This time of year, we honor the many men and women who have, and continue to serve, in our armed forces. Veterans are treasures to our country – and when they come home they can be valuable members to a variety of organizations, including yours.
The military equips our veterans with important life skills that can be successfully transferred to civilian jobs, and even make them workplace leaders. This topic is of personal importance to me, since I served in combat in Military Intelligence with the US Army. Let’s explore some of these attributes:
Punctual: If there’s one thing the military is known for, it’s strict protocol, including punctuality. So if a meeting is scheduled, chances are a veteran will be on time and prepared. This isn’t always the case for civilian employees, therefore their example can introduce a mindset of accountability, especially if they’re in a supervisory role.
A Team Player: In the armed forces, it’s definitely a “we” over “me” mentality, and for good reason, because at the end of the day it can keep people alive. This group mindset is hard to kick, and spreads easily. A veteran with good character and positive values can broaden other employees’ awareness of the group over themselves, leading to a more cooperative, team-based culture.
Decision Maker: Office politics or over analyzing can lead to indecision at work. But progress only comes from a willingness to move forward. A military background brings with it the urgency to make quick decisions based on facts. A veteran who brings this mentality to the workplace can help move things forward, even when certain decisions are unpopular.
Project Management: Some of the experiences veterans have when deployed can be hard to translate to civilian life. But the overall takeaway is a boost to their project management skills. With most initiatives, they acquire the ability to see the individual pieces within the greater organization. Time in the armed forces gives veterans the challenge of managing different interests, agendas, resources, and logistics.
Our veterans offer all of the above, and much more, to companies across the country when they return to civilian life. This month, take a moment to thank the veterans in your company for all they bring to the team, as well as have brought to our country.