Season 3 Episode 132: What Does Warren Buffet Know about Military Transition with Ioannis Kiriazis

On this episode, we welcome transitioning service member Ioannis Kiriazis, who goes by John to make pronouncing his name easier. John is a US Army Lieutenant Colonel who is retiring in March of 2024 and recently started his transition leave. During his service, John served in many roles including Professor of Military Science at Marquette University. He is scheduled to begin a SkillBridge internship with the Junior ROTC program and is also interested in exploring roles in the international relations field.

A few weeks ago, John went to Jimmy John’s to grab a quick lunch and noticed a plaque on the wall outlining Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Rules for life. With transition on his brain, he read through the list with his transition lense and made a LinkedIn post shortly thereafter. All 10 rules parallel the military transition!

Rule 1: Reinvest Your Profits. Sometimes your first career path isn’t the final path, and that’s okay. When you look at profits as your experiences and skills, then it’s natural to want to take your profits to the next level.

Rule 2: Be willing to be different. Reflect and figure out what you want from your next chapter. It’s okay to change career fields or decide you’d rather be an individual contributor rather than continue to lead people.

Rule 3: Never Suck Your Thumb. Don’t sit back and assume the transition will work out without effort.

Rule 4: Spell Out the Deal Before Your Start. Be prepared for job negotiation.

Rule 5: Watch for Small Expenses. Work to reduce or eliminate debt before you transition.

Rule 6: Limit What You Borrow. Have a safety net of 3-6 months of living expenses saved.

Rule 7: Be Persistent. Work multiple courses of action for employment.

Rule 8 & 9: Know When to Quit and Assess the Risks. Be prepared to pivot.

Rule 10: Know What Success Really Means. What will satisfy you and bring you happiness?

To end the episode, John asks 3 questions about his own military transition.

Question #1: Do you find through your experience in working with transitioning veterans that those who extend their retirement past the 20-year mark have other unique challenges?

The longer you serve, the more likely you will face age discrimination. Never disclose to a future employer that you served 20+ years in the military. Instead, focus on how you can leverage your skills and experience into a new role.

Question #2: Is there one good resource, or page, that consolidates the multitude of certifications that could be associated with the full spectrum of civilian industry?

While there is not one comprehensive resource, taking advantage of informational interviews, researching job postings and consulting with organizations such as ACT NOW Education, Boots to Books, The Warrior Scholar Project and Service to School can help you focus your certification strategy.

Question #3: What are some techniques or factors I can take into consideration when I balance my next career on what my passion is versus the required fact that I likely need to make a certain salary to take care of my family?

In episode 112, Keith Cassant shared 5 factors to consider when making career decisions: Money, Hours, People, Location and Type of Work. Prioritize these values and constantly reevaluate them.

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