To affirm that belief, Bob Bunker
, a good friend and Total System student par excellence, joined us to talk about how he
implemented the principles of Job Search:The Total System and achieved his
From Military to Civilian Careers… Success All the Way
Bob currently serves as Senior Vice President of Brookwood Group, a construction program management firm based in Atlanta, Georgia.
For more than 50 years, Bob has worked in program, project, and organizational management, and has served clients in both the public and private sectors.
Before his career at Brookwood Group, Bob was the Chief Executive Officer of TGA Technologies, Inc., a small, privately owned communications and electronics company.
other notable management positions include: corporate manager for Asian operations and later Senior Vice President of the international construction and engineering firm, and Theater Director for logistics and construction support contract to U.S. Army and Air Force Units
in Eastern Europe.
Bob has also performed executive management functions for the Department of the Army and led large-scale domestic and international projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
early career to the U.S. Army
, and is a retired Major General.
He received his Master of Science degree in Civil and Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Bachelor of Science degree in Military Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy.
Discovering and Implementing The Total System
shared that when he
job search he
possessed limited knowledge of the job search process.
After 32 years in the Army and 9 in the Corp of Engineers plus additional experience in the corporate world, he
felt like having to "start all over" with a new career.
was introduced to Job Search: The Total System resources while completing his
service in the Balkans, and observed how important it was to his
search to take time at the beginning of the process to read and understand all the elements and how they are linked together in a cohesive program.
By learning and mastering all the techniques of resume preparation, effective networking, letter writing, and interviewing early in his
affirmed that The Total System actually became an effective shortcut in his
Bob also stated that The Total System helped him clarify and articulate his
career goals more quickly than had he
floundered in the market without the discipline of The Total System to guide him.
commended the universal applicability of The Total System's job search and career advancement principles.
"People from all backgrounds and situations can benefit from The Total System by adapting and applying it to meet their needs!
experience in our outplacement program where he
observed individuals from many diverse backgrounds, all with different visions for their lives.
And despite varying degrees of experience and education, all shared a common goal: a commitment to effectively engaging The Total System to advance their careers.
Implementing The Total System
applied The Total System's job search principles and techniques to become a master job seeker.
recalled the challenge of preparing a resume that did not simply list and describe his
past positions, but actually quantified what he
As a Total System aficionado, Bob
understands that linkage of the job search steps is what transforms the entire job search process into a "system" that propels the job seeker into a whole new level of competence.
explained how his
A+ resume linked to his
letters of recommendation by validating every single claim that he
had made in his
also challenged himself to draft letters that would reflect the uniqueness of each individual reference and their relationship to him and his
added footnotes to each draft so that his
references would know exactly what he
did and could speak to each one of his
If you doubt the value of linkage, consider that Bob went on to become CEO in an entrepreneurial venture applying its power throughout his campaign.
Indeed confidence in yourself and your skills is essential to career success, and Bob
affirmed that confidence was pivotal in his
As an introvert he
admitted that he
was intimidated by the thought of talking about himself to potential networking contacts and employers.
was reassured by the fact that his
resume and references backed up everything he
planned to say to contacts and employers.
Intimidated by cold calling, Bob
began by contacting individuals he
knew and asked them for advice and guidance.
These initial contacts led to others, and in some cases individuals even placed calls and contacts for him.
Networking and relationship-building allowed him to line up job opportunities.
By linking his
resume, references, and networking strategies, Bob
was able to articulate how his
skills and goals fit the company's needs.
And here's a fun fact to conclude the story: the company brought him in as a partner!
It All Comes Back to Linkage and Psychological Leverage
attested that the value of The Total System lies in how every element comes together and supports the entire process.
addressed how the global economic crisis is influencing the engineering and construction industry.
While there are still projects in need of workers, unfortunately the field has witnessed a significant decline in the number of projects, especially in the private sector.
As a result, businesses previously involved in construction in the private sector, are now moving into areas with more substantial funding, such as public schools and federal government projects.
said this has increased the competition on bids for school and government projects, changing the focus from profit to preservation.
As a result hiring needs and expenses are declining substantially.
rather bleak assessment of the construction industry, Bob
mentioned that there are a few opportunities for new graduates with some construction and project experience to enter the industry.
These individuals are appealing to employers right now because not only do they have up-to-date knowledge of technology, but their compensation expectations are lower so they are less costly for struggling businesses.
Military Careers and Transitioning to Civilian Life
shared some of his
insights into military careers, as well as tips for transitioning from military to civilian careers.
We know that in the civilian sphere it is vital to assess, define, and plan a career path in order to achieve optimum success, and Bob
made the same case for military careers.
The military offers a myriad of opportunities in a wide range of career fields, so if you have contemplated entering the military, it is important to define what you would like to do and then pursue it.
talked about his
own career as an example and illustrated how his
professional engineering career was very different from electricity and electronics-based signal corps and elite combat outfits.
For individuals who are unsure about committing to a full career in the military, Bob
suggested that even a few years of service provide opportunities to be mentored in leadership, discipline, and management.
Military personnel are known to be highly intellectual and motivated individuals and they strengthen these skills throughout their military service.
When transitioning into civilian life, they are very marketable because employers appreciate and expect from them high levels of maturity, discipline, and dedication.
offered a few suggestions for transitioning into the civilian sphere.
Above all he
emphasized the importance of being yourself.
If you have a military background, you should be proud of your accomplishments!
did suggest that individuals be especially aware that the practice of influencing people is different in civilian life.
Retired military personnel should not expect to give or be given orders, and instead should be prepared to use their personalities and ideas to influence people.
is a stellar example of just how effective and successful you can be in many different career paths if you dedicate yourself and adhere to the principles, advice, and practices ofJob Search: The Total System.
attests The Total System will help you define your goals, implement your job search, and most importantly build your confidence so you can find the best career and the best life!