What’s the hardest part of transitioning from the world of Army Special Operations to the private sector?

This question, posed by a grizzled, ten-year veteran of a West Coast-based Navy SEAL Team, hung in the air.

It was in response to my address to  a group of Navy SEALs from The Honor Foundation , an organization dedicated to “bridging military and private sector careers … for members of the Special Operations Forces community.”

I had been invited to talk about my successful transition into the private sector after serving in two wars, including five combat deployments in the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Army’s premier Special Operations raid unit. I currently work at MuleSoft, a San Francisco-based enterprise software company.

After pausing to reflect, I replied, ” You can generally expect people in the private sector to demonstrate a drastically lower level of receptivity to negative feedback than you would encounter in the military .”

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Image courtesy of US Army