Arriving at the decision to leave the Corps isn’t easy. Once it’s made, however, is where the tough work begins. As a wife, I didn’t have an active part in helping my Marine find work. My husband used his contact net for sources and was informed about Bradley Morris. The name is daunting enough for a spouse like me to remember already, I’ve referred to them as Bradley Cooper and my husband, Eric, has stopped correcting me!
A bit of background information About Bradley Morris, INC, or BMI. They are the largest military job placement firm in the U.S. Their purpose is to hire Military Technicians for civilian jobs, but what they really do is connect the civilian companies to military personnel (a headhunter). They are good at it too! Eric was constantly on his phone with his recruiter from BMI. He was supportive throughout the process of questions and paperwork. They went above and beyond because they knew the paperwork that my husband had to go through, including terminal leave. I felt really confident at this point. I really felt like he’d have a job by the time his terminal leave is up (terminal leave is time off taken at the end of an enlistment. You’re still getting paid but you’re basically relieved of your duties.)
BMI holds job fairs regionally a few times a year. We lucked out because the next job fair was in February in Atlanta, Georgia. We pinched our pennies and saved enough up to be able to attend. We incurred several costs by staying in the hotel where the job fair was held and also updated his wardrobe. This was the most difficult part of me because for the first time in his career, his Bravos would no longer work. BMI’s dress code states that applicants must wear a gray suit, white collared shirt, and a red tie. I understand why they require this, but we were at a point in our lives where we were saving every penny for the upcoming move. Needless to say, we went out and bought him a suit, the collared shirt, and the solid colored necktie. That was a mission itself! Everything had to be tailored because it all had to fit just right, similar to his alphas. I might be partial, but I’m pretty sure Eric was the best-dressed guy there!
After all of the preparation, we made the drive to Atlanta for the job fair. The initial kickoff included a general job fair expo. Eric checked in with me around lunchtime to tell me everything was going really well. I was really struggling to be optimistic. Nothing puts a girl down more than being stuck near a ritzy mall on a Walmart budget, especially when she’s stressed!
The second day were interviews and Eric ROCKED them. Every single interviewer said they’d love to hire him. His resume was fabulous. After lunch, he participated in second interviews. There was good news all around. He checked in with his recruiter and we were told the rest was up to the companies; we just had to wait for them to call. Feeling great, we checked out of our $150 a night room, snagged some dinner, and made a late night drive home. Now, we waited. And waited. I started to get antsy. Then I got pissed. There was literally nothing else Eric or his BMI recruiter could do. This is my biggest pet peeve.
I really wish there was something BMI could have done. Terminal leave doesn’t last forever and our end date was creeping up on us. Fast. Finally, we received a couple of phone calls. Both would have required us to move for his training which would be fine, however, we had to factor in the cost of paying out of pocket for moving once again after his training was complete. I remember Eric and I being wound so tight at this point we didn’t talk much. Everything had been said. We were stuck playing the waiting game in the civilian world and it was awful.
One of the jobs Eric had interviewed for was Cummins in Savannah. They had a new shop and needed a foreman. We spent St. Patrick’s Day driving to Savannah for the parade and to see friends. On Monday, we dropped by the shop. Eric was all dressed up and ready! Unfortunately, we learned that the position wouldn’t be open for MORE THAN A YEAR. BMI failed to tell us that.
All in all, my experience with BMI left me utterly unimpressed because there were just too may maybe’s during this time in our lives. What that being said, they have been successful with others, so please don’t let our experience scare you. If you are separating from the military in the next few years, please contact them. Your experience may be different. It didn’t work for our family but has worked for thousands of others. If you’re still interested, they also have a blog.
How have you managed finding work after the Marine Corps?
What tools or programs have you used that have helped?