Tag Archives: career transition

Need To Know – Get Leaving The Military Advice From USAA

Slide16Military transition is just like a military operation. You need a good plan, people to help, resources, rehearsals, and back-up plans to make sure that you accomplish your goals. When I transitioned, I did not have a good plan, I was not prepared to be unsuccessful, and I did not know how to translate and apply my military skills to business.

 

1. Attitude is everything.  Attitude is one of the most important mental criteria that will make an employee shine in terms of both performance and leadership. Ensure you have a positive and constructive attitude for even the most seemingly mundane tasks.

 

2. Be Open to New Experiences.  Often when we are exposed to a vast array of new experiences, we fall back on our military ways and mind sets. All these uncertainties in the economy, fluidity of roles in a commercial organization, and differences between the veteran and non-veteran employees can encourage a status-quo or “pull back” approach by the veteran employee.

No matter the expressed definition of workplace activity and company roles, you should dive into whatever roles and experiences are offered immediately.

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3. Have a Back Up Plan for Everything — Jobs, Finances, Everything.  All good plans create multiple options to achieve the mission objectives and to accomplish critical tasks. In the U.S. military, operational planners use the concept of P-A-C-E (Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency) to ensure that they have a minimum of four different ways to accomplish a critical task. For career transition planning, P-A-C-E can be used when you are looking at Industries, companies, geographic locations, and types of positions.  For example, in selecting geographic locations, one city or one state may be insufficient. You will probably need to look at Washington, Colorado, Texas, North Dakota and Missouri as opposed to only Washington. For industries, if you are interested in the Energy industry, you may need to expand into Natural Gas, Drilling, and Light Manufacturing. The entire point of P-A-C-E is that once you have expanded your geography, industries, companies, and positions, you now are looking at 15-20 viable options that can be investigated and explored instead of the two to three at the top of your head. The use of P-A-C-E forces you to explore and expand your interests and ensure that you look fully at ALL available options.

FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR YOUR LEAVING THE MILITARY CHECKLIST:

Three Ways Military Safety Procedures Can Help Ensure Workplace Safety

This Contentsafety procedures Provided Courtesy of USAA.

It seems contrary to a lot of people’s conceptions that the military is a major proponent of safe operations. From the military’s stand point, safe operations are one of the most important steps a leader can take to prepare their unit to accomplish their wartime mission. My first leadership position in the US Army was as a Heavy Mortar Platoon Leader in the Republic of Korea. My platoon’s purpose was to fire our six mortars accurately, quickly, and under any weather conditions. To do this safely, though, was a daunting task. We had to be able to operate from -30F to +100F, in rain, snow, mud, and maintain and operate wheeled and tracked vehicles when most of the platoon had less than three years in the US Army. Yet, we achieved our mission with a majority of very junior soldiers.

A focus on safety made us better at our military jobs. In my opinion, the same principles of safety the military uses can, and should, be used in the civilian world to make workplaces safer and more productive.

How military safety matters to workplace safety:

It starts with training & leadership to a high standard. Training, education, and rehearsals (practice) are the best way to maintain and create a safe workplace. Safe operations come from having to train, to practice, and to anticipate how to perform tasks safely even under a great amount of stress, little sleep, and minimal time in key p

usmcno excuses for not being safe & effective. Every military leader knows the quote, “I am responsible for everything my unit does and fails to do.” During my time in the ROK, I had the most up-to-date radios and military vehicles that were rebuilt from the 1970’s. The point was that no matter how we were equipped and supplied, we were expected to accomplish our missions safely and effectively – no excuses. On a field training exercise in January, the snow and ice made driving armored vehicles very slippery. We had to move 15 miles that took over three to four hours in -15F winter weather in a pitch dark night to make our position for the next exercise. We did it safely and on time. Not one of leaders commented on it, which was good – we were expected to be safe and effective and we were.

Safety in the military is viewed as an integral part of all activities from garrison to combat. Safety of military personnel is

critical. In the military, if you lose a soldier to an accident or to an enemy action, the safety injury is the worse event because that could have been prevented. Leaders enforcing safe activity every step of the way, in person, is also essential. In the winter, when a round became stuck in the mortar tube, a mixture of anti-freeze and water had to be poured in the tube and then the round removed. Standing in support around cold steel, freezing water, and a 25 lbs. mortar round slick with anti-freeze being slowly lifted so a soldier could catch it as it slid down the tube is a critical leadership activity to support safety.

c17aaAggressively look at ways to become even safer. The US Army uses the Risk Management Process, a step-by-step process to analyze critical activities, identify solutions & hazards, and then put in risk mitigation and injury mitigation steps to create a safer work environment. This process works very well for the US Army but it is another procedure, the After Action Review (AAR) that makes the Risk Management Process work well. The AAR is when the entire unit, highest rank to lowest rank, gathers as peers in a circle, reviews what happened, identifies sustainment and improvement items, and then creates a plan to fix the improvement items. Safety items are highlighted in AAR’s. It is the team effort of an AAR to seek improvement and more safety combined with the discipline of the Risk Management Process that creates greater safety.

Safety in the military is viewed as an integral part of all activities from garrison to combat. Safety of military personnel is a critical leader task that is of vital importance.  A focus on safety made us better at our military jobs.  In my opinion, the same principles of safety that the military uses can, and should, be used in the civilian world to make workplaces safer and more productive.

Share some of your recommendations on how to maintain a safe work place!

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The Military Qualities of Success For Business

Mil Qual For BusinessTHIS CONTENT PROVIDED COURTESY OF USAA.

The central premise of translating Military Skills to Business is that a military training and experience provide a core foundation to excel in business and promote the overall financial well being of the corporation.  A secondary premise is military veterans and the employers of military veterans benefit when a military veteran is properly employed and motivated to utilize all their skills for the dual good of the employee’s career and the company’s business success.  The largest gap in this process is that military veterans and the employers of military veterans have not been shown a path or methodology how military veterans experience and training can best be employed to improve company results.  In its barest terms, military veterans have the skills and motivation to contribute more, then just need a pathway to best utilize those skills for the commercial success of a business.  The gap from success in the military to success in the business world is not as great as one might imagine.

Military veterans offer, as a baseline, critical, real world experience; critical decision-making skills; unsurpassed integrity; a strong leadership ethic; Success in execution; and employee coaching and development skills that make them a vital pool to the success of the business.  Additionally, military veterans, due to their core military experience and training, offer essential skills to lead the firm to greater business success.

The Military Qualities of Success

The Military Qualities of Success form the foundation for the successful execution of military operations.  A successful military operation is based upon the following qualities.  These skills are also critical for business to be successful.

caMO2Execution – Execution is the art and process of the successful completion of the military mission and key tasks.  Primarily, this is not the rote, stale execution of a laundry list of tasks that will lead to a successful military execution.  Good execution of a military plan to a successful conclusion requires the adherence to the plan and, more importantly, good “heads up” awareness and personal initiative to know when to depart from and adapt the plan to ensure the objectives of the original military plan are achieved.  Military members know to keep following a plan until the adherence to the plan will not achieve the expected outcomes.  At that point, training, initiative, and personal responsibility take over to adapt their actions to ensure a successful military outcome.

1000w_q95dddddIntelligence – Intelligence is the understanding and incorporation of all aspects of the battlefield environment from weather, terrain, cultural forces, language, the enemy force (s), the civilian population, etc. and how the numerous factors of the battlefield environment will act and react as friendly forces pursue their most likely course of action.  The successful incorporation of Intelligence into military operations not only describes the enemy and how they will act, but also serves as a prediction of their likely courses of action and their anticipated reactions as the friendly strategy is executed.  Good Intelligence is not all knowing.  Good Intelligence provides an accurate depiction of the enemy, how the factors of the battlefield environment such as the terrain and weather will affect the friendly plan, and the most likely actions the enemy will take or plan to take to achieve their outcome.

Planning and Preparation – Planning and Preparation is the art and process of preparing military forces to succeed in combat.  Military planning involves the military orders process that determines objectives, assigns responsibility, and assigns primary and secondary tasks to complete.  Preparation for combat operations involves the rigorous training of the military forces involved in both primary tasks, but also secondary tasks that may be required if a contingency plan will need to be executed.

8dbb6e22bde6dd23a486f6c0c3798347Team Leadership – In the military, a team accomplishes every objective or task of value.  Furthermore, the military possess few if any tools to give service members more money, a less dangerous assignment, or some needed time at home with loved ones.  For example, during the initial days of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, reconnaissance teams spent nearly 2 ½ times as long conducting observation on a planned parachute drop zone than their mission called for.  The team leader, rather than pulling off the objective, motivated his men with the importance of their mission and using personal example setting went on ½ water and rations to stretch their meager supplies so their mission would be a success.  This type of team leadership, while extraordinary, is in fact very common throughout all the US armed forces.  Teams, when motivated and well lead, accomplish amazing things.

Team Member Professional Development – Another leadership skill that the military does exceptionally well in the use of developing subordinate’s skill sets both in soft skills such as leadership and personal skills and in hard skill development such as advanced job training and additional skill qualifications.  The military views subordinate development almost as a chain process where by a lower ranking member is trained, educated, and coached to then assume a position of higher responsibility and so on throughout her career.  Subordinate development is critical because it is executed from one level to the next and to the next, so all members of the military get this development.

PLANETechnical Skills – Technical skills are vital because their mastery is what creates an effective combat fighter.  A Marine may have great planning and leadership experience, but unless she can fire her weapon accurately, operate multiple radio systems, operate counter Improvised Explosive Devise (C-IED) equipment, she may very possibly fail in the successful execution of her military mission.

 

Resources to Support an Effective Military to Civilian Transition:

  1. 5 Keys to a Smoother Military Transition – Great Advice to Succeed By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2rI3qKT
  2. After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career – Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2q8QzAg
  3. Create a Military Transition Fund to Have a Successful Military to Civilian Transition – http://bit.ly/2qMqrhB
  4. USAA Employment Tools to Help Translate Military Skills to Civilian Jobs – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q2zsUF
  5. USAA INSIGHT: 3 Ways to Ease Your Shift from Military Service to Civilian Life From @USAA – http://bit.ly/2qMoz8x
  6. USAA Leaving the Military Guide – Advice & Support for a Smooth Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2rI53Iu
  7. USAA Military Separation Assessment Tool for Financial Planning – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q8R8tS
  8. USAA Military Separation Checklist Tool for Planning Your Military to Civilian Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – bit.ly/2q2RGp5
  9. USAA News – Member’s Easy Military Transition? He Credits Education and Planning – http://bit.ly/2qOdMJc

10 Steps for An Effective Military to Civilian Transition

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SPONSORED CONTENT COURTESY OF USAA.

Here are 10 Easy to Follow and High Impact Steps for An Effective Career Transition:

  1. Attitude is Everything. Attitude is one of the most important mental criteria that will make an employee shine in terms of both performance and leadership.  Ensure you have a positive and constructive attitude for even the most seemingly mundane tasks.  In addition, have a positive attitude even if you believe that your new position is below your level of responsibility in the military.
  1. Be Open to New Experiences. Often, when we are exposed to a vast array of new experiences, we fall back on our military ways and mind sets.  These uncertainties in the economy, fluidity of roles in a commercial organization, and differences between the veteran and non-veteran employees can encourage a status-quo or “pull back” approach by the veteran employee.   No matter the expressed definition of workplace activity and company roles, you should dive into whatever roles and experiences are offered immediately.
  1. Further Your Education. Community colleges offer good overview business classes to improve your baseline knowledge of business in such vital areas as Accounting, Finance, Statistics, or Applied Mathematics.  If possible, take them in person because fellow students, professors, and college staff are great resources for networking.
  1. Leverage Your Military Experience to Your Company and Job. Veterans need to translate their military 8dbb6e22bde6dd23a486f6c0c3798347skills to their businesses and organizations in a fashion that supports the culture and work practices of their company.  Look for ways to translate and apply your military skills in a way that supports your company’s culture, workplace practices, and the rules & regulations of your industry.
  1. Mentor an Individual or Group. Mentoring or coaching is a fantastic skill to help build talent, commitment, and initiative in an organization.  In the military, performance counseling sessions was a way to identify the standard of the organization, how a soldier performed to that standard, and what step (s) would be taken to improve the soldier’s performance.  Ken Hicks, an Army veteran and the CEO of Foot Locker, stated, “So I learned that you’re very dependent on your people to be their best. You train and develop and motivate them.”
  1. Pointerviewrtray a Professional Image in Dress and Conduct. You should strive to portray and supportive physical and mental bearing in the workplace.   John Meyer, an Air Force Veteran and the CEO or Acxiom, stated in a Harvard Business Review Blog post, “I think professionalism and professional appearance is pretty important because it gives you the first impression, the benefit of the doubt. If you look the part, you get the opportunity to show whether you’re competent or not.”  Remember, as a rule, dress for the job you want, not the job you have.  Your quality of speech needs to be clear, understandable, free of non-industry jargon, no use of military acronyms, no use of military phrases, confident, and compelling.  Absolutely avoid swearing, insulting other cultural or ethnic groups, and demeaning language at all costs, even if others portray poor word and language choices.
  1. Teach A Class. Teaching in the military was something everyone did as a part of training no matter your service, rank, and specialty.  Teaching is a wonderful way to build confidence, position yourself as an expert, and improve your presentation skills.  Volunteer with a charity, education, business, or government organization to teach a class or series of classes to show how military skill sets can be translated for business.
  1. Use Only Positive Words & Conduct on Social Media. Ensure that your look on all Social Media is “clean” and portrays you and your company in the best possible light.  Limit any mention of your new employer for at least 6-8 months until you understand all your company’s social media policies.  If in doubt, do not use any social media to talk about your employer.
  1. Watch the Use of Sir / Ma’am and Other Military Speech Patterns. In the corporate world, expect to use a first name, but defer and treat seniors respectfully as if they were higher military officer.  A senior vice president needs to be respected like a general / flag officer even though you use a first name.
  1. Websites to Stay Up to Date – Quick and Easy on Business News. Just like reading the morning and evening intelligence reports, staying current on today’s important news is necessary.  Websites such as the New York Times, Business Week, Fortune, Washington Post, Google News Custom Alerts, Smart Brief, Harvard Business Review Blogs, and the Corporate Advisory Board all have daily e-mail’s that deliver the innovative business news to your e-mail for free.  Scheduled e-mail news is the easiest and most efficient way to stay up to date.

 

Resources to Support an Effective Military to Civilian Transition:

  1. 5 Keys to a Smoother Military Transition – Great Advice to Succeed By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2rI3qKT
  2. After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career – Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2q8QzAg
  3. Create a Military Transition Fund to Have a Successful Military to Civilian Transition – http://bit.ly/2qMqrhB
  4. USAA Employment Tools to Help Translate Military Skills to Civilian Jobs – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q2zsUF
  5. USAA INSIGHT: 3 Ways to Ease Your Shift from Military Service to Civilian Life From @USAA – http://bit.ly/2qMoz8x
  6. USAA Leaving the Military Guide – Advice & Support for a Smooth Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2rI53Iu
  7. USAA Military Separation Assessment Tool for Financial Planning – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q8R8tS
  8. USAA Military Separation Checklist Tool for Planning Your Military to Civilian Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – bit.ly/2q2RGp5
  9. USAA News – Member’s Easy Military Transition? He Credits Education and Planning – http://bit.ly/2qOdMJc