Posted on Apr 21, 2015
Col Matthew Fritz
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Even the most successful military career will someday end. The benefit of military service is that you are still young enough to try something new in the civilian marketplace when you hang up your uniform and transition to the next chapter of your life. As such, every day is a tryout and experience builder in helping you to figure out what you want to be when you outgrow military service.
With that in mind, it is important that each service member commit to building their personal brand and establish themselves as "the expert" or "the best" at whatever it is that makes their heart sing outside of the military experience. For others, it may be about leaning into their discomfort, learning a new skill set or growing as a person before making the leap.
How are you building your personal brand and what are you doing to ensure you codify skills and experiences that will help you when you make the leap? For those who have already made the transition, what is one thing you are either glad you did, or wish you had done, to establish your personal brand before leaving and entering the civilian world?
I look forward to your discussions! Feel free to join the fun on Twitter, too, if you want to share in that space. You can find me at @fritzmt and @GenLeadBlog!
Posted in these groups: A07a3045 BrandingMilitary-civilian-600x338 TransitionLeadership-abstract-007 Leadership
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LTC Board Member
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This is a great topic.. and something I did not think about enough (or at all!) when I was on active duty. Suggestions I would give:

1) Personal brand is not just a civilian thing, it's throughout your life both during and after service. People think of you a certain way... are you an "easy going leader", "a tough leader", "a fair leader", "a squared away person", "a go-to person", or "just another guy" -- either way, your "brand" (i.e. reputation) is there both in and out of uniform.

2) One thing that has really helped me is pursuit of education. For me it was getting a full time MBA, but not everybody can do that, and not everybody needs to do that. However, no matter whether one is enlisted or officer, active duty, reserve, or out, one's education is a great way to add more dimensions to your "brand" -- or reputation if you prefer to call it.

3) Become really good at something that you enjoy. This is advice that many of us have heard before, but many people in the military don't practice it. The military tends to promote "put me in where I can best help the unit" team player mentality, which is great. However, it also helps to say "I am an expect on XYZ, and that is where I can add the most value. However, I am also happy to add value wherever I am needed." Establish what that expertise is, and live it (don't just say it).
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Col Matthew Fritz
Col Matthew Fritz
6 y
Absolutely live it, LTC (Join to see)--I couldn't have said it better. Thanks for weighing in on this with your experience!
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TSgt First Sergeant
TSgt (Join to see)
21 d
So if you are unaware of these skills you can join a digital marketing course from any reputed institute where you will learn digital marketing skills or you can start reading about these skills on the internet. If you are looking for certification Course. I would recommend you to read https://www.talentedladiesclub.com/articles/your-beginners-guide-to-youtube-the-ultimate-checklist-to-gaining-youtube-views/ and find info about Youtube brand.
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MAJ Public Affairs Specialist
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You left out the option of "I'm still serving and I have transitioned to the outside world". There are quite a few Reservists on here that do both.

As for building your brand, LinkedIn!! It should have as much information on there as possible. More information than your resume. LinkedIn is the place to go into further detail and explain what exactly you accomplished on your last deployment and how you handled difficult situations. It is not a place to brag or to embellish but to state facts and explain to the layman business man, that has zero military experience, why you will be an incredible asset to his team.

I have been approached many times for interviews because of my LinkedIn account.
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Col Matthew Fritz
Col Matthew Fritz
6 y
Excellent input, CPT Hignight! If I can find a way to edit and add that option, I will. As for LinkedIn, you are spot on. As you may know--I'm enough of a fan to have written a book on that very topic ;). Great comment--thanks!
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MAJ Public Affairs Specialist
MAJ (Join to see)
6 y
Col Matthew Fritz I am always telling my lower enlisted Soldiers, and some of my peers, how important LinkedIn is to the modern white collar workplace. I definitely preach on the benefits of it and the knowledge that can be learned. Now that I think of it, it is the Rally Point of the white collar world.

What is the title of the book you wrote? Where can I find it?
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Col Matthew Fritz
Col Matthew Fritz
6 y
Thanks for asking! I think you are definitely providing your teammates excellent wisdom and advice. As for my book, it is entitled, "Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile For Success" and is available from most major retailers in both softcover and e-book. A sample link is included below if interested:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ [login to see] /ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN= [login to see] &linkCode=as2&tag=generall09-20&linkId=HP2WD6BS3WPIN7Y
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LCpl Brett McMeans
LCpl Brett McMeans
6 y
Great Post and responses. I also agree that LinkedIn is the number one place for Professionals looking to grow their network. I've used LinkedIn very successfully over the last decade. I'm always hesitate to create profiles on other platforms due to it becoming another unwanted distraction. Brandon Charters invited me to Rally Point through our Corporate Twitter acct and I was extremely curious how RP is being leveraged for those who are recently separated from the Military or have been out for a while and how it compares to LinkedIn.
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LTC John Shaw
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MAJ (Join to see) Nailed it! "I'm still serving and I have transitioned to the outside world". There are quite a few Reservists on here that do both.

I use linkedin, RP and Twitter to try to help veterans and engage in spirited/passionate conversation. I enjoy helping others and these forums provide the means.
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Col Matthew Fritz
Col Matthew Fritz
6 y
Thanks, LTC John Shaw -- and thanks for continuing to serve!
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