A program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

What Are You Gonna Do? Where Are Ya Gonna Go?

Listen in as Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor recipient and Hiring Our Heroes and Toyota Personal Branding Ambassador and Elizabeth O’Brien, Hiring Our Heroes Senior Director of the Military Spouse Program, sit down with Don Esmond, former senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales USA.

Esmond shares his experiences as a former Marine and Toyota vice president on this episode of the Sitrep podcast.

With more than 50 years of professional experience, Esmond’s story of transition and then making a commitment to hiring military spouses and veterans is a great testament to why we all need a plan.


Top Takeaways from “What Are You Gonna Do? Where Are Ya Gonna Go?”:

1. The first step of the transition process is deciding what you want to do and where you want to be.

“You’ve got to have a plan…Think back to what (you) learned in the military and have an objective: what do you want to do, where do you want to live, what are your skills, do a self-assessment and then come up with a plan on how you are going to get there.” – Don Esmond, former senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales USA

2. The skills taught in the military can be capitalized on in the civilian sector.

“You have the skills transitioning out of the armed services, whether it is the leadership skills, working as a team, the ability to have persistence, or doing the job with what resources you are given, there is a lot of skill base there and those are things they do not teach in school.” – Don Esmond, former senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales USA

3. Be confident in your skills and detail your personal achievements from your time in the military.

“You have to have confidence in what your skills are…list what you have accomplished and don’t be bashful and let folks know what you did.” – Don Esmond, former senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales USA

The HOH Sitrep podcast is the official podcast of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative. Subscribe to the HOH Sitrep podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcast service and never miss an episode.

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A Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation