From U.S. Army Captain to Corporate Manager: A Wayfairian's Career Journey

Matt Cabral is no stranger to transitions. After nearly eight years of service in the United States Army, he transitioned from his position as Captain to enter civilian life and faced a pivotal moment shared by many of his fellow veterans: how to translate the experiences and invaluable skills he gained during his time in service to a new kind of workforce. To help make that transition, he turned to Hiring Our Heroes.

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At Wayfair, we are dedicated to providing veterans and military spouses with opportunities that will help them further advance their careers. Our partnership with Hiring Our Heroes allows us to do just that by connecting service members, veterans, and military spouses with rewarding career opportunities and by helping them navigate their transition into the civilian business community.

According to Matt, “Hiring Our Heroes is a truly fantastic program for service members and companies alike.” After participating in a Hiring Our Heroes fellowship at Wayfair, Matt relocated to Boston from Texas to join the company as a senior analyst on Wayfair’s Partner Operations team. During this time, he was matched with a mentor who had joined the company from the military a few months before him. “He was super helpful with learning about other parts of the business,” noted Matt.

Matt was recently promoted to a manager role and today, he works with Wayfair’s supplier partners in the plumbing category to optimize their end-to-end supply chain process - and his commitment to the military community continues. He works closely with a fellow veteran on his team to foster community growth and support for other veterans and military spouses. That includes providing advice on transitioning to a new workforce.

“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that your career outside the military is not defined by how long you’ve been in a position and it’s not always a checklist. In the Army we had career plans where I could, with minor deviation, map out generally which position I’d have in which year and when the next promotion would be. Wayfair has so many opportunities; it’s up to you to identify them and work on them. Don’t be afraid of the unknowns; I never would have thought that I would love working with different partners each day to grow their business.”

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When looking for a job, a veteran must translate all of their experience and skills in terms that can sometimes seem like an entirely different language. “A lot of veterans, myself included, can get overwhelmed with translating past experiences because the terminology is completely different from the ‘military’ world to the ‘civilian’ world. For my current role, I tried explaining decisions I made as a company commander for training plans and what I had done previously with Wayfair during my fellowship. During interviews, I gave quite a few examples of mistakes that I’ve made in my professional career and what I’ve learned from them.”

While working at Wayfair, Matt applies professional lessons learned in the military to the work he does for the Partner Operations team. Matt remarks that in the military, “If there is an obstacle, it is incumbent upon you to either remove it or bypass it,” which is an attitude that he has learned to take everywhere with him. “Additionally, with frequent military moves, circumstances are always changing and you have to quickly build relationships with new team members. The same holds true at Wayfair due to the high growth the company has experienced, doubling every 2-3 years.”

At Wayfair, our goal is to foster a comfortable and opportunity-rich environment for everyone, including members of the military community. “Wayfair’s culture is all about putting people first — the internal team, our partners, our customers, our personal development,” noted Matt. “Everyone is treated as individuals and differences between people are celebrated; differences are what give us strength. We work exceptionally hard to provide the best experience for our customers and we support each other along the way.”

In search of career opportunities with Wayfair? Head over to our Careers page to search for open roles and growth opportunities. For a look into what life at Wayfair is like, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.