If you would like to know more about Bezan and his practice you can find that information here: morriswealthmanagement.com
Special thanks to Dan Piontkowski from BTU #90 for making the introduction to Bezan. In this interview we talk about taking the long-game in one’s career, and not rushing to get rich quick. Bezan gives some spot-on, tactical advice on networking, resume prep, LinkedIN profiles, financials responsibility, and other topics that are broadly applicable to anyone going through a career transition. This is a resource-rich episode, so be sure to check out the show notes at BeyondTheUniform.io to check out links to all the books, podcasts, and more that we discuss.
Bezan Morris is a Financial Advisor at Raymond James, a public company based in Florida that provides financial services to individuals, corporations and municipalities. Bezan started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served in the Marine Corps as an Artillery Officer for over 6 years. His civilian career has included work at Toll Brothers, Turner Construction, Amazon, and Chewy.
This episode is sponsored by Secure Components - a certified small business supporting the warfighter since 2008. Secure Components delivers innovative and cost-effective solutions for high reliability supply chain challenges; arising from diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages, across a wide range of DOD legacy systems and platforms. Secure Components’ commitment to a transparent supply chain, counterfeit avoidance, and strategic sourcing; translates to increased readiness, reliability, and efficiency for the warfighter. Please visit their website at Securecomponents.com or call us at 484-881-3125
StoryBox- People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces.
BTU #90 - Dan Piontkowski: Navy to Recruiter at Marriott, Amazon, KPMG, HP, and more https://www.beyondtheuniform.io/blog/btu-87-dan-piontkowski-navy-to-recruiter-at-marriott-amazon-kpmg-hp-and-more
Gary Veynerchuk - famous podcaster who evangelizes ding the hard work and not being entitled to instant success.
LinkedIn for Good - Bezan encourages listeners to pay for a Premium Membership… well as a Veteran you can get that for free for one year here: https://linkedinforgood.linkedin.com/programs/veterans
BTU #223 - Start with Why (Peter Docker)
The Four Hour Work Week - https://www.amazon.com/4-Hour-Workweek-Escape-Live-Anywhere/dp/0307465357
Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover - https://www.amazon.com/Total-Money-Makeover-Financial-Fitness/dp/159555078X
Transcript & Time Stamps:
Joining me today from Fort Worth, Texas is Bezan Morris. Bezan Morris is a Financial Advisor at Raymond James, a public company based in Florida that provides financial services to individuals, corporations and municipalities. Bezan started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served in the Marine Corps as an Artillery Officer for over 6 years. His civilian career has included work at Toll Brothers, Turner Construction, Amazon, and Chewy.
What was your first job search like coming out of the military?
When I was transitioning out in 2005, I got advice that I should pick a location and then be happy with a job the might not be quite perfect or I should pick the perfect job but be willing to move wherever that job was. So for my wife and I, it was important to be in the Phoenix area. I did a little bit of job searching beforehand. I had time because I had about a year of terminal leave. And it took almost that entire time to find the right job.
I first needed to understand what was available and out there. Then I wanted to get my resume in front of people and allow them to give me feedback. A lot of veterans go into operations in manufacturing or warehouse location. Going into something more technical could also be an option. I looked in operation and leadership type roles. It was where I thought I should end up.
When I initially started my job search, I was open to anything. But I had a really great mentor that talked about how that could actually limit my job search. He had just finished his MBA at Harvard and was working at GE. I considered grad school but then realized I didn’t actually want to do that. So I think it’s just as helpful to know what you don’t want to do as it is to know what you want to do.
What is your current role as a Financial Advisor at Raymond James like?
I do financial planning for families and businesses. I like to help people align their money with their financial goals in a way that will allow them to sleep at night.
You recently transitioned from operations to finance. How did you go about that?
It was a planned changed. When I was first looking to get out, I started asking everyone I knew about their job. It really helped spark conversations that made me think about what I actually wanted to do. I talked to a lobbyist in Arizona that ended up trying to get me to work for the Arizona Diamondbacks. So I encourage you to just have an open mind. During this time, I talked to a financial advisor. He told me, “Go live your life” because it’s really hard to go directly into finance out of the military. So I had other jobs, had kids, bought a house, things like that. Meanwhile, I always eventually wanted to get into finance. So this transition has been 13 years in the making.
I sat in a warehouse on Thanksgiving Day - working my 8th Thanksgiving in a row. And I had a “Come to Jesus” moment. And that moment, I decided to go after work in the financial field. I love this work because I feel like I am serving my clients in a way that is improving their lives.
A lot of people give the advice, “Seize the day and go after what you want right now.” But I feel like you knew that you wanted to eventually go into finance work and were willing to sacrifice the short term in order to take jobs and get experience in fields that would eventually allow you to succeed in that industry. I really admire that more long-term approach.
I think sometimes we have this tendency to open up our Instagram feed and see this guy that achieved “overnight success”. But when you really start to dig into those stories, what you find more and more is that yes there are the occasional home runs. But the vast majority of successful employees take time to build a plan and figure out what they need to get there.
In 2006-07, I bought a house I couldn’t afford and then lost my job. So I was completely broke wondering how I was going to pay for groceries. But the more I looked at the stories of really successful people, the more I realized was that there really weren’t that many “overnight successes”. Most successful people have worked really hard to get where they did. So that inspired me to do the same.
I feel like veterans sometimes get presented with this story that there are going to be a thousand people fighting over them as soon as they leave the military. But the truth is you really have to lay the foundation. You might have to take a job a couple steps below where you were in the military and then work your way back up.
Do you have any advice about successfully setting up a LinkedIn profile?
My last day in the Marine Corps was in August 2005. In August 2004, I first set up my LinkedIn profile and I’m so glad I did it at that time because I had several months to just try different things with it and discover what worked and what didn’t before I was actually showing my profile to employers.
With a lot of veteran profiles, you can tell that they literally took their FITREP and put those phrases directly into their LinkedIn profile. These phrases won’t mean much to civilian employers.
Every single bullet on your profile or resume should answer the question “So what?”. For example, “I managed 300 people” - “So what?”. What value is that going to bring to an employer and how can you describe that in a way that is going to make sense to them.
LinkedIn has some really incredible tools that allow you to see who is looking at your LinkedIn profile. If you want to get into a particular industry, make sure people from that industry are looking at your profile. You can also reach out to people via LinkedIn to introduce yourself and learn about different industries. This will really help prepare you for the transition.
I just want to note here that LinkedIn also offers a free year of Premium services for all veterans.
Networking can be challenging if you are deployed or overseas but this is where LinkedIn can be really powerful because you can still connect to people in industries that interest you. If you can do informational interviews and spend the day with people in industries that you want to get into, try to do that too. If you want to be a welder, go shadow a welder and see if you actually want to do that. So many times, I see veterans go into a field just because their friend is in that field. And then they start working in that area and they hate it. So I just encourage people to be ready to ask questions and learn about what is out there. People are usually willing to provide you all the information you could want.
Do you have an resources you would recommend?
I really like the book Start With Why by Simon Sinek. If you have a good grasp on why you’re doing what you’re doing, you will be insurmountable.
I also like the book Mastery by Robert Greene. That book talks about having a learning mindset. It’s just learning a little more each day. If you have the mentality that you are going to hit struggles and challenges but that you are going to work through them, you will be very successful.
If there are two things I would advise military members that they need to do before transitioning is save as much money as possible and network like crazy. That way if you leave the military and the right job opportunity isn’t immediately there, you have the money to support yourself for a few months.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with listeners?
As a vet, 13 years out of the military, I can tell you there there are so many resources out there for veterans. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. You have to go out and find resources. There are so many veterans and organizations that are willing to help you but you have to ask for the help.