Episode 6: Building a Winning Culture | Sean Hurd

Shift Group has executed a shift of its own and recently expanded our service offerings. As we continue to support elite athletes in their transition to tech sales, we now also offer unique support to veterans looking to transition from military service. For us, supporting this new market made perfect sense—it leverages our expertise to help a new market segment. This is our first podcast focusing on this new vertical, so tune in to hear why this shift makes sense and to learn about ways in which Shift Group can help veterans find new opportunities and help companies tap into this fantastic candidate pool.

First things first, to all veterans and those currently serving:

Thank you.

I’m humbled by and in awe of your selflessness and your sacrifice.

And to Sean, thank you for your 22 years with the US Army, 22 years of dedication and commitment in service to our country.

Thank you. Truly.

When I founded Shift Group, my goal was straightforward—to help elite athletes transition to careers in tech sales. We’ve been very successful in that regard—in our first year of operations we secured over $10M in base salaries for over 180 candidates that we placed with over 85 hiring companies.  But like most elite athletes, I’m always learning from what I’m doing, always learning how to do more, how to get an edge…and since there’s a lot of similarity between elite athletes and veterans, moving into this adjacent space is a logical step for Shift Group.

Creating services for veterans isn’t just a strong play for Shift Group. It’s also a good move for our candidates and for the companies who hire them, and I’m beyond excited to welcome Sean to the team. As someone who understands the unique circumstances veterans face as they transition to civilian life, Sean will help Shift Group develop and deliver programs that fully support and prepare these candidates for careers in tech sales. Additionally, Sean will help hiring companies understand how they can shift some of their standard hiring practices and scripts to accommodate the valuable but non-traditional experiences that veterans bring to the table.

Veterans and elite athletes share many of the same core qualities that lend themselves to successful tech sales careers. In general, both are mission-focused, determined, high-performing, and constantly adjusting to achieve better results. This overlap isn’t a huge surprise, and Sean confirms that many veterans are in fact elite athletes. Here at Shift Group we know how to leverage these core characteristics to help those who possess them to land a role and thrive in tech sales.

There also are some notable differences that we know we need to accommodate to successfully support this group. We need to help veterans translate their unique experiences into compelling stories. We need to help hiring companies adapt their job requirements. And we need to help people get over the stereotypes and preconceived notions about veterans that are so prevalent—for example, the assumption that all military experience is the same when there are hundreds of job roles that require different skills, experience, and personal qualities.

The bottom line is this: the shared core characteristic of these two groups makes Shift Group’s support for placing veterans into tech sales jobs a very logical next step.

At Shift Group, we will work with veterans to help create a strong personal narrative.We’ll help prep for interviews and to anticipate standard questions that can be tricky for someone with “non-standard” experience. We’ll help you evaluate offers to increase the likelihood that once you accept a role, you’ll be happy with your decision and you’ll be able to progress with that hiring company. And we’ll provide ongoing support and training to facilitate your transition once you’ve been hired.When you work with Shift Group, you’ll have the resources you need to be successful, to grow your career, and ultimately to become a true sales professional. There’s an old quote attributed to Julie Andres’ old music teacher of all people, but it’s appropriate here: “An amateur practices until he can do a thing right; a professional until he can’t do it wrong.” We’ll work with you to develop an approach, process, and structure that ultimately will decrease the chances of you getting it wrong.

In this podcast, I follow my “standard” approach. But Sean comes at my questions from a completely different perspective than a “typical” guest on Merchants of Change. Tune in to for more #requiredlistening that’s sure to be eye opening for veterans, athletes, and hiring companies alike. If you’re an athlete, a veteran, or a company looking to hire fantastic candidates, reach out so we can talk about how Shift Group can help.

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