S1E9. Today we speak with James Mable, a Marine veteran, and passionate advocate of career guidance for college students. We hear his story of the value of education in the recession, his perspective on fulfillment and ways to help find that fulfillment.
More information about James Mable.
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James Mable 00:00
think the person who is able to work in a capacity where they are also pursuing their passion or calling is the person that’s completely fulfilled.
Aaron Spatz 00:17
You are listening to America’s entrepreneur, the podcast designed to educate, entertain, and inspire you in your personal professional journey. I’m your host, Aaron Spatz. And on the podcast, I interview entrepreneurs, industry experts, and other high achievers that detail their personal and professional journeys and business. My goal is to glean their experiences into actionable insights that you can apply to your own journey. If you’re new to the show. We’ve spoken with successful entrepreneurs, Grammy Award winning artists, best selling authors, chief executives, and other fascinating minds with unique experiences. We’ve covered topics such as how to achieve breakthrough and business, growing startups, effective leadership techniques, and much more. If you strive for continuous self improvement, and enjoy fascinating and insightful conversation, that the subscribe button, you’ll love it here at America’s entrepreneur. Thanks for taking some time out of your morning to be here. But yeah, I would just just love to hear a little bit about your story. You know what, what compelled you what made you crazy enough to go join the military and share this little bit about your experience there.
James Mable 01:28
So for me, on my dad’s side, a lot of my uncle’s served in the military. And in my brother, He’s a year older than me, he also went into the military. And so into my grandfather and my great grandfather on my dad’s side. So that was an influence. And specifically, I had an uncle who served in the Marines. And I really loved the uniform. I remember when I was a kid, he would come home. And I’d see him at church and at church, he’d has the Marine Corps uniform on and I was just always inspired by that. So when I was little during high school, my senior year, I always remember this. Everybody was talking about what they want to do after high school. I mean, literally, I heard everyone say they’re going to a&m, they’re going to UT there. I mean, everyone had planned. And for me, I really didn’t have a plan of exactly what I was going to do. I was a little depressed by that, because I heard so many excited voices and just hearing what everyone was doing. And for me, I was like, you know, I don’t know, I don’t know what I’m going to do. And I just remember, this was probably the last month of high school. I either we took a picture, or we did the senior trip, one of these, it was so long ago. But we were all in a hallway, hundreds of us in a hallway. After we took the picture. And the Marines, the recruiters were at our high school, and they were coming down the hallway. And I just saw the uniforms. And I immediately thought about my uncle. And I’m, you know, in a crowd of hundreds of people, and the recruiter saw me, they looked right at me. And one of them walked up to me and asked me, What are your plans after high school? And I said, I don’t know. He said, Well, would you like to come with us? And I was like, okay, and literally, I left the school and I went with him down to the recruiting station. And they talked to me about you know, joining the military, and in just what what it would be like, and so, obviously, I was very, very inspired. And in luckily, and I didn’t know this, but luckily my uncle he was obviously still in the military at the time. But he was stationed in Houston at the Houston met, okay. And they knew him because of the recruiters in College Station. You know, they Whenever someone’s signing up any branch, they’re going down to the Houston Mets and being processed and then going from there. Well, he my uncle was working at the Houston maps. And I call them and I talked to him, and I was debating the Marines or the army. And he kind of sold me on you know, afterwards. He’s like, you know, think about, you know, what that resume is going to look like, you know, the fact that you’ve joined the Marines and you have that experience on your resume, think about after the Marines. And that kind of really sealed the deal for me, I joined the military. And I, you know, went and did boot camp over at camp, I’m sorry, at a San Diego MCRD. But I was stationed at Camp June Okay, for most of my time in the Marines, but that’s how I got started into the military was just really not having a specific plan. And knowing my my dad’s side, so many that has served in it, it really did interest me. And it just those guys just caught me at a moment where I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do. And then all of a sudden I have a plan. And it was the best decision I ever made.
Aaron Spatz 05:07
That’s, that’s that’s such a cool story. And I’m curious did did anybody tip them off? Like, did they know that? That you are a guy that was struggling with what you’re going to do? And then like, Did Did somebody? Have you kind of picked out?
James Mable 05:20
No, he was literally I saw them, like 200 feet away, walking down the hallway. And they could have stopped that anybody, literally any of us hundreds of people, I’m sitting down in a crowd of students, oh, my gosh. And they literally stopped at me and walked up to me and asked me, What are your plans? I mean, they, they were like three or 400 people in the senior class. And we were just milling around. Everybody’s just talking and talking about their plans after high school. And those guys literally stopped at me. And it was that was a godsend. I was just really thankful for that after the fact, like later on looking back on it. Because I really didn’t have a plan. Yeah. And it really changed my life.
Aaron Spatz 06:03
Well, in in, you shared some incredible insights. I think a lot of young people struggle with that. And you articulated that so well, with that. It’s kind of that peer pressure of like, okay, well, everybody’s got their plan together, like everybody’s got their idea what they want to do. And I and I legitimately really don’t know what I want to do. And that’s okay. Like, a lot of folks just need time to, you know, try different trading and try different ideas out or, like, you don’t have to have your whole life mapped out in front of you. But as a young person, you’re sitting there and hearing all those stories, I’m sure. I mean, just just the way you shared it, I’m sure that really made you wonder like, Okay, what, like what’s wrong with me like what’s going on? You know, and then yeah,
James Mable 06:51
you’re I was really depressed, I was just feeling really, really down. And partially because I was, I was definitely uninformed about how to go to college, I didn’t know that I could take use financial aid, and financial aid could assist me with starting out, I was under the impression at 18, that I had to really save money, save money to go to college, I just didn’t know how to get started. I’ve never talked to an advisor about how to get started with enrolling at our community college, in College Station or anything, I was just a little naive, and uninformed. And that partially was why I had no plan because I thought I had to literally save 1000s of dollars to do it. I’m I was a go getter. When I was in high school, I was the first of my siblings to start working. I was really thinking about the future and what I wanted to do, but I just had this, this, this thought in my mind that I had to have 1000s of dollars to get started with college. And so you know, when they talked to me about the GI Bill and that they would pay for college, I mean, I was sold well, immediately that that helps seal the deal as well that okay, I don’t have to come out of my pocket, that they’re going to, you know, pay for school. So, and then just hearing that I was going to go to California and do the trade. I mean, I was I was very excited. I love it. Yes. But yeah, you’re right about young people feeling that pressure to have a plan to know. And, you know, I know now, much later in life, that it’s okay at a team to not have a complete life plan in place. That it’s okay to kind of start slow and build momentum from there.
Aaron Spatz 08:39
Yeah, that’s wise. Share with us a little bit about your experiences and records. Do. You said your station capital June and then talk us through a little bit of your your transition process?
James Mable 08:53
Yeah. Well, I’m I was at 2512, to the field wireman, and that wasn’t the fanciest of jobs, to be honest. That was I was dealing with analog systems. Cable. And I was with acecomm battalion, Mikayla June. The highlight was that at the time, the military had a program, it was called fap. And it’s an acronym and I don’t, I don’t remember what it stood for. But essentially, it was outsourcing Marines in certain units to go into much needed areas. And one of the areas that the military needed, people was in the police department. And so for one year, while I was in, I served as an MP, and more specifically, I served in the Crime Prevention Unit, which focused on the carrying all of the armory’s on the lagoon base, making sure that the alarm systems were working if there were if the alarm went off, then you know, if you were on duty, you were paged and you have to go out to the armory to reset the alarm and make sure that everything was okay. And so I actually really enjoyed that. But my my MLS going in was a field wireman. And I did that and then as far as separation like leaving the military there, I met with a counselor who talked to me about careers, and about building a resume. And that was the extent of any type of career or professional development, leaving the Marines at that time in 1999. there that was, that was the extent of it by when I separated from the Marines. I thought about okay, I have been working as a wireman. So I thought immediately about splicing type jobs, working for cable companies. And I, I went for interviews, and went through the process. And it was very different in the civilian world, like working for a cable company. And I just wasn’t interested at all. Like, it’s something that I did not want to do, to do what I did in the military, like out in the private sector. And so for a number of years, after that, I kind of drifted in the sense of finding my way I, I picked up a trade of waiting tables. And that was much easier and convenient. And I did that for most of my 20s. And it wasn’t until later in my 20s that I decided that college was was important because I, I remember it at 2627, I had three years left to use the GI Bill. And I became nervous because you know, I had this whole benefit, and I hadn’t really, you know, went to college. And so looking back on it, I think it’s important for those who are separating, to really, you know, go, you know, if it’s visiting with an advisor or a career counselor at a local college, it’s important to kind of try to map out, you know, what you’re going to do, what’s your plan, you know, five to 10 years later, especially with the benefit of the GI Bill, the military gives you 10 years to use it. And those years passed by very quickly. And I and I didn’t use it until like the last three years of the GI Bill. And I did recommend, you know, anyone separating to think about using that benefit as soon as possible when they separate?
Aaron Spatz 12:30
Well, whilst like but was that the primary? Was that the primary driver that that kind of made you switch things up? Or Or was there anything else going on that made you you know, want to make a change?
James Mable 12:42
Well, it was, you know, I had a lot of dreams and aspirations in my early 20s. And I had actually moved out to Arizona, and moved out to Arizona because I thought I wanted to pursue acting. And when I say that I thought I wanted to pursue acting in the sense that, uh, you know, it seemed cool. It seemed glamorous, it seemed like a way to meet an end. And my, my, my end was public service. But I was thinking in in a different way 911 had happened. And I was driven and compelled to serve. And but I didn’t have any money or way to raise money to start a political campaign. So I thought, you know, I could do this. And this could maybe help me and then later in life, I could go towards this. And so I moved out to Arizona. And when I was out there, I was a waiter. I mean, I was my trade. When I got out of the military. I really started waiting tables. But when I was in Phoenix, specifically, I, I was around people, common people who had families, and they were taking care of their children, and they were waiting tables. Now for me, I was 25 I didn’t have children. And I was out there and you know, on my own, and I was making ends meet because I was waiting tables during the day and I was doing night security. And so I was fine. But it struck me that a lot of my co workers were, you know, trying to take care of their families on the amount of money we were making at that specific place I was working at, I wasn’t making that much money. And so that’s why I had to get the nighttime job. And I felt bad and I thought about like, you know, what can I do better with my life at 25 to be more economically independent. And I just had a I don’t know if it was an epiphany or spiritual awakening at 25 when I was out in Phoenix, that I thought like what am I doing with my life? I’m out here and acting isn’t working out. I need to use the GI bill because I noticed that some of my people had I had interacted with did have degrees, and seemed to be doing fine out there. And I was like, wow, I had never followed through with getting my degree. And I actually have this benefit the GI Bill. So I moved back to college station. And later a year later, I enrolled in school. And when I enrolled in school, I stuck with it, I finished both my bachelor’s and my master’s in five years. While I was I was just going, I was just at that point, I was I moved back at 25. But I didn’t technically start back to school until I was 27. Okay, and, and then I just, I didn’t look back after that I knew I needed to see this through and complete my degree. And I completed my degree during the recession. Wow. And that’s, that’s also when I had a rude awakening about this system. And how a degree doesn’t guarantee you a job. I had a just a personal experience with that, because I was just focused on getting my degree, my degree was in political science. Because again, I was really passionate about public service. And I was I was following the news I was I became more politically aware after 2001. And so I was just focused on getting the degree I knew I wanted to go and work for the State Department after I finished. And I just didn’t understand how competitive that would be, I didn’t understand these these unspoken kind of not rules, but guidelines that everyone needs to follow and best practices, if you will, for example, in the State Department, I found out later 10s of 1000s of people applied to be apply for internships, but they also applied to be diplomats, not 10s of 1000s of people every year. And depending on where you go to school, that impacts you know, you know, your chances of getting in, and, and your experience. And at that time, you know, I was nine, I was 10 years later out of the military, I didn’t have any experience. I just had a college degree. And that so that didn’t work, I was applying for various opportunities and getting no callbacks that I focused on the private sector and was applying for jobs. And literally getting no callbacks at all. I was applying for jobs actually before I graduated college. And then after I graduated college, and even after I graduated college, I went back and you know, pursued my master’s. Cuz then I was thinking about teaching. So I enrolled in an ad program. And still I couldn’t find a job even teaching. This is, you know, during the recession, it was tough. And so I can understand and relate to people. Now, even with a 4% unemployment rate, how competitive it is now after 2008. So that’s, that drives me even in my current profession, because I just that that experience of first getting a degree, and I’ve always been told all my life to pursue a bachelor’s degree. And that’s the, the link to the American dream and, and just having that scary feeling of like, Look, I I went and did what everyone told me to do. And I can’t find a job, I cannot get even a callback. And that was very upsetting.
Aaron Spatz 18:25
That had been so frustrating. I mean, that I can’t even imagine what that what that what that experience is like, almost like you’d been lied to.
James Mable 18:36
Well, I think a lot of us, and I was older mind, I was 30. Now the thing about those millennials that graduated, you know, at 22, during the recession, yeah, you felt like you know that someone didn’t tell you the whole truth. And so now I’m totally focused on ensuring that people are prepared to pursue their careers, that it’s not just about going through the motions and getting a degree anymore. Just this just the idea of career services. Pushing students to be more prepared to pursue their careers, indicates how competitive the job market is, you know, if you’re having to really, you know, have a world class resume, at the best interviewing skills, have multiple internships under your belt, be involved in a student organization has gone to a career fair, have a LinkedIn account, have I mean, all of these kind of quiver of arrows in your quiver, in order to be prepared? That just indicates that there’s a lot of individuals out there who went through the emotion of getting a college degree. And, and some of us like me, we’re just not fully briefed on what it really takes to start a career. We were just thinking, transactional About first getting a degree and then starting a job, you know that I’ll worry about finding a job after I complete my degree. And now, more than ever, it’s important to start your career before you finish your degree, literally started your career before you finish your degree. Why? Because now a degree is no longer a ticket to anything. A degree is an enhancement of you and your personal brand. Your knowledge base your skill set, it’s an enhancement, it’s not a guarantee, and it’s almost comparable to getting a house loan. You know, everybody you know, thinks about getting a house and everyone knows that you have to update your house, and keep your house up to par. So you can you know, reap the benefits later when you sell it. Or the degree is the same type of concept, that if you’ve finished college, having been a part of a professional organization related to your intended career path, if you completed an internship or two, that is related to your intended career path. If you visit a career services and have a world class resume, if you’re just informed about what type of entry level jobs there are available in your intended career path you’re going to be, you’re going to find it much easier to navigate the job market, and you’re probably going to have it have a much more enjoyable time transitioning from college into your career, versus those like me, who simply just went to college, graduated, and then tried to compete. So the recession taught me a lot about me personally. And you know, the value of my degree personally, but it taught me a lot about where we, where we are, as a nation, with our economy.
Aaron Spatz 21:55
Sounds like you found something that you’re incredibly passionate about, I can just, I can just hear the passion in your voice as you share.
James Mable 22:04
I’d say that 2008 was a game changer. And, and this continued affirmation of where I want to go. And what I want to do for others 2008 Filled it for me. I mean, I, I mean, because I wasn’t the only one suffering, I wasn’t the only one that had a hard time getting started, you know, economist that said that those who graduated college, you know, during the recession, had their salary potentials completely impacted for their entire career because of when they graduated, and, and that’s highly unfortunate. But that’s the reality of what we experienced in 2008, it really just changed things drastically. So but yes, I’m very passionate about making sure people understand what it takes really to pursue a career, that degree, whether their certificate, or a degree is an enhancement of your personal brand. It’s an enhancement of your skill set. It is not that direct ticket into into your your career, it takes a level of preparation, if you can graduate with these, those nuggets I talked about earlier, you know, with experience with, with just being informed about what type of jobs are available, and that you have a network before you finish, you’re going to be very successful transitioning.
Aaron Spatz 23:35
And then take us through, you know, roughly the last 10 years of your career you’ve been you’ve, you’ve been in, in in this line of work now for for a while. So you know, share with us a little bit about your journey, you know, across these different universities and then tell us about some of the some of the other insights that you’ve that you’ve picked up on our last 10 years.
James Mable 23:57
Okay, so I have been working here in Houston since 2009. I moved from college station and I started working in the field of career services in 2011. And if I can say that, it has definitely been interesting pursuing Career Services as a career. I have noticed in my career, the time of pursuing my career that Career Services is different, depending on where you go to school. And if you think about that, that means it’s really important. You know, thinking about where you’re going to go to school, because I believe Career Services is the gateway to the job market. I believe that Career Services is the department on any campus that can open doors for students, as simple as informing them through information session. of what companies or industries are expecting from potential candidates, from literally matchmaking by, you know, hosting job fairs. Or bringing companies on campus to do campus interviews, or just facilitating professional development and networking. I think Career Services is the conduit to connecting students to the job market. And I’ve noticed in my career that, you know, wherever I’ve worked, Career Services had just been different, as far as the services provided the level of energy, as far as how those services are delivered. And that just makes a difference in the job market. You know, I’ve always said in my career to my colleagues, that we increase their houses, no matter where you work, you are preparing students to compete for jobs in one job market. That means, you know, if you finish at Harvard, or you finish at UT, or you finish at a&m, you’re you’re having students go into one job market, the United States job market, and it comes down to how well you prepared those students to pursue those jobs. And that’s so that that’s something that has been profound. To me. I mean, I’ll just give you an example. When I was working at career services, at the University of Houston, that I was working at a community college prior. And when I started working at the University of Houston, mind you, I finished college at Sam Houston. And so my, my experience is a little different there. But I, I saw like household names as far as companies coming into our Career Center, in interviewing our students, well, like Halliburton, Exxon, like major household names. And they were interviewing students. And of course, students were being hired. And I was floored by that. And the reason why I was floored by that is because I, I didn’t experience that in college, I never had, I never got an email or a phone call or an invitation to go interview with companies, right, I just didn’t have that experience. So I thought to myself in the bigger picture, hey, these students are getting exposed to obviously great opportunities. So I mean, it’s almost as if they have an advantage in the job market. This is before they graduate college, they’re interviewing with major companies for real jobs. And so I quickly just recognized that Career Services has such an influence on where someone starts their career, or how someone starts their career. So I really latched on after that, that look, I think I found my calling, that I am helping students pursue their careers, which will lead to their American dream. So after that experience, that I just, I’ve really just had been working on enhancing my craft, because we really are contributing to, to society in a major way. We’re really helping our students you know, navigate the job market, a transition from college into a career and some people when they go to college, they may not have had a parent there to inform them of career service there was revising or tutoring or, or all the resources, they may not have had someone there to kind of really explain to them the value of the whole college experience. And, and that was me, I mean, my parents didn’t go to college. So I wasn’t I didn’t know about Career Services, I didn’t know about these resources that are so important that are completely part of the whole college experience. And that’s very, very important that a student takes advantage of the whole experience, because at the end of the day, they’re paying for that experience. Yeah. You’re not just paying for the experience in the classroom. You’re paying for all those services that are out there that the college offers. And it’s important that you take advantage of that while you’re going to school there. It’s so new. So I’ve been playing you know, my role of really just enhancing the service that I’m overstaying or the service that I’m providing, which is Career Services, which is completely related to, you know, my goal of public service, because I believe that I’m contributing in society to ensuring that everyday Americans are able to attain their American dreams. Because I’m not in I’m not in any illusion, that when everybody goes to college that everybody understands the value of that degree. Completely. Not everybody understands are informed about how that can literally change your life. I think we see it from a 10,000 foot level that hey, I need to get a degree because that can lead to a great job. But we haven’t really dove down into the details and understood that it’s about the whole experience. Yeah. And if you take advantage of the whole experience, you will be successful. When you finish.
Aaron Spatz 30:15
Let me ask you a question, since you’re in a very unique position, especially over the last 10 years, and especially since you’re in the Houston area, and I personally have some experience, having lived there previously. So one, one thing that we noticed in in you, and you you’ve touched on it several times, was like, you think that that that four year degree just automatically opens, you know, they just gives you Keys, keys to the kingdom, and you can just walk in it to really, whatever your heart’s desire. And then, and then you shared with your stories about how that that absolutely was not the case, given given the time. When you completed all that, and then and then now the tables have turned somewhat, and you know, you’ve got these mega companies coming in and hiring students before they even graduate. Talk to me a little bit about your, your perspective or your view on trades. And in terms of how, you know, we have put an emphasis and on on completing a four year degree versus the, what I perceive. And what it seems to be is there’s a definite shortage of qualified new skilled labor. And I’m not even I’m not trying to guide you into an answer. I really am genuinely curious what your what your perspective is on all that?
James Mable 31:48
Well, I’m glad you brought that up, because I’m still growing, I’m still learning. And my worldview is still, it’s, it’s, it’s still being, if you will, it’s still growing. It’s still changing and evolving. So working in the field, I’ve learned definitely the expectation from consumer from students at the university level, I’ve worked at multiple universities, and I became well versed on how Career Services is provided at the university level. But a large majority of our population in the United States do not go on to complete a four year degree, they may go on to a community college. And lately, especially after the recession, I think we’ve all started to realize that a degree is not a guarantee to the land of the milk and honey, that is not a guarantee of a job. However, it comes down to what are you specifically pursuing? Are you doing research about what type of industries are available in your city. And that, that does take time to research and to be informed before you decide to pursue or, or if you will, just like a house before you decide to invest? In your degree, it’s important to research. So when I transitioned from a university, role in career services to my current role, I did it because I think like many people out there, that the reality is, if you are focused on trades, you know, a certificate or an associate’s degree, you can actually start your career Early on without finishing a four year and that just means that you could finish your certificate or associate’s degree get started in your career, and most likely, your employer could help pay for the remainder of your education. And so I feel it’s a godsend for Generation Z and millennials, that you could go to a community college and start working. Let’s just say this, get your accounting certificate or accounting degree, and you can literally start working in the job market. Because everyone knows that when you go on to some of these popular job engines, and you’re, you’re looking through the jobs, you’re noticing a lot of those jobs don’t require bachelor’s degrees. Yeah. They literally may ask for a high school diploma or experience, if anything, experience trumps everything. And that says something that there is a disconnect with consumers expectations of a degree. And the reality of the job market, the employers, companies, they’re not expecting, for the most part require you to have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. So that means that if you’re thinking strategic strategically, then you would save money by enrolling in a community college and not just taking those basic classes to go transfer to university but you would enroll in a community college to think and work strategically to get a skill set an entry level skill set in order for you to get started. And then as you progress in your career, you can go back to school, but then you have the company pay for your schooling. Because I’m all about now, I’m all about students not going into debt. I just think it’s a tragedy that our young people go into debt and that the level of debt means they’re paying for, for these loans for 20 or 30 years, or sometimes just indefinitely. And that’s just so unfortunate, where someone who’s graduating with a bachelor’s degree, and they’re not using that degree, but yet they have to pay the loan on that degree. Yeah. And that is sad. And I don’t want that for anybody. So I champion for anyone, whether you’re a veteran, or student, to go to a community college, to work on a certificate or an associate’s degree, that leads to an entry level skill set in an industry, and the reality is, that’s what community colleges have always been there for, is to focus on the trades. You know, universities don’t offer trades. They don’t offer workforce degrees, workforce certificates that is typically offered at community colleges. And I think that that, in you hear economists talk about this skills gap. And that’s because we have I mean, me in Generation X, we’ve all just had been told about getting a college degree and my parents didn’t talk to us about getting a workforce certificate, getting a skill set. It was just go get a degree. Yeah, because we were all led to believe that if you just received a degree than you would, that’s your ticket to the American dream. And that’s, and that’s fine. And that’s very, you know, galleons. But the reality is that, if you’re focused on a specific skill set, if you’re doing the research to see what type of industries are thriving in your area, and you go to a community college and you link the two, you would be highly successful, you would first have very little debt, if any, because there are a lot of companies out there that will reimburse you, for your tuition. And if you’re finishing unless they have a certificate or an associate degree, you know, with four or $5,000. That’s small compared to someone finishing a bachelor’s degree in their 40, or $50,000. In Debt. Yeah. Well, so I think things have definitely changed, I think that you could still pursue a bachelor’s degree in business, for example, but it would be excellent. If you were to start with your, your skill set at a community college, get into your industry, and then later, have your company pay for it, that’s still getting a bachelor’s degree, you’re just not, you’re just not accruing all of that debt.
Aaron Spatz 37:52
Right? That’s not super smart. And I would love to pivot ever so slightly and get your perspective on this then also, and so put yourself in the shoes of a young veteran, or it doesn’t have to be young veteran, it could be a guy who did 20 plus years. And what I’ve noticed anyway, has been for a lot of folks a little bit of this flash to bang, delay in terms of you connecting to their purpose. And what I mean by that as we spend our time serving, and, I mean, again, it could be three years, four years, 20 or 30 years. And guys punch out and they quickly transition, you know, maybe they’re going to go to school use the post 911 GI Bill. Or maybe they’re they jumped right into another company, they used one of the one of the big military placement firms and help you know, help them get somewhere. And then, you know, about a year or two later, they become, you know, frustrated, they feel like they’re floundering they don’t really have any direction or purpose and what’s your message to those people to that to, to that party audience that may be listening right now and they’re and they’re really concerned about, okay, you know, I’ve I’m doing well, like, I mean, I’ve, you know, I’ve got money or maybe not, you know, but I’m doing okay, but I’m just I’m so dang frustrated. Like, I feel like I don’t really have any direction with what I’m doing it. What’s your, what’s your perspective on that?
James Mable 39:24
You know, I think it’s very important that that my fellow veterans, think about their purpose. And I mentioned earlier about a calling. I think the person who is able to work in a capacity where they are also pursuing their passion or calling is the person that’s completely fulfilled. There are so many options out there to pursue when you finish the military. There are so many directions and some that Veterans, you know, may pursue something related to what they did in the military, or some may try to try to transfer their skillset in a different way. I think what’s most important is to really, really just think about, you know, even even when you are younger, if you’ve been in for 20 years, even when you’re, you know, when you first went in thinking about, you know, what were you most interested in? What was something that you found just fun, or very just in you were very enthusiastic about it, that it may seem so trivial to think that way about it, like, what was your dream job, but that is actually so important. Because that’s something that’s living in your heart, something that’s living in your mind living in your thoughts, and why not pursue that, that, to me is the most important part, are you pursuing something related to your passion, which requires thought, and it requires maybe writing this down writing out an outline of, of how you may get started, what you need to research or who you need to talk to about that passion? That that is important, because I feel that we, we pursue some things that because we hear that, you know, you can make good money, or we hear that you hear a lot of people around you are doing it. But what’s most important is you thinking about your own interests, your own passion, your your own dream job, and you pursue that. Because my gosh, then you’re not really working. You’re really fulfilling your passion or fulfilling your calling through work, which is excellent, because so many people don’t do that. So many people are working right now in the United States. And they’re not working in a job or industry that is related to their passion. Now, some understanding compartmentalize, like, they may actually be pursuing their calling or their pastime on the side, and yet they have a job, that’s their bread and butter. Now, some people can could delineate and compartmentalize that. But some of us, you know, we really want to fulfill our passion and pursue our passion completely. And that was me, I really, I want to help people. And I found that that manifested in what I’m doing in my career, I’m helping people, and I’m helping people in a very personal way, I’m helping them get started with their careers. And it’s very fulfilling, that’s what gets me up every day. That’s what causes me to rise up to go in going with a smile every day. I’m not stressed. Because I know what I’m doing today and how it’s impacting others. But I know that everyone out there has a specific story, and a specific calling and purpose here in life. And so I think first, it’s a matter of discovering that. And it may require you, you know, talking to a career counselor, talking to family and friends, or even colleagues about how to get started. I recommend that for veterans who’ve been out for, you know, 20 years, or veterans who just especially those who’ve just gotten out or about to get out, I think it’s very, very important for you to think about what is your calling in life, and trying to align your calling with a voc, you know, specific vocation, a specific career path, because you’re going to be much more fulfilled later in life. And I realized that this was so important, because in one of my roles, working in career services, I focused on alumni. And that’s Pete college graduates who, you know, who have already finished, and a lot of alumni who came back and spoke to me and use my services. They had finished their degrees, 1015 years prior, and they weren’t fulfilled with their original career path, they wanted to actually change their careers. And what we discovered through, you know, coming up with the individual plan for them was that it was difficult to change. It was difficult to change because the person had a family. And they have children, and they have commitments, and they had, you know, amassed a certain salary expectation. And so it was hard to kind of start over into and go into a different career path because most likely, you’re going to have to maybe take a pay cut to get started in that other career. And so I challenge anyone to be to take initiative and be proactive about pursuing their calling, and their their passion. Because it may be a little difficult later on with trying to transition back to a different career path. And it’s just a reality of you know, you may have you may have a family, you may have children, you may have financial obligations that make it difficult for you to just, you know, change and go in a different direction.
Aaron Spatz 45:00
Let’s straight talk right there. I mean, that’s really getting down, really getting down to business because I think, I think a lot of people find themselves in that trap. And you no doubt have, I’ve seen the first new effort because that literally gonna be one of my next questions was. So for those people, you know, they they do have a salary expectation, but you know, what? What was their next move? Did they just give up? Or where they’re like, You know what, like, I’m going to get creative or me me downsize my lifestyle or come up with some other creative solutions to this problem. Have have any of them it in your experience? Like, have you seen anybody kind of make a really hard right turn on what they were doing. And it did require some sacrifice and what that was like for them?
James Mable 45:49
Yes, some people. Lucky for some of them, they were interested in going into a field, that is where you could start off and have a nice salary. For example, I remember speaking to someone who had been working at home who wanted to go into nursing, they wanted to become a nurse. Well, the great thing about that is that, you know, nurses actually make very good money from the get go. And so that was that sacrifice was, was much more easier to swallow. Because you could you know, what they what, what you could expect from a salary level, when you got started. For those like in general business, wanting to transition into something else in general business, which required a skill set, but not a licensed like nursing it, you probably had to start off with a much lower salary, you had to start off entry level. So that was very, very difficult. So it just really depended on the industry that they wanted to pursue. And it always came down when I talked to alumni, I always came down to, you know, what is your calling? What is your your passion? What is your purpose, that was the first part of the conversation. And then we then research different industries and looked at entry level positions and the starting salary and the the career trajectory over time in that industry. That was very important to do that, to be honest about salary. And was that okay? And that made a difference. For some people, some people couldn’t make the transition. Yeah, they were making very good my IRA member, someone making over six figures in their role, but that they wanted to go into the education sector. Well, over time, maybe you can make six figures in education sector, but not immediately, you know, you’re gonna have to talk to your spouse about how you kind of adjust your lifestyle, in during this transition. If this is your calling. And of course, when you’re with someone, then everything you do affects them. So you’re all going to, you’re going to have to agree and work together to make that transition. So that that’s difficult, which is why I’m saying that it’s important early on to think about your your passion. Think about your purpose, and really investigate that thoroughly. Yeah, before getting started.
Aaron Spatz 48:19
Yeah, that’s fantastic. And I just, I get the sense, you could talk for days on just these different stories in these different just firsthand accounts that you’ve been privileged enough to be able to, to sit in front of them. And you’ve, you’ve met with people, you’ve met with 1000s of people. And so I mean, it’s a phenomenal, phenomenal perspective that you have a, I would love to give this last segment back to you, if there’s if you have any, if you have any final thoughts, you know, just straight from the heart, or if there are any lingering things from our conversation that you would like to circle back to and in, tack on or if you have a final message to those that may be listening, I’d love to get this back to you.
James Mable 49:04
You know, I appreciate that. I think for me, deep down what’s most important is that you’re fulfilled. There are so many of us, that people that I’m in a city or they may see me that are going through life, and they’re not fulfilled meaning they may not be happy. And we don’t know how much time we have here on Earth. But we do have, I believe, a lot of influence on how we feel about our time here how we feel when we interact with others. So I think it’s very, very important to investigate your very purpose, your your your very calling here in life because I think that will lead to positivity throughout all aspects of your life. Especially Wanted involves others. And so I think it’s important to communicate with others what you want to do, I think it’s important to affirm that, obviously, it’s important to, to also be independent. And to be able to make up your mind what you want to do, and to stick with it, to also understand that at the end of the day, it’s you pursuing your career is you pursuing your calling, and sometimes you may have to go it alone. This, this entire existence here, in the United States, in my opinion, is all about being fulfilled. And I really believe a lot of us can be fulfilled, if what we’re doing or pursuing is impacting others. I really believe that I really believe if we’re empathetic. If we’re thinking about others, we are going to be fulfilled in life. So I think it’s important to align that with a career path. align that with a trajectory and in the job market, because I understand that it’s so overwhelming to think about the various options. And of course, thinking about salary thinking about money. In my opinion, when you’re fulfilled, money is secondary, because what’s most important is that you’re happy. What’s most important is that you’re enjoying what you’re doing. And so I believe all of the other rewards will come in time.
Aaron Spatz 51:42
Thanks for listening to America’s entrepreneur. If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review or comment on your preferred social media platform. share it out with friends, family, coworkers, others in your network. And of course, you can write me directly at Erin at Bold media.us That’s a Ron at Old media.us Till next time