Valuable Skills Veterans Add to Your Business
By Hayley Shaughnessey
Veterans can play a unique role in your workplace and offer skills based on experiences that many of your staff likely won’t have.
Businesses may sometimes be reluctant or unsure of how to integrate veterans within their teams, or might wonder how their skills and experience might translate into a civilian job, but this doesn’t mean businesses shouldn’t consider welcoming a veteran onto their team.
Exploring the valuable skills veterans can bring to your business can help ensure a smooth transition for the both of you.
Leadership and teamwork combined
For starters, the military trains veterans to value and respect their leader (or boss) as well as their fellow military members (or colleagues). Just like in the workplace, there are managerial-type roles and values that are instilled in veterans while serving in the military. From a structured and hierarchical environment, they intrinsically know how and when to follow, lead and depend on each other for support.
In addition, veterans spend more than the traditional 9-to-5 hours with their fellow military members, or coworkers. Military teams go through experiences together and strive to achieve goals as one unit. This can be compared to the need for focused teamwork in the workplace when large tasks, projects or deadlines are involved.
Self-motivated and adaptable
Furthermore, those who have served are likely to have developed a strong sense of self-motivation while serving for their country. They rarely have to be asked to do a task twice and can complete assignments in good time because of their drive for efficiency. This self-motivation can extend to those around them, which can help to foster a strong collective sense of motivation.
Veterans are ones to set achievable goals for themselves in any situation they’re put in. This makes them adaptable team members for your company, willing to work with anyone and anywhere. They also quickly pick up on social settings, knowing when to be professional or more casual.
Success under stress
Veterans also have experience keeping calm when faced with the most stressful situations. While the stressful situations that might emerge a traditional office setting are different, employees need to know how to manage their stress to push to the finish line.
As veterans know how to manage their own stress, they can also help keep everyone steering clear in a positive direction.
Opportunistic and optimistic
From their training alone, veterans learn how to point out opportunities and advantages for their fellow military members. While doing so, they also keep a close watch on end-goals, remaining optimistic. Veterans are first to come up with a solution for a problem and like going through a step-by-step process for getting there.
The list of transferrable skills veterans possess doesn’t end here. They’re also strategic, tech-savvy, tactical and generally driven by a mission of vision. The soft skills that aren’t always included on paper run a long list too – passion, integrity, courage, intellectually agility, and more.
Translating to the workplace
When it comes to developing or reviewing veteran resumes, it may not always be easy to draw lines between military experience and civilian terms on paper. Plenty exists between desired workplace skills and the abilities of those serving our country. In North America, there are tools and resources to help identify theses similarities and close in on the gap.
One example of this is the Military Skills Translator, developed by Monster Worldwide, which can help veteran job seekers master the appropriate language for their resume. The algorithmic tool helps veterans develop a resume right on the website by suggesting civilian skills, some of which may not be immediately obvious. Once skills are inputted, veterans are presented with a list of job openings that match their skills and can apply on the site right away.
While this tool can help veterans transition to civilian life, it in turn helps employers to understand what skills veterans have gained from their time of service. Tools like the Military Skills Translator also enables employers to recognize the skills veterans bring to play a role in helping these highly capable individuals find a job they’ll flourish in.
The next time your company is looking to hire, or perhaps you want to explore new avenues, consider all of the valuable skills veterans bring to the table that can help you and your team find better.