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For many military veterans this simple word is chock full of meaning.

At the end of formation; when that formal counseling session was over; when other interactions concluded – hearing this simple word signaled an end … and a new beginning.

We knew we were done. Free at last. Off to do whatever was next.

This experience accurately depicts the dictionary definition … ‘to be ordered or allowed to leave; to be sent away’

But what about career transition? I’ll suggest it may take on a different meaning – and we must be wary not to let it become negative.

As in “When’s the last time you ‘dismissed’ someone, some opportunity, some potential new contact, lead, company or job?

Sometimes it is easy and appropriate. A quick assessment of the situation clearly reveals it is not a fit. No problem.

Other times we dismiss others, ideas, opportunities, etc. too swiftly. It happens all too frequently, most often because we just don’t know what we don’t know.

When this occurs, we may be dismissing someone or something with fantastic potential (directly or indirectly) of which we are simply unaware. Sometimes it’s because pre-conceived notions, ideals, targets, etc. are blinding us. Regardless of the cause, we don’t see the potential upside and opportunity ahead.

Have you ever had a concern about an opportunity? Perhaps it seemed too good to be true, or there was just something that just didn’t feel right? How did you react? Did you simply dismiss the opportunity and move on to the next? Or did you dismiss your concerns, and ‘chase the shiny thing’ despite your concerns and make a bad decision?

When’s the last time you were ‘dismissed’? A new contact didn’t reply to your LinkedIn invite; a phone call to a business leader seeking an informational interview goes unanswered; a previously scheduled meeting gets cancelled last minute with no re-schedule details. Doesn’t feel very good does it? It can ding your confidence.

It happens. Often for explainable reasons. Regardless of why, it leaves a mark. It’s amazing how many people I talk with who tell tales of being ‘dismissed’ by others during search.

So, what to do?


- Career transition and job search are at their core a decision-making process.

- As with any decision options, courses of action, and decision criteria are best used with robust information and minimal bias.

Be diligent.

- Consider opportunities with a clear mind, open to possibilities, respectful of others and with reasonable controls on pre-conceived notions and biases.

When you get ‘dismissed’ (and you will)

- Don’t take it personally.

- Do a quick AAR, decide if you should keep chasing that opportunity or if its best to move on.

Be Well. Keep up the Fire!

Copywrite 2019 William E. Kieffer

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