While military experience doesn’t necessarily make you a great salesman, teacher, or even business savvy, it does give you a whole myriad of skills and bonuses which your competitors might lack. It offers people a unique opportunity to develop team working and leadership skills, far beyond those of people fresh out of college. It entitles you to all manner of veteran benefits that nobody else can access, and it gives an unparalleled ability to work efficiently and decisively under pressure. These are all skills that any employer worth their salt would fall head over heels for.
In a military career, you can’t roll up in the morning ten minutes later than everyone else, without your superiors making a good use of humiliation tactics to get you to learn your lesson. In the working world, lateness is a huge pet peeve of many managers and CEOs, after all, time is money. Every single second that a worker is out of the office when they’re meant to be in it is just dollars sliding down the drain. They’re going to trust someone with a background in the military for their timekeeping abilities, if nothing else.
Being in the military isn’t without its financial and social benefits. While they’re not skills to take into the workplace, they’re bonuses that will help to keep you and your family healthy, safe, and warm for years to come. For example, many shops, restaurants, and attractions do a military discount. The Disney military discount, for example, entitles military personnel and their families to fantastic trips for a fraction of the price. There’s also health and dental care, tuition loans and grants, a pension, and other specialty training. A career in the military isn’t just setting you up for great employability; it’s also helping to secure you and your family and your future.
If you rock up to roll call late, with the wrong uniform or scuffed boots, you’re going to be made an example of in front of everyone. Military personnel soon learn that appearance is everything. This skill, when you go out into the working world following a military career, is super important when you’re going for interviews. And trust me, potential employers will check to see if your boots are shined to within an inch of their life.
For every job application submitted that says the age-old line “I work well individually as well as part of a team” there is an ex-military applicant who means it. Teamwork is a central tenet of military life, and employers know it. They know that when you say you can act decisively with limited information, and organize a team based on that decision, that you have real-world applications to back this up. They know that you’re able to problem solve as a group, and that you’ll never let the rest of your team down. Loyalty and team building skills are very attractive traits to employers in every field.
Working under pressure
There aren’t many non-military based jobs which require people to be able to function under such immense pressure. Your ability to weather the storm, and still make calculated and logical decisions, is a very attractive trait. Your ability to lead others through that storm, acting as a calming influence, will make you an incredible manager.
Attention to detail
When you focus on the details, the bigger picture tends to work itself out. At least, that’s the theory of the military, and it works. As far as a real world application goes, an employer is going to love someone who understands how the little details affect the larger picture. Perfectionism is, by no means, a negative trait.
When your decisions can be a matter of life and death, you become very able to make decisions based on only small smatterings of evidence quickly and effectively. There is no other job other than perhaps ER doctors and nurses who learn this skill so effectively. An ex-military personnel has an ability to make logistical plans like nobody else, too. The skill of being able to look at a piece of information and make sense of it, quickly putting that new process into action, is almost unparalleled.
Giving your all
Finally, in the military, if you don’t give 110% to everything you do, things can start to go downhill quite rapidly. An off-day at work, or a lapse in concentration, can be catastrophic. Someone from a military background gives their all to everything they set their mind to, and employers know this. It really is one of the best professional experiences that exists.
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