Guest Blogger Peter Weddles Talk Job Seeking

Peter Weddles shares this narrative about what General Petraeus can teach civilians when it comes to job hunting. You can visit his website at for more information.


What General Petraeus Can Teach Job Seekers

In 2005, General David Petraeus was an executive in transition.  Having fallen out of favor with the civilian leadership in the Department of Defense, he was reassigned to lead the Army’s mid level leadership school in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  For a combat commander, that wasn’t a lateral move, it was a steep step backwards.  What the General did next, however, provides a rich case study of how to recover from a career setback.

Given his current high regard in both the media and the government, it’s easy to forget that General Petraeus was an outsider looking in just five years ago.  How did he accomplish this extraordinary transformation?  He followed a game plan that every single person who is out of work and feeling out of luck can and should emulate.  It involves just three steps:

  • Reinvigorate your talent
  • Redefine your brand
  • Stay true to your new you.

Let’s take a brief look at each of them.

Reinvigorate Your Talent

General Petraeus had spent his entire career as an infantryman.  He was a proud, old fashioned rifle carrying soldier whose job was to defeat the enemy in close combat.  That’s what he had been trained to do and that’s certainly what he knew how to do best.  It was not, however, what the Army needed for the war in Iraq.  It had won the war with the Iraqi Army, but was losing the insurgency that followed it.

So, what did General Petraeus do?  First, he carefully assessed the situation on the ground in Iraq to determine what the problem was.  Then, he thought through the alternative strategies and determined that the traditional tactics of ground combat had to be replaced with a new kind of counterinsurgency warfare.  Finally, he acquired the knowledge necessary to develop that new strategy and literally wrote the “book”—the Army’s Field Manual—which detailed it.

That’s exactly what those of us in transition need to be doing, as well.  Employers increasingly believe they need new strategies and tactics to win the competition in the global marketplace.  They are no longer looking for people who can accomplish the job the way it used to be done—no matter how well they were able to do it.  What they want, what they need, is someone who can devise new approaches to accomplishing work and is willing to extend their talent so they can deliver those approaches effectively on-the-job.  You don’t have to write a book, but you do have to be credibly able to deliver innovative excellence on-the-job.

Redefine Your Brand

General Petraeus didn’t just develop a new way of war-fighting, he redefined himself as its author and champion.  In other words, he was no longer an old fashioned infantryman, he was the “father of counterinsurgency” and rebuilt his reputation on that theme.  He was tireless in his efforts to explain it to his superiors in the Defense Department, to convert his peers to his point of view and to convince all of them of its potential to turn the tide in Iraq.

A similar campaign is also critical to success for those of us in transition.  Hard as it is to reshape your talent for the new and often confusing needs of the post recession world of work, that’s only half the battle.  Once you’ve accomplished your reinvigoration, you have to convince others that you’re different.  You have to break out of your legacy brand—the old way you described yourself in the workforce—and develop a clear and compelling description of your new persona.

This redefined brand must be accurate, of course, but beyond, that it must set you apart.  It must differentiate you from those who are still offering the traditional strategies and tactics in your field and for the kind of job you seek.  And, it has to portray you as the singular person who both knows how to be a key contributor to the success of an employer and will not flinch from playing that role.

Stay True to Your New You

The journey of General Petraeus from a backwater command in Kansas to the front lines of this nation’s Armed Forces didn’t occur without some difficult twists in the road and a setback *or* two.  He had the courage of his convictions, however, and a fierce determination to succeed.  He fought through the hard times because he believed in himself and what he could do.  While his reinvigorated talent and redefined brand were both essential to his advancement, it was that factor—his character—which ensured his success.

The same is true for those of us in the civilian workplace.  Whether you’ve been shoved out the door and into the job market *or* into a box with no security *or* opportunity, it is who you are on the inside that will determine what happens to you on the outside.  That doesn’t mean the course will be easy *or* without its frustrations, but it does mean there is hope … if you believe enough in yourself to grab hold of it.

Not everyone can lead an army into combat but everyone, every single person, can be a victor even in today’s rough and tumble world of work.  It will require that you teach your talent some new and more powerful ways of contributing and that you reset your brand so that your new capability is recognized by prospective employers.  Those tasks take courage and commitment, to be sure, but their accomplishment is a gift, an affirmation of the indomitable spirit resident in each and all of us.  If you stay true to that limitless personal possibility, you will always end up a winner

Thanks for reading,


Visit me at

P.S. My new book, The Career Activist Republic, has just been released. Look for it on, at *or* in your local bookstore.

Newest Jobs on Military Connection

We’re back with another installation of’s job search assistance program! We constantly have jobs available for viewing on our site for all kinds of professions, all over the country. Just register as a job seeker *or* employer to check ‘em out!

  • Physical Therapy, Clinical Specialist, Inpatient/Outpatient-float – Rockville/Takoma Park/Silver Spring, Maryland (Healthcare)
  • Physical Therapy, Outpatient – Silver Spring/Rockville, Maryland (Healthcare)
  • Occupational Therapy, Inpatient/Outpatient-float – Rockville/ Takoma Park/ Silver Spring, Maryland (Healthcare)
  • Occupational Therapy, Inpatient – Rockville, Maryland (Healthcare)

Tip #2: The Follow-Up Call – Many recruiters and job experts stress the importance of a follow-up call after submitting a resume *or* attending an interview for any position. The follow-up call reinforces your interest in the position, your willingness to put forth extra effort in order to obtain it and also solidifies a connection between you and the hiring manager. These days, a hiring manager may find stacks of applicants on her desk for a single position, so following up your resume with a personal call will help plant you in her mind.

Check back next week for even more job opportunities and job search tips! And remember, is here for you, so if you have any questions, comments *or* even success stories about your job search, feel free to share them with us and we’ll help you find the answers *or* simply give you a high five!

Thanks for reading!


Hot Off the Press! The Newest Jobs This Week From

Hello Folks! Welcome to the first installment of Military Connection’s job search assistance program I talked about in an earlier post. In an effort to help our service members, veterans and their families succeed in an otherwise deflated economy, we will be posting the newest jobs from our Job Board each week, both on our blog and on Facebook. I will also be highlighting a job search **or** interview tip that may boost your chances at scoring that gig you want.

So here it is, the first chapter of what will hopefully be a helpful and interesting journey:

  • Production Supervisor – Jeffersonville, Indiana (Manufacturing)
  • Physician &amp,amp, Surgeon (Multiple Opportunities): Orthopedist, Urologist, Primary Care – Tulare, California (Healthcare)
  • Director of Finance &amp,amp, Administration, Europe – University of Maryland University College (Administration)
  • CDL Truck Driver – Williston, North Dakota (Transportation)

To view job descriptions and apply, register as a Job Seeker at

Tip #1: If your resume is light on actual experience, utilize your cover letter to expand your strengths and accomplishments, even if the experience is outside of the specific field of work you are seeking. Use your cover letter as a chance to really let the hiring manager understand why you are right for the job. If you have an unending motivation for success, mention that in your cover letter and explain why your specific skill sets make you an invaluable member of any team.

Be sure to check back next week for more great job opportunities and job search tips from!

Thanks for reading,


Career Success May Just Be Click Away!

These days, everyone can use a little help getting a job *or* beginning a new career. Thanks to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and new legislation, service members, veterans and their families have more opportunities than ever to earn successful careers by achieving their education *or* training goals. The Yellow Ribbon program reaches even farther by providing extensive financial assistance for students looking to attend colleges *or* universities.

But even with the proper schooling *or* training, it can be difficult to obtain a position in the current economic climate. With the unemployment rate still staggeringly high, every bit of help, well, helps. strives not only to provide its users with useful resources and information, but it also puts forth a large amount of energy and passion for connecting applicable users with careers that interest them. We want to see our users succeed in the workforce and are willing to work to make that happen.

In order to better serve our audience and help our users find work as in an increasingly dismal job market, will be highlighting the newest job positions posted on our site each week. We will post these jobs on our blog as well as our Facebook page in hopes of opening up lines of communication and connecting users with positions they might not be cognizant of otherwise.

You can follow us on Facebook *or* Twitter, to get the most up-to-date job information we have to offer. Check back often for the newest job postings!

Questions? Comments? Send them to [email protected].

Thanks for reading!

Katy Cryns