The transition from the military to a civilian career can seem daunting, especially when it comes to translating your skills. It is important to realize that we learn many job skills from experience, and military service has taught you essential skills that your civilian counterparts may lack.
You know how to lead.
The military teaches you leadership readiness at every level. In what other field would an entry-level employee be responsible for multi-million dollar equipment, confidential intelligence, and a staff of people? You are trained to manage, delegate, provide careful direction, and motivate — all skills most civilians don’t acquire until later in their careers.
Your work ethic is unmatched.
Your work experience is not a traditional 9 to 5 job. You understand what it means to work until the job is done, even if that means staying a few extra hours. Your dedication in meeting deadlines and achieving results is unparalleled.
You understand (and thrive in) a changing environment.
Today’s business environment is both dynamic and uncertain; companies cannot thrive unless they are able to face change. According to Syracuse University’s’ Institute for Veterans and Military Families, “Cognitive and decision-making research has demonstrated that the military experience is positively correlated to the ability to accurately evaluate a dynamic decision environment, and subsequently act in the face of uncertainty.”
You remain composed under pressure.
The military trains you to complete tasks and achieve results with limited resources. You have the capacity to accomplish high priority tasks on time. Even more, you demonstrate resiliency when facing adversity. This is essential in business settings where obstacles often occur such as sales, new product development, and early-stage ventures.
You respect policies and procedures.
You understand policies and procedures because you know the importance of accountability, productivity, and stability. The military is similar to a business in corporate America, held together by rules and structure. You know how to follow rules and maintain productivity every day in a working environment.
You are a team player.
It is probably difficult for you to talk about yourself; take advantage of this! You are a team player. You were trained to rely on the skills of other’s while leveraging your talents to achieve large goals. Companies need people like you to bring a team mentality to their business.
Your skills and experience are highly valued in today’s competitive business environment for their ability to enhance performance and create an organizational advantage. Your military skills do translate to the civilian workplace and — most importantly — employers are looking for people like you.