As part of Hire Heroes USA’s focus on women who serve – and have served – in the U.S. Armed Forces, we’ve reached out to female veterans who already have jobs in the civilian workforce. Of those who responded, a sizable majority of them are military spouses, too. Here’s another question we asked them:
WHAT SKILL OR TRAIT EARNED IN THE MILITARY
IS YOUR BEST ASSET TODAY, AND WHY?
DID IT HELP YOU IN YOUR TRANSITION?
U.S. NAVY E-7
I think the biggest trait that the military helped me to define was communication. I learned to communicate within diverse groups and communities which enabled me to effectively meet the mission of my job through teamwork. Effective communication helped me to build trust and trust provides a necessary foundation for teamwork and networking. I was able to communicate through my transition about what I wanted to do in the civilian workforce, and it was through networking and building trust that I got my current position.
There are so many skills and traits that I learned in the military that continue to be a part of who I am and what I’m able to accomplish each day. I learned to seek out and accept challenges by being the first female in my unit to jump out of airplanes and complete both water and combat survival schools. I learned what it really means to raise your right hand and serve when a child of one of the Airmen I worked with told me his father deployed – but didn’t come home. I learned that being a good leader also means being a good follower. The opportunity to be surrounded by so many different people regardless of age, rank, gender, ethnicity, etc. was so rewarding and helped me to pause and see things from different perspectives.
U.S. ARMY E-6
The ability to multitask and lead with little-to-no direction. For much of a military career you are told what to do and when to do it, however once the boots come off and your hair comes down, then you are on your own. Having the ability to take ownership over what turns you will take is a huge lesson that I learned – and have success in – on the civilian side.
U.S. AIR FORCE E-5
My best asset today would be my problem-solving skills and my public speaking. I am very detail-oriented and like to solve problems to the best of my abilities, whether it’s in my job description or not. Public speaking has helped with my transition because it has allowed me to feel confident, especially when it comes to interviewing with different companies that I have applied for. When you’re able to speak in front of one or 100 people, it says a lot about who you are as a person and what you’re able to contribute to your team.
U.S. ARMY O-3
That I can perform any task required of me, I’m not specialized and I always figure out how to get the product/task done.
U.S. AIR FORCE E-5
Confidence – and the ability to accomplish almost any task – allowed me not to shy away from any task or goal that I wanted to achieve.
U.S. MARINE CORPS E-6
The skill that has helped me most in my transition is resilience. Regardless of the challenge, I am confident that I can overcome anything with the right plan and direction. When it comes to finding and/or keeping a job, it is important to look past obstacles or use them to your advantage. In the military, tasks are often given, and the expectation is that it will get done despite set-backs and barriers. I have often found that the most challenging tasks are often the most worthwhile and lead to the best growth opportunities, both in and out of the military.
The Air Force gave me the technical skills and education in the Personnel field but I think the biggest trait the military has given me is to be confident with who I am…whether it be my skills, my approach to work and people, or how to talk to people. Resiliency is another thing that the Air Force has taught me. If someone tells me no, I find a different way of doing things until they say yes.
U.S. AIR FORCE E-4
I learned leadership and interacting with people. Those are my best assets today. As a project manager, those are some of the skills that are key to being successful. I have benefited from those skills outside my corporate role as well. I volunteer a lot and most of the roles I’ve held have been in leadership; motivating others to do their best.
U.S. ARMY E-5
Leadership and mentorship. I continue to use those skills to help fellow veterans overcome barriers to employment.
U.S. AIR FORCE E-5
Organization and analysis of facts. My job requires me to determine the facts and help develop a legal theory by gathering factual evidence and organizing to help the attorney to further develop a legal theory to present to the court and jury. Yes, my organizational skills were recognized by supervisors who supported me to progress to promotions.
U.S. ARMY E-4
From a mental perspective, it taught me to be tough and stand firm. From a professional standpoint, it taught me to double/triple check to ensure accuracy and to be diligent in your work because small errors can lead to larger problems. It helped a little in my transition to the civilian word, and I say a little because I was a waitress until I decided what I wanted to do with my life. In nursing school, it helped me overcome a lot of desires to quit from fatigue and stress (I was in school, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and working full time with a baby at home, so it helped me prioritize and think of the bigger picture).
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