Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pitches the detailer may make

In a fresh and engaging style, Admiral Winnefeld explains how the Navy's assignment and promotion systems work and details how on-the-job performance plays a key role in both. His advice is timeless, and his retirement status allows him to be completely candid. The book draws from many experts and astute observers of the Navy's system for advancing its best officers. For every officer aspiring to get the most out of his or her career, this book is must reading. 

"We need your expertise in the job."
In this pitch the detailer emphasizes your experience in a similar job and the need for it in a follow-on job. In this formulation you are a pro whose abilities are badly needed in the open billet.

"We need your expertise in the job."
In this pitch the detailer emphasizes your experience in a similar job and the need for it in a follow-on job. In this formulation you are a pro whose abilities are badly needed in the open billet.

"This job calls for an officer in the grade of [the next highest rank]."
This pitch means that no qualified officer was available at the higher grade to fill the billet. You should ask why. Chances are that it is a less-desirable billet at that grade and that they had a hard time finding an officer to fill it.
   
"You were recommended (or asked for) to fill this billet."
This sales pitch is another appeal to your ego. Being asked for is nice, but is this a job that fits in with your progression to screening for command?

"Your timing is great."
In this pitch the detailer knows you are coming up before a screening or promotion board (say in the next year) and that the job on offer will enhance your resume. In a variation of this pitch, the detailer will say that the boss is well known and that it would be in your interest to have a fitness report signed by that individual before the board meets.

"You need more operational experience."
This statement may be true, but some operational experiences are better than others.

"You have been selected for postgraduate instruction."
This may be just what you want. To be selected (meaning you made the cut) and to have an opportunity to earn a degree and to have some shore duty after an arduous sea tour can sound great. But be careful. Is that what you really want to do? Getting an advanced degree indicates one or two payback assignments are in your future.

"We need you back ashore."
The implication is that you have been at sea or in command long enough and that it is time to give others a chance. Never be talked into leaving a sea command early, no matter who wants you. You should leave command kicking and screaming. A year in command simply is not long enough to learn the business.

"This is a joint {or combined] billet."
Here the detailer will point out, if you do not already know it, that joint or combined duty is a prerequisite for selection to flag rank.3 But the type of billet (is it with the J-3 in the Joint Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or in a small joint technical field activity?) and the timing (should you be at sea at this point?) are important factors.

"You need the flight hours."
This ploy is normally used with aviators who are to be ordered to flying billets ashore. You may need the flight hours-or at least they would help you as you go up the ladder and strive to screen for squadron command.

"You are going as an aide to the admiral."
Many years ago flag lieutenants were designated as staff communicators. These days flag lieutenants (at sea) and aides (ashore) are more personal assistants than key members of the staff. They are seldom involved with the substance of the staff's business. Rarely would an admiral ask an aide's opinion on a major matter of substance in making a decision. Aide jobs can be good jobs, but not for the reasons you may think.

From CAREER COMPASS by  Rear Admiral  James A. Winnifeld Sr. USN retired

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

His book is only $9.98 on the USNI website. Worth the $10.00 !!

Rubber Ducky said...

And two more things he should have said:

!. There is no RSVP on your orders. That's what they're called, orders. If you get a set, saddle up and do your job as directed.

2. It's an old axiom among detailers: if you want it bad, you get it bad. Don't be a pain in the ass.

The summation of the detailing process: Good people get good things ... but the needs of the Navy come first.