We’d like to introduce you to Thom Boharsik, a former US Air Force Officer.
After serving almost six years in the Air Force, Thom was able to soar into a career at Accenture and eventually landed at Google as an Extended Workforce Solutions (xWS) Systems Manager.
Wonsulting helped Thom revise his resume.
"It was more than a resume revision - it was an updated approach to how I talked about myself and presented my patchwork professional past."
We hope that by sharing his career journey, others will be motivated and inspired to not give up looking for their dream job.
I was born in Atlanta, GA, but I moved down to Miami, FL when I was in middle school. I feel like I grew up between both places.
I started off studying Meteorology at Florida State University, but I realized that it wouldn't help me reach my goals long term - even though I loved it. I switched to Computer Science and then to Computer Criminology. It mixed technical and humanities studies which I found extremely interesting.
I was also in military training at the time through Florida State University's US Air Force ROTC detachment and studied Aerospace Science - military science and history.
When I graduated, I was commissioned immediately into the US Air Force as an Officer. I worked with military aircraft operations and maintenance (fighter jets and drones), ran local base improvement projects, managed military recruiting operations covering the State of NY, and led teams between 2 people and 350 people.
I learned a lot about leading people, tackling gnarly management situations, and recognizing how to navigate political environments. I worked in New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Florida, New York, and Afghanistan during that time frame.
After five and a half years in the US Air Force, I resigned and spent 6 months unemployed. I learned a lot about job searching, branding, and how I wanted to think of myself after the military. It was a truly transformational period. At this time, I was living just outside New York City which was great for networking and interviews.
My unemployment came to an end when I got an offer from Accenture to be a Management Consulting Senior Analyst.
I took the role, and got involved in Financial Services. I became a banking expert and then morphed that into becoming a bank technology and Salesforce expert.
My roles included supporting Target Operating Model transformations, Salesforce implementations, advising on bank regulatory challenges, helping navigate COVID payment protection loans, and building Accenture's Financial Service practice.
In Oct 2021, I had that fateful set of interviews with Google that got me hired to my current position. And I've been here ever since!
My current role as an Extended Workforce Solutions Systems Manager, focuses on leading, building, and maintaining the systems platform that drives Google's 200,000+ person contingent workforce worldwide.
I'm thinking a lot about how we take a massive contingent workforce machine like Google and modernize it for future growth expectations. Exciting and creative times.
I left the Air Force in 2018. I did not have something like Wonsulting.
There was a collection of tools from the Department of Labor (not helpful for breaking into tech or corporate), some non-profits helping out veterans, and various mentors in my life.
Honestly, the combination of mentors and a couple of non-profits helped me figure out "who Thom wants to be when he grows up,” but in reality, they only got me further along enough to open the door into corporate.
Accenture was a powerful start and it gave me the context I needed to start thinking critically about my brand, but it wasn't the full set of answers for my brand to grow, even if it was enough to help me transition out of the military.
I had some fantastic mentors at Accenture who changed my life and thinking long-term, but they were also very focused on and invested in the consulting industry.
For a combination of reasons, I felt that I didn't really want to be a Managing Director or Partner level equivalent. It's a super cool profession, but I wanted to give growing and developing a team in the tech industry a shot.
I was advising bank clients to do that exact thing, so why not me?
And this is where I hit my challenges.
Should I be talking about myself as a strategist or an operational lead?
Am I a prior bank consultant, a management expert, or a systems expert? 🤔
I can do all of them, but I didn't know how to fit them into the same picture that I wanted to paint as the "Thom Boharsik brand.” I was getting some interviews here and there through referrals from my corporate network, but often they were roles that I wasn't totally interested in.
Those roles neatly fit what my brand currently looked like, but not what I wanted it to be long-term.
In 2018, my big "aha!" moment was in just understanding what it meant to have a brand. I like to think of it kind of like cereal boxes.
Weird I know, but bear with me.
I find that in conversation we often try to find meaningful comparisons when explaining something to someone.
If I want to get a cereal that has some kind of dried fruit in it, I'll say, "Yeah, something like Raisin Bran.”
If I want something that feels crunchy but healthy, I'll say, "Something like Cheerios.”
What hit me was that I was talking about brands, literally giving free advertising and recognition to these products for their desired characteristics. So why not Thom? Why not build a brand so that when someone recognizes they need a strategy and operations lead, they'll say, "Yeah, someone like Thom Boharsik.”
It's a bit ridiculous and lofty of an idea to suggest you'd become a common name to businesses, but WHY NOT give it a shot anyway? It certainly motivated me and helped me think through how to build that brand. And ultimately it served as the foundation that brought me to today. It felt a bit arrogant, but I also realized that no one was going to give me agency or a platform otherwise.
In 2021, my big "aha!" moment was setting updated expectations for myself and thinking long-term with those expectations in mind. I wasn't the "post-transition veteran" any longer that just wanted a chance.
I built a brand in 2018 and started the momentum for myself, but now I had to ask, where do I go next with this?
I put aside what I assumed about myself and instead focused on what I was dreaming. I dreamed about working at a big tech firm and in an area of that firm that allowed me to influence the way the firm operated. I dreamed that I could put myself into a challenging role where I didn't have all the context and answers that I expected I would need, but that I could perform with the right attitude and that would carry me to the right aptitude (something I learned in consulting).
So I focused on setting higher expectations for what I would shape my job search around - a big tech firm, a team with operational impact/influence, and I needed to be ok being outside my expertise areas.
This "aha!" moment freed up my thinking and helped me not to limit my potential.
I didn't have anyone in my mentorship or non-profit circles to help me figure out the "Thom Boharsik brand" in 2021. What I had done in 2018 wouldn't get me where I wanted to be next.
So here's where Wonsulting provided the best value to me - it gave me that missing puzzle piece in my job search efforts and helped me think about my brand differently. It was more than a resume revision - it was an updated approach to how I talked about myself and presented my patchwork professional past.
Wonsulting helped me define that brand versus just putting a lot of great facts out there about myself - it represented the high expectations I set and how I could achieve those based on where I was coming from.
Sounds cheesy, but just do not give up. Do not think you are not "worthy" or capable or some other nonsense.
I used to look at LinkedIn pages of people who made it to big tech and I would do negative self-talk. I'd convince myself they had something that I didn't have, something that made them somehow different from me in a way that I could not overcome. I was always a bit put down by the fact I went to a non-target school and that what I learned in the military didn't clearly translate to corporate.
In fact, I felt that way to the point that I almost let a couple of "bad" job opportunities take my attention before I signed on with Accenture. And I am so grateful that I listened to my mentors who helped me understand otherwise.
Whoever you are, you're absolutely capable of achieving great things - sometimes we just need a bit of help or reframing of our perspective and that's totally normal.
Those same folks who you are looking at on LinkedIn went through this too, but, usually, we don't publish that on social media.
Find your mentors, don't give up, and trust yourself to be the best version of yourself.
YOU GOT THIS! 💪
Thom thought outside of the box and learned to set higher standards for himself. His strategy landed him a job at Google, so you could say it worked pretty well!
If you need extra guidance and support, our awesome career consultants will gladly offer one-on-one consultations to help you get to where you want to be. 😀
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