Season 3 Episode 122: Charting a Career Path Full of Pivots with Marisol Maloney

Marisol Maloney is a retired Navy veteran, military spouse, recruiter for a defense contracting company and an entrepreneur. During her military career, Marisol experienced many pivots. Starting as an enlisted sailor in the logistics field, she transitioned to become an officer and nurse. After 10 years in nursing, she became an intel officer before retiring in 2019. She is the founder of Secret Squirrel Consulting, a company that provides resume services and military-to-civilian transition coaching.

Marisol has been blazing her own trails since she joined the military. After Marisol enlisted, she made it her goal to become an officer and nurse through the ROTC program. She attended college, received her commission and specialized in emergency nursing. After 10 years as an ER nurse, she wanted to experience something new. She is the first Navy nurse to successfully transition into the intelligence community. After retiring from the Navy, Marisol was offered an intel analyst position with Firebird. When her military husband received his orders for a new duty station, she had to leave the analyst position. However, Firebird suggested she stay with the company and work remotely as a recruiter.

Many veterans must learn how to slow down once they retire from their service. During their military career, service members are often tasked with several collateral duties at any given time. They are used to wearing multiple hats and juggling responsibilities. When Marisol began her position as an intel analyst, she quickly learned that not all tasks need to be handled with a sense of urgency. In the private sector, if someone takes on more and more responsibilities, the organization will gladly let that person carry the extra load without additional compensation. Before taking on additional responsibilities, look at your job description and identify your core tasks. Ask yourself, “Is this new task temporary or permanent?” If it’s a new task that’s being added to your regular duties, ask that it to be added to your job description and negotiate for additional compensation.

Reflecting on her transition, Marisol regrets not seeking mental health therapy. Like all transitioning service members, she experienced tremendous stress along with physical health issues. She admits she neglected her medical conditions while serving which compounded the severity of her issues. The military notifies its people 6-12 months in advance of new orders. As a result, military members are often used to a longer planning process. Once a person retires, they learn that the civilian sector fills roles within 30-90 days of being posted. It can be challenging and stressful to not have a plan in place until that first role is secured. It’s hard to be effective in your personal life, work life and the job search process if you haven’t taken care of your mental health.

As a recruiter, Marisol has had the opportunity to gain knowledge of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). Humans set parameters within the software to categorize applicants based on the chosen parameters.

Marisol noticed that many veterans and transitioning service members struggle with translating their skills onto a resume. As a result, she founded her own business, Secret Squirrel Consulting, to coach the military community on the job search process.

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Are You Struggling to Write Your Resume?

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