For the second consecutive year, RecruitMilitary welcomed hundreds of recently transitioned service members and veterans to FedExField for a Job Fair featuring Washington, D.C.'s marquee corporations seeking to hire service members and veterans. RecruitMilitary Job Fairs are featured in cities all over the United States, and Washington, D.C. alone has hosted 29 events drawing 8,978 attendees and 1,622 exhibitors in the past fifteen years.
With hope to ease the eagerness and inevitable pre-interview nerves, Redskins Salute hosted their second annual Chalk Talk to open the Job Fair from 10-11 AM. The featured speakers, Gary Clark and the two FedEx Football Fellows Emily & Charnecia, opened the dialogue by introducing themselves and giving their professional backgrounds.
At first glance, you'd wonder what they were doing on the same stage. Gary Clark is a two-time Super Bowl Champion, a Washington Redskins legend, a hometown hero recognized by D.C. natives as the four-time Pro Bowl selection Wide Receiver that brought two championships to the Nation's Capitol. FedEx Football Fellow, Emily Arnsberg recently transitioned out of a seven year career in analytics with the United States Air Force, and Charnecia McGee, also a recently transitioned service member, closed an eight year chapter managing Human Capital and Program Management with the United States Navy. Both fellows now pursuing a career in sports with various departments in the Redskins Organization.
Though they may have completely different backgrounds, Gary and the two fellows have one inevitable thing in common that they carry with them. They've each experienced a point in their lives where they've needed to transition from a world they'd become very familiar with, into a civilian lifestyle that was not familiar at all.
"Moving on to another chapter in your life or career will always be a challenge." Gary explained "What I found important after hanging my gear up was re-visiting the mindset and traits that made me the player I was: a refusal to quit, an eagerness to learn, maintaining the mindset that I can be successful in any endeavor with my work ethic." He described the initial struggles, and his eventual success as an entrepreneur starting his own B2B driven corporation, Gary Clark Incorporated.
The FedEx Football Fellows, although still experiencing their transition into civilian positions, provided feedback about the struggles they'd experienced thus far working in sports. "Working in the NFL is similar to the military from a cultural standpoint.. one team, one mission.. always fits the script, yet there are still challenges we face everyday." Emily Arnseberg explained. "The more you accept the new culture and the little things, such as calling a superior by their first name and learning different dress lingo for specific events and occasions, the easier the transition becomes. The key to being adaptable is maintaining an open mind to all aspects of the position you accept."
The two Fellows agreed that people (generally) despise change, but more often than not change is the key to growth in all facets of life. Charnecia concluded her thoughts on transition with with her day-to-day approach to her fellowship "Our positions as Fellows allow us to observe the Sports world from a unique standpoint. My goal this season is to continue pressing areas of work that make me uncomfortable and challenge what I've know as a Sailor for eight years. That's how I take advantage of my time here."
At the conclusion of the the Chalk Talk, it wasn't as difficult to understand why the three were on the same stage. They know how each applicant attending the Job fair felt and what they were going to experience over the next six to twelve months.
On behalf of Redskins Salute, we challenge all Military Appreciation Club members to continue assisting transitioning service members and sharing their experiences leaving the military and entering civilian jobs. You never know who you can impact.