New Directions

By Jim Ward

New Directions
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Be, Know, Do


I spent most of my career in the financial services sector. During the financial crises, which began in 2007, financial services professionals were out of work in mass! In a short period of time, the world was on the brink of financial collapse and created the competitive employment environment of today. The competitive landscape is tougher, and the job search process more mentally demanding due to the crisis. According to a 2011 survey from The National  Association of Colleges and Employers for every 1 open new graduate position, there was an average of 21 applicants. To be successful today requires not only competence and confidence, but one must be mentally tough and self-aware. More importantly, securing a new position in today’s environment, requires detailed career planning and execution.

The U.S. Army has long employed the motto Be, Know, Do in their leadership-training model. These simple 3 words are right on the front cover of their field manual, Army Leadership. This time-honored principle forms the backbone of the Army’s training philosophy to develop leaders of character and competence. What does it mean to Be, Know and Do? Be denotes understanding one’s self, character and values; Know is to discern one’s strengths/weaknesses and skills and lastly, Do is to take action. These words and the demands they evoke are relevant to any individual preparing to plan and execute a job search or career change.

In the coming weeks I will outline my 3-phase “career launch” strategy which is modeled after the Be, Know, Do formula.

Until next time…


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