Season 2 Episode #10: The Power of a Positive Mindset with Samira Searcy
Samira Searcy retired from the US Army in 2020. She went from a SkillBridge internship into a role before her final out-processing date. Unfortunately, before she was even officially retired from the military, she was laid off from her position. After taking a pause to recover from that terrible experience, she quickly got back in the game.
Samira talks about how she made the big decision to leave the military. She evaluated herself physically – could she still meet the physical requirements and show up with her “A” game every day. She evaluated her family situation and assessed if she was still as committed.
She followed the transition checklist to the letter. Unfortunately, the COVID situation delayed her out-processing for 6 more months and gave her some time to do market research and take advantage of the SkillBridge program. It turned out to work perfectly for her timing and she was offered a full-time role. As she was settling into the role, she was let go from the company.
Her next position was with an employer who she had never heard of before. After a chance meeting at a Vets2Industry networking event the day after she was let go, she met her soon-to-be boss who created a position just for her. Her employer brought her in to create Aston Carter’s military and veteran recruiting program after spending a bit of time getting to know her in a follow up conversation.
Samira shares how she made a connection with her future boss. She trusted her network, she picked herself up off the floor after a huge setback and she went into the networking event with an open mind, a positive mindset and represented herself honestly and authentically in that networking event. Her future employer saw something special in her and believed in her ability to build their military and veteran recruiting programs.
Samira is the host of “On the Bounce” podcast, which is focused on resilience. She talks about how she tapped into her own resilience to bounce back from losing that first role. She trusted in her skills. Losing her first job didn’t change her skills or her value as an employee. Losing the first job didn’t make her less capable, she was just in the wrong position. She looked at what lessons she could learn from the experience and then moved on to the next role. Bad things might happen in your career, you might need to quit, you might get laid off or even let go. That doesn’t mean YOU are a failure. How you react to those bumps in the road will determine your future path.
Samira has learned that she does not have all the knowledge she needs to be effective and remain relevant in her role. She has dived in to conducting research, gaining knowledge and building her skills. Skills gaps don’t mean you are not a good candidate, you just have to be willing to do the work to fill those gaps and keep yourself relevant. It doesn’t need to feel like a threat, you just have to get to work and gain the knowledge you need to be successful. You must take ownership of your own career once you leave the military.
Samira compares the military transition with planning a long road trip. You prepare the basic of the journey and then you find yourself deciding that the road trip is taking too long or wearing on you and start being more reactive instead of following the plan. The same goes for transition, you can make a choice to be negative, filled with stress and anxiety or you can welcome those bumps, shifts and changes and learn to enjoy the journey and that you are still moving toward the end goal. Your positive mindset will help you deal with those obstacles. It’s not easy, but it’s doable and what is on the next side will be worth the journey.
You can connect with Samira Search at https://www.linkedin.com/in/samira-searcy/
You can find On the Bounce Podcast at https://onthebounce.buzzsprout.com
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