Military experience has a wide variety of uses to help advance your career outside of the military. The military attributes of personal performance such as hard work, determination, showing up early, and staying until the job is done have enormous value. Concrete skill sets that you learned in the military such as maintenance, technology, and how to lead teams are valuable. Finally, military skill sets that can translate to business use such as planning, competitive analysis, risk mitigation, coaching, and change implementation are of extraordinary value to your success in a second career.
With all the value that comes from a military background, it is vital to remember that not ALL value comes from a military background. There are some conceptions of military leadership or attributes of how military tasks are performed that are just plain wrong. For example, in the military, over-stocking of critical supply items just in case they might be needed is an acceptable practice, especially in a combat environment. However, over-stocking items for a commercial company, where cost and concern over cash flow rule supreme, over-stocking of all but the most important items is something that is not to be done. Just In Time use and ordering of material, not over-stocking, is the rule.
Here are five areas that military veterans need to be aware of where their military experience does not translate well into civilian careers.
With all the value that comes from a military background, it is vital to remember that not ALL value comes from a military background. Military experience has a wide variety of uses to help advance your career outside of the military. Be aware that your prior military experience and your understanding of how organizations run may not always be valuable in every scenario. Determine what your new company needs and what your military experience brings to the role, this will help you make a successful transition from your military career to your new civilian career.
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About the blogger:
Chad Storlie is the author of two books: Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and Battlefield to Business Success. Both books teach how to translate and apply military skills to business. An adjunct Lecturer of Marketing at Creighton University and Bellevue University in Omaha, NE. Chad is a retired US Army Special Forces officer with 20+ years of Active and Reserve service in infantry, Special Forces, and joint headquarters units. He served in Iraq, Bosnia, Korea, and throughout the United States. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Special Forces Tab, and the Ranger Tab. In addition to teaching, he is a mid-level marketing executive and has worked in marketing and sales roles for various companies, including General Electric, Comcast, and Manugistics. He has been published in The Harvard Business Review blog, Business Week Online, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, and over 40 other publications. He has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University.
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