This book was twenty-five years in the making. I have been hiring top talent for the past twenty-plus years, and I’ve been a job seeker as well, hopping across my fair share of lily pads. This book shares much of what I have learned, including mistakes made as both as a hiring manager and as a job seeker. This is one of the goals of Operation Lily Pad–to share my learnings, best practices, and experiences with those coming after me. My view of job searching has been shaped by five (5) overlapping, but supporting perspectives:


A veteran. When I made the transition from the military to the civilian job market, there was no transition program, nor were there many resources to assist me in my efforts to land a job. I remember what it is like as a veteran to face the big unknown of not having a job and not knowing how may experience in the military would translate to the civilian world.

Mock Interviews_web_256

A hiring manager. As a hiring manager, I am the person across the table you need to convince to hire you. I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes, screened hundreds of candidates for dozens of roles, and interviewed the best (and worst) candidates for a variety of positions. I bring the inside-out perspective of what matters to hiring managers and what you need to know as a job seeker to develop rapport, articulate value, and demonstrate fit.

23 Mentor

Mentor. As a mentor to not only transitioning veterans but also recent college graduates, I have put to test the processes, approaches, recommendations, and best practices defined in Operation Lily Pad. Over the past couple of years, I have successfully mentored a number of recent college graduates and veterans, helping them kickstart their careers. This has been an invaluable field trial and validation of what I share in the pages of this book—incorporating this feedback through helping others to further hone and update their job-searching toolkits and approaches, with the goal of ensuring they remain relevant to the ever-changing job landscape.

13 Food for Thought

A product manager. As a product manager, I’ve learned and put in practice the five (5) P’s of product: product, placement, positioning, pricing, and packaging. Approaching your job searching from this perspective means you are marketing yourself as the product of YOU, and so the fundamentals of product management apply.

24 Elevator Pitch

A job seeker.Twenty-five years and nine job transitions later, I’ve learned a little lot about job searching, career transitions, cross-sector jumps, and career progression and development.