Channel Your Humility into your AUTHENTIC
Personal Brand with these Four Steps
Within days of leaving the active
duty Air Force, I felt a sudden
loss of self-worth. The
decisive plan I’d created for months with my
civilian husband’s support, gave way to negative
thoughts: Would I ever receive another paycheck?
What employer would hire this aircraft navigator and
to do what? What am I qualified to do?
My self-identity crisis (and associated anxiety)
during the transition is too common.
I’m sharing the power of the FIRST things I did
when I felt that loss. The most important
advice I give to transitioning service members and
veterans in subsequent transitions: surround
yourself with a diverse and mighty network of
professionally-well-connected military veterans who
exited the military between one year and 30 years
Why? My mantra: “You will be successful when
you surround yourself with people who WANT you to
Veterans with vast networks of professionals
across industries are best positioned to help you
connect with people for informational interviews. They
know recruiters. They get calls from people
hiring asking if they know anyone who’s looking!
They’re your HUMAN connection who can get your
targeted resume into the hiring manager’s hands.
Speaking of info interviews, download a handy
phone script: “How to Call to set up an Informational
Interview” HERE. I’ve demystified this process so you
can start building your tribe of veterans with
networks; all steps you must take will feel less
mysterious because you’ll have mentors, as I did.
During my transition, two women veterans
surrounded me with women professionals. One
thankfully guided me through a self-assessment to
understand what I value in work. Don’t start
randomly interviewing. Get to know yourself. Who are
you NOW? These ladies introduced me to
people for informational interviews and I learned about
corporate functional roles. Connecting with humans
FIRST (before creating a resume) is how I landed in
Silicon Valley, straight out of the aerial
refueling flight deck, in a global marketing
management role with a European telecom tech
giant. It was the role I decided to pursue after many
info interviews…the role the no-imagination
recruiter said I’d never find.
Today I teach AUTHENTIC Personal Branding for
Military Veterans workshops via an online course,
video conferencing, or in-person on university
campuses and conferences. I’m keeping a promise to
those two women vets to pay it forward.
I know it’s difficult to talk about yourself and your
accomplishments, especially with strangers. My goal
is to turn you into an epic storyteller of your own
differentiated VALUE in 90 minutes.
Graciela outside at UNT graduation day
when she got her wings.
Step 1: Surround yourself with people who want
you to be successful, like well-connected
veterans. DO NOT HESITATE.
Step 2: Do a guided self-assessment to know
your VALUES now.
Step 3: Communicate your VALUE. Get guidance
to craft a powerful personal brand.
Step 4: Let us help you be known to other
people. (Uploading 300 resumes does NOT achieve
this; don’t do that. Start with step one; everything else
Find us in your community. Call a local
company of interest and ask if they have a Veteran
Employee Resource Group (ERG). Meet the ERG team
lead for an informational interview.
Maybe you have a LinkedIn account with a good
photo and basic summary? Connect with me and
mention this article. It’s a rehearsal for reaching out to
veterans on LinkedIn so they’ll say yes and connect
with you. We’re EASY to find there. Personalize your
invite – mention something intriguing in profile.
Please use these tips and PROMISE ME YOU
WILL NOT work alone at this confusing time. Don’t
go down that sad (even depressing) path.
Get surrounded by well-connected veterans
eager to see you succeed. Paired with your
AUTHENTIC Personal Branding, your tribe will help
you avoid feeling invisible.
Let’s do this! See you on LinkedIn or via
CaptainMama.com. The best version of your future
self as a civilian awaits!
By Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, USAF Veteran,
CEO and Founder of Gracefully Global Group, LLC
Want to comment or have any questions on
this article? Email us at email@example.com
Graciela Tiscareño-Sato flew as an active
duty Air Force KC-135R navigator and
instructor for almost a decade, including
combat sorties in Operations Southern and
Northern Watch over Iraq. She was awarded
an Air Medal before Congress lifted the
combat exclusion law. She is a social
entrepreneur serving both the military
community with professional development
content as workshop facilitator and school
districts and conference organizers as a
bilingual keynote speaker with
award-winning literature that showcases
the positive contributions of Latinos in the USA.
40 www.latinastyle.com LATINAStyle Vol. 25, No. 6, 2019