BTU #51 - Robert Underwood: Retiring in the Navy and hiring a PhD to help with career coaching


“I've been retired for 6.5 years now and some of the things that I've learned are that it's different after you leave active duty; the people are different and your motivations are different. One of the things you need to figure out how to do is relax, because most things just aren't as important as they were when you were wearing a uniform. And that's ok. It's ok to relax."– Robert Underwood

Robert Underwood served as an Officer in the Marine Corps for 25 years, retiring as a Colonel and works as a Business Development Manager in the Electronic Manufacturing Industry at Eaton.

The top two reasons to listen to today’s episode:

  1. Start with why - Bob has some incredible advice about figuring out what you want to do with your career, and how this is a process that occurs every 3-5 years for most people. He talks about finding the why that makes sense to you right now - not the one that made sense in the past, and provides a specific example of how this got him a job at Amazon
  2. Interview prep - Bob has some exceptional advice about preparing for interviews. Rather than using books like “200 questions to prepare for an interview” he provides practical and tactical steps to get ready now
  3. Perspective - Bob left the military and returned shortly after as active reservist through his retirement. He talks about the perspective this has given him and the the advantages of retiring
  4. Business Development - at very end, describes job at Eaton in BD, which is a great overview.

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Show Notes


Show Notes

  • 1:55 - Bob's background
  • 4:11 - How Bob approached his decision to leave the military
  • 5:21 - How do you know whether or not leaving the military is the right decision for you?
  • 6:21 - How to consider leaving the military when you're uncertain of whether to disclose this process to those around you
  • 8:55 - How Bob approach his first job search
  • 10:20 - How Bob hired a PhD to help him figure out his ideal career
  • 11:40 - What Bob's 30 minute coaching sessions looked like
  • 13:06 - How Bob's coach - after he understood Bob's motivations - helped him explore job possibilities
  • 20:33 - How Bob revisits his "why" frequently as he evaluates new job possibilities
  • 32:00 - How Bob found his way to Amazon
  • 33:04 - Advice on how to best prepare for an interview
  • 35:20 - Advice on how to find a coach
  • 39:30 - Other resources Bob would recommend
  • 44:01 - An overview of Eaton and the role of Business Development
  • 47:57 - Final words of wisdom