Military Skills and Abilities that Transfer over into the Civilian Workforce

Back in April of this year on this blog, we wrote about several business leaders, all veterans, who are now or have been captains of industry. We wrote about, for example, how FedEx was founded by Marine Corps veteran, Fred Smith and how the company is the 10th-largest private employer in the United States. Despite this accomplishment by a Marine Corps veteran and similar achievements by veterans of many of branches of the military, some recruiters fail to see how skills obtained while serving this country translate over into the civilian workforce. This is unfortunate. Here are just a few of the many, many important skills that members of the armed forces acquire that can be used in the civilian workforce as well.

  • Leadership: No organization can thrive without strong, effective leadership. Leadership requires strategic planning, intelligence and the ability to inspire others to be their best. Sounds like any organization you know? These attributes are gained through service in the military as are problem-solving skills.
  • Communication: Employers need and appreciate managers who can communicate to their subordinates exactly what is required of them in an unambiguous manner. Effective communication skills help in all job interactions and help in the task of goal setting and mission execution.
  • The ability to follow orders: The ability to follow orders is an integral part of every workplace environment no matter what your position is in that company. This and obedience are instilled in people who serve in the military from basic training onward.military
  • Problem solving: Effective problem solving skills are some of the most important assets a new hire can bring to a job. The ability to think on one’s feet and adapt when things go wrong are all part and parcel of effective problem solving.
  • Teamwork and collaboration: Most employers aren’t looking for iconoclastic individuals who want to go their own way. That is because in nearly all of life’s endeavors more can be accomplished through teamwork and cooperation.

Yes, all these are so-called “soft-skills” that easily transfer over into the civilian workforce. They are a part of a skill-set that each recruit learns and carries with him/her for his/her entire life. The acquisition of this knowledge is a reason to be proud of serving in this country’s military. You can also express your pride in the Corps when you purchase an item from our USMC store. We have many items from books and videos to clothing and Marine Corps jewelry.

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