Season 2 Episode #35: Determining Your Value and Strategically Networking with Adam Getz
When Adam Getz first joined the military, his plan was to finish his initial enlistment as an Army musician and separate. As his roles changed within the military, Adam decided to serve for 20 years with the goal of having a second career in the private sector. Adam utilized Tuition and Credentialing Assistance to earn an MBA, the PMP and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certifications to prepare him for his next career in project management. When Adam left the military in April of 2021, he spent a year as a Senior Project Manager in pharmaceutical contract manufacturing. Today, he is a Senior Project Manager in Supply Chain Operations at Indiana University Health.
Adam earned his MBA halfway through his Army career. Once he narrowed down his goal of becoming a project manager, he completed his PMP and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt closer to retirement. Adam used a full 24 months to prepare for his transition by attending TAP classes, leveraging LinkedIn and networking both in person and virtually.
After reading The 20-Minute Networking Meeting book and using the step-by-step guide on how to conduct an informational interview, Adam conducted close to 100 informational sessions. With each conversation, Adam learned more about project management in the private sector, gained new mentors and ultimately confirmed that he did want to pursue project management. His interactions helped him to translate his day-to-day in the Army to industry standard terminology in the private sector. Adam acknowledges that as an introvert, networking did not come naturally. At first, he felt like he was imposing on people but then realized after a few informational interviews that people are eager to help.
Adam reflects on the differences of project management between the military and the private sector. Because rank is not a factor in his current position, it’s not always obvious how to get something accomplished. The job of a project manager is to lead cross-functional teams as an individual contributor and yet influence people to meet deadlines and finish projects. Building relationships and having expert knowledge are keys to being a successful project manager.
Adam discusses how asking questions has earned him respect with his coworkers and supervisors in both of his post military roles. He learned early on that people are eager to help and asking questions builds teamwork, relationships and rapport. Adam encourages veterans to check their ego and stay humble. While some people will show appreciation toward a veteran, others are indifferent to one’s service.
When job searching, many roles do not post a salary range. Often, the responsibility of learning what different roles command is the responsibility of the job seeker. Adam discusses how his informational interviews and mentors gained through LinkedIn helped him uncover a desired salary range based on his background and skills.
Adam and Lori end the podcast discussing leaving jobs in the private sector, sometimes even in the first year. While Adam acknowledges that finding a job that you are passionate about is ideal, it’s not realistic for everybody. He instead encourages people to find jobs that match their skillsets and ones they enjoy in some capacity. When a job isn’t right for you, it’s okay to find something that is a better fit. Sometimes you have to make a change to move forward.
Head over to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22 to hear a bonus clip on struggles and surprises Adam has encountered during his first 18 months out of uniform.
You can connect with Adam at https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamcgetz/
Explore The 20-Minute Networking Meeting book by clicking here.
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