Name: Matt Metzger
Job Title: Director of Outdoor Apparel
Career Field: Sales/ E-Commerce
Company: Grunt Style
Military Branch: Marine Corps
Military Occupation: 1161 Refrigeration Mechanic
How did your military background help your career so far? Did it make anything more difficult?
My military background opened a lot of doors that wouldn’t normally have been opened. With my high school grades, I wasn’t accepted into any schools, but the military helped open those doors. I got in and then graduated with honors from Western Illinois University. Western not only helped with the education, but the knowledge on how to act professionally. It continued to open doors after college, in getting noticed at different jobs. A lot of employers saw that and it helped as a differentiating factor on getting the resume call back.
I currently have a job that is very military and veteran focused. The interaction with co-workers and higher ups has benefited because of my military service. Working with business to business, you find that the military aspect is huge with businesses wanting to hire, or being started by veterans. The interaction within the military and the respect for the chain of command has helped lead my career down the correct path.
What advice or steps would you recommend for veterans preparing to enter your career field?
The E-commerce field is very big. There is a great potential for people within the E-commerce platform. Find something worthwhile, that you enjoy to do, and figure out how to make money off of it. Hard work is essential, unless you are going to be a dead end 9-5er. E-commerce has allowed for many entrepreneurs to sprout and make millions. Know your stuff with the web, learn as much as you can, and prepare to learn as you go. The internet is always changing and evolving. Know your basic marketing, and know how to market in the 21st century with social media.
What do you enjoy the most about your career field?
The constant change has been something that is enjoyable with the E-commerce career field. If you can stay on top of the change, you can ride the wave until the next change that comes out. Knowing how to manipulate changes with marketing and social media allows for the wave to be ridden and success to be everlasting. Working with Vets is always a great feeling as well.
What do you like least about your career field?
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the best part can also be the worst. Veterans can be very difficult to work with. In the realm of social media, vets can be some very cruel people to other vets. I would like to see a more uplifting and encouraging to other vets and veteran ran businesses. Vets need to work together instead of against each other to spread into the civilian mindset.
What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in this career field?
The ability to accept change, roll with it, and not let the BS get you down. I feel that is a lot of the career fields out there. But the ever-changing internet realm requires you to be very flexible.
Is there something you wish you’d known or a skill you wish you’d had starting out in this career field?
I wish I had more of a marketing background. Business classes and marketing would have really helped my career field. My major was Law Enforcement and Political Science, not really what I am doing nowadays.
How do most people get into this career field (internships, networking, etc.)? What are common entry-level jobs?
So especially with our company, many vets start at the bottom and work their way up. The epitome of the American Dream. Work hard and you can move up. They are starting in production or shipping, and move up there or they can move into a front office role. Hard work equals advancement.
How did you find and apply for this job role (career fair, networking contact, online application, etc.)?
Honestly found the job posting on a YouTube video
What made you stand out as a candidate for this job role?
I was originally hired for a sales position, and was coming from a previous sales role. I was a veteran and had sales experience. It was a good fit.
What kind of education, training or experiences does your job role require?
The current position would require business and marketing knowledge, an expert in social media, and good knowledge in the fashion industry.
What are the major components of your job role on a daily basis?
I report on the previous days sales numbers, work with outside manufacturers, oversee marketing and social networking employees, discuss new designs for shirts and apparel, and focus on future product releases for upcoming months.
What do you like about your industry?
The constant change. Its challenging and fun. Planning out what is going to be the next hit is always hit or miss. It’s nice to get those hits. The E-commerce platform has rapidly increased the total percentage of all retail sales, and will only increase.
How do you see your industry changing in the next 10 years?
The percentage of total retail sales will continue to increase and therefore make our industry a lot more relevant.