Accomplishing clients’ missions by adding value and increasing productivity
Cesar Nader is the CEO and president of X Corp Solutions, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business based in Stafford, Virginia. Utilizing an approach customized to each client’s unique mission and values, X Corp specializes in language training, cultural fluency, and leadership development. The company’s services span diverse areas of business such as professional management integration, property management, IT and cybersecurity, educational workshops, and transition programs. X Corp is government-certified under SBA 8(a) and HUBZone on the federal level, as well as DMBE, SWaM, and MBE on the state level.
Can you take us through your work with other veterans?
CESAR NADER: My involvement with veterans started truly when I started my transition. Remember when I told you that I started transitioning from the military ten years out? I learned very quickly that we didn’t have a robust transition program at least at the time that I was getting out. It has gotten better and better and better. They’ve done a terrific job these days—the Department of Labor, SBA, the Department of Defense. They’re in a memorandum of agreement—or “memorandum of understanding” as they call it, MOU—to try to improve the transition for veterans, but at that time it was really difficult because you’ve got a very limited time to figure how to market yourself. It takes 13 weeks to make a marine. It takes six months to make a marine officer. From civilian to graduation, you get one week to transition out of the military, the Marine Corps—one week. Think about that. [Malcolm] Gladwell says that it takes 10,000 hours to become a true professional in your field. Imagine trying to change that in a week. How do you become a professional job hunter in a week when you’ve spent 20 years in the military? You’re moving, shooting, communicating. You are learning the steps, just like that pilot, Sully, who landed that plane in the yard—it was second nature to him to land that plane safely. Nobody got hurt. That’s an expert.
So when you become a military expert, the last thing on your mind is the day you’re going to have to get out. But one thing I remember clearly from my senior drill instructor in boot camp—he said there’s only one thing certain about your career in the corps: one day you will have to get out. It’s not whether you will, if you will, maybe—no, you will leave the corp, one way or another. He didn’t specify the other, but the one way was you have to transition out. You’ve got these two binders of stuff you have to achieve in the military. He goes, “This is what I’ve done in my career. Most of it will not matter in the civilian sector. You better think about that early and often.” That designed the marine. The perfect marine barely incurs decisive dependability, and it goes on. We have an acronym: JJ DID TIE BUCKLE. If you follow those letters, it gives you the 14 leadership traits in the Marine Corps. I’ve been out of the corp five years, and I still remember that from boot camp 25 years ago. It’s a code that is built into you. You learn BAMCIS, how to plan for an operation; you learn OpSEC; you learn SMEAC. All these terms make sense to marines. What doesn’t make sense to marines is how to market a position where you’re a motor transport specialist. How do you market that in the civilian sector? How do you market that you were a logistics officer of a combat unit, engineer company? How do you market that you were a combat engineer in the civilian sector? There are some jobs that do have correlated titles, but the hardest thing for a veteran is to figure out how what you did becomes a marketable skill in the civilian sector. How do you make sure that you get the widest net to have the best opportunity for the best job?
I knew after 10 years of doing this, while I was in the Marine Corps as an officer that I can do something if I got out. I figured it out: I was going to go back and I was going to share that with my fellow marines and my fellow veterans and anyone who would listen. And so I took 10 years of lessons in six months of that experience, where I told you I went on those 100 screenings and 40-plus interviews, had job offers, where I looked at the difference between salary and compensation, the difference between quality of life and the standard of living, the difference between a W-2 and a 1099, employee versus consultant. We will take our families wherever we can to find a job that we believe is good for us and that’s the one approach. I do everything I can to help organizations like Hire Our Heroes, Objective Rally Point—and there’s a ton of them, I can’t name all of them—but any organization that has the desire to help veterans, I volunteer to share with them the experiences that I’ve learned, not because I’m the expert, but it makes sense to listen to another veteran who’s gotten out—any one of us—to share their lessons with you, to be able to understand what’s it going to take for you to be successful and hit your target.
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