G.I. Jobs Latest Issues

JUL 2018

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16 G.I. JOBS | JULY 2018 | GIJOBS.COM SUCCESS IN THE CIVILIAN WORLD As Clark learned, it wasn't the skills related to operating a tank, reading a map or planning armor offensive tactics that were most useful in his civilian career. "The things outside of my MOS are things that have served me best in my career and life," he says. He mentions several competen- cies that may sound familiar from boot camp: "Being accountable and responsible and getting things done. The ability to have others depend on you and to build and maintain that trust." As Clark points out, the importance of accountability, responsibility and dependability is not unique to the marketing and media industry or the sports world. Those qualities are "a fundamental part of any business or career." MAKING CONNECTIONS Also important in any industry is knowing how to connect with the right people. Clark's connections helped him get a foot in the door on numerous occasions throughout his career, and once again, he credits his ability to network with skills he acquired in the Army: "The concepts of camaraderie and getting along with the people around you were big takeaways from my military experience." Clark got into NASCAR the same way he found several other key positions in his career: relationship development. NASCAR was one of his clients at a digital media agency, where he was managing a team of marketing professionals after working his way up the chain in his industry. Based on his great work and the strong relationships he developed with his contacts at NASCAR, they offered him a position. It was "an incredible opportunity for someone who has always wanted to work in media and marketing and for someone who has always been a sports fan." THE SPECIAL SAUCE The final ingredient in Clark's recipe for career success also comes from his time in the Army: He learned how to stand out and make his strengths known to the people around him. He figured out what he could do differ- ently or better than everyone else and made sure that his colleagues knew what he could bring to the table. In the corporate world, as in the military, you can't count on someone else to pull you along; you have to be your own advocate. But Clark is quick to make a distinction. "There is a fine line between being an advocate and being self-promotional," he says. Make sure you know the difference. BREAKING INTO THE SPORTS WORLD Clark joined NASCAR after 14 years of building on the skills he acquired in the military while learning the ropes in the world of digital media. By the time he got the job offer, he had a lot of personal and professional expertise to offer in addition to his love for sports. For veterans looking to break into NASCAR or the sports world in general, Clark recommends making your "fandom" secondary to what you can do professionally. In your in- terview or cover letter, don't overdo it on your enthusiasm for the sport or team. Instead, emphasize the skills, experience and new ideas you can bring to the organization. And don't forget, you may have learned those things at boot camp. "The concepts of camaraderie and getting along with the people around you were big takeaways from my military experience."

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