by Mark Cummuta

Week 5: Persistence Opens New Opportunities

Sep 05, 20075 mins

Several interviews and meetings last week have opened up some new and unexpected opportunities.

First, I thought I was out of the running for a general management position with a Midwest defense contractor. However, they have already implemented and seen improvements from some of the ideas I presented in my prior interviews. So, Friday they asked me to draft a proposal for several in-depth analyses, system and process enhancements in a strategic management consulting role. Worst case is that this adds current project experience in one of my targeted industries. Better of course is that it could work itself into a full-time position.

I also had some positive feedback from the marketing software and services firm for a VP of Technology position, and they want to schedule a face-to-face interview.

I’ve been trying to connect with a recruiting firm that specializes in military/commercial career transitions for three weeks and finally succeeded on Friday. My persistence has resulted in three follow-up calls from them in just two days for various positions.

In addition, I had dinner with two friends whom I have partnered with over the years in various business arrangements. The purpose of the meeting was to help them with their business deals, but in the end they were collaborating with me on my job search. Having seen how hard I work and how many entrepreneurs and firms have benefited from my business-building and strategic/technology transformation skills, they emphasized that I should apply all my efforts and skills to expanding my own consulting firm. Their persuasive presentation has me tossing that idea around my brain.

Last week I also scheduled a five-minute information-only conference call with the founder of a national consulting firm who is also a fellow US Marine. I learned about this individual through my networking connections and researched his firm. With his experience across most–if not all–the federal, defense and intelligence agencies, my goal in the call with him was to learn more about the Department of Defense (DoD) contract and subcontracting processes and get his suggestions on how to overcome the hurdles in gaining security clearances as a contractor. Or course, if a lead or network opportunity happened to present itself, so much the better. He liked my questions and ideas, so after extending our call to forty-five minutes he then agreed to meet in person to continue discussing my strategic business-building ideas with his senior team. The end result is that after that brainstorming meeting on Friday we agreed to meet again this week to discuss how my ideas might work in his firm’s environment as well as the potential benefits and opportunities a partnership of some kind might create.

Finally, I received some great feedback from several readers that has allowed me to dramatically improve my resume with more strategic accomplishments as well as improve the efficacy of my job search project plan. Eugene Nizker specifically felt that my project plan would have me burn out or get frustrated too quickly. He was dead on. Seeing as I’ve only been able to submit five applications per day once so far and have generally only completed about 60 to 70 percent of most of my other goals most days–sleep deprivation aside–reality has forced me to reduce my job search metrics to more sustainable levels–including taking the entire weekend off this Labor Day holiday to spend with my family.

Here are my plans for this week:

  • Draft my systems and business process re-engineering (BPR) management consulting proposal for the defense contractor, then meeting with them to review and finalize that.

  • Schedule my next interview with the marketing software and services firm.

  • Schedule my next meeting with the defense consulting firm.

  • Follow up with the military transitions executive recruiting firm.

  • Follow up with the major satellite and systems integration defense contracting firm.

  • Follow up on the leads readers of this blog have sent me.

  • Create and/or update my resume accounts on key job search websites.

  • E-mail my updated resume to all my executive recruiting contacts.

  • Apply to five new positions.

  • Order or check out the KSA books and websites several readers have recommended to me.

  • Continue to follow up with my, and LinkedIn contacts.

I recently started using a feature here on that I’ve found helpful and a time-saver, and so I’m passing it on to you. These “CIO Newsletters” span nearly two dozen focused subject areas and consolidate each subject’s most recent entries into a single email for you. You choose which subjects you want and how often. I’ve been using the Careers and Advice & Opinion newsletters daily, and have benefited from how quickly I can scan the day’s new positions and posts to focus only on those items I want.

Again, thank you for your comments and ideas!