‘Navigating to Industry Seminar’ Helps Career Public Sector Execs Make the Move

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Mark Chadason (TCG International Group) kicks off 2018’s WashingtonExec “Navigating Your Transition to Industry Seminar.” 

Held Nov. 15, “The Navigating Your Transition to Industry Seminar” taught  how executives can transition effectively during the crucial first 45 days after securing an inaugural industry job. The event was geared toward GS-14 executives who plan to head to a director and higher position in industry.

“Each speaker provided valuable insights to the seminar participants,” said Wilson Cook, participant. “I found the presentations to be spot-on based on my brief experience searching for employment after a 33-year federal government career. The recommendations, in particular about business development, leadership, how we (retired USG and military seniors) are perceived, and the advice and counsel to look forward (not backward) were invaluable. What I also greatly appreciated was that the seminar was concentrated and to-the-point; I learned more about the search for senior private industry positions in the six hours that we were together than other transition courses.”

It’s no surprise the learning curve for senior government executives transitioning to the private sector is steep; both employers and future employees deserve an effective transition process. And that’s the purpose of the seminar: to help smoothen the path and educate executives so they can get a leg up on the competition. 

Last month, co-leaders Mark Chadason, CEO of the TCG International Group, and Alex Bolling, executive director of Thorne Security Group, hosted the latest rendition of WashingtonExec’s “Navigating Your Transition to Industry Seminar: What They Don’t Tell You at Your Retirement Ceremony.” WashingtonExec facilitated a full-day seminar for 30 retiring government executives seeking a smooth transition to industry in a non-threatening, collegial and off-the-record environment in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

Chadason opened the session talking about the paradigm shift that both personally and professionally impacts military, intelligence and civilian executives after public service retirement.

“There is no Jerry Maguire in transition; nobody represents your interests as you change from public servant to business executive,” he told the group.

Keynote speakers included Larry Prior, operating executive for Aerospace, Defense & Government Services Team of The Carlyle Group. The former president and CEO of CSRA spoke to participants about what hiring leaders look for in building successful teams as well as how to create a brand in adjacent sectors. Prior was followed by Frank Helmick, senior vice president for Mission Solutions Group at SOS International. Helmick discussed the military to civilian transitions and the first 90 days in particular.

Frank Helmick (SOSi)

Business acumen fundamentals were covered by Brett Dody, career intelligence community executive and retired senior vice president of Vencore. Dody laid out how to produce effective business development, GATE reviews, pipeline techniques, profit and loss and financial statements.

He was followed by Greg Baroni, CEO of Attain, who gave insights into the perspective of hiring managers and how to best prepare for interviews and how public, private and private equity corporate cultures vary. Bolling closed out the program with his peers about how to continue leverage expertise and unique background years after leaving public service.

Because of popular demand, WashingtonExec will host additional programs on this topic in 2019. “The Navigating Your Transition to Industry Seminars” cover how federal executives should approach post-government employment and transition effectively within the first important 45 days after getting an industry job.

In addition, the programs address how to navigate the “10-month blues” experienced by most who go through the transition. How executives can transition to their second job (almost 80 percent of new executives will stay only at their first post-government company for over 18 months) is also a popular seminar topic.

Related: Navigating to Industry Seminar: How to Transition from Government to Private Sector

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