lieutenant, I would roll out of the battalion command post with 10 Humvees, 50 Marines, and enough water, chow, and gasoline to satisfy any green-faced grunt. After a few days of dropping high explosive mortars and racing across dark mountain roads, we’d return to garrison dirty, exhausted, and all too willing to broadcast our “just got out of the field” swagger. At that moment in my life, I had the perfect job because it matched my strengths (endurance and tactics) and almost entirely bypassed my weaknesses (administration and logistics).