U.S. military veterans learned valuable skills while protecting our country.
These skills aren’t typically taught in college classrooms but are developed through lived experiences. This makes veterans powerful business owners, strong leaders, and great employees.
There are a variety of resources ranging from Veteran sites to books written by veterans like Extreme Ownership. These can be good resources for learning from the military. Taking the time to learn from these brave individuals can make you a more successful business professional yourself. Below you’ll find key skills the military teaches individuals that you can apply to your career.
Every career advancement you make is an opportunity for growth. However, no opportunity comes without risk. Taking a bet on an exciting opportunity when you’re fresh out of college may make sense. If it fails, you can easily bounce back. But if you’re older with a house and kids, risky decisions can put your family’s security on the line. How do you know whether an opportunity is worth the gamble?
From DEFCON to NTAS, the U.S. military has systems in place to identify and reduce risk. These systems help military leaders make decisions to keep their teams and our country safe. As individuals, we should also have systems in place to help us analyze risks and rewards throughout our life. This will make it easier to make tough decisions like taking a new role or changing industries.
No matter what you do for a living, you will, at some point, interact with people. Even individuals in the gig economy, like freelancers, need to be able to collaborate with clients. So being someone who works well with others is essential if you want to succeed in the business world.
In the military, it takes a team to achieve a mission. The stakes are high, and military personnel must rely on one another for support. While the business world isn’t life or death, you still need to be someone people can rely on. Furthermore, you need to feel comfortable relying on others. By cultivating teamwork skills, you can ensure projects are completed smoothly and successfully.
Whether you have a fast-approaching deadline or are dealing with an angry customer, you’re bound to face challenges at work. Your ability to calmly respond to these challenges lets employers know you’re confident in your role.
Since the work of military members is so serious, they’re constantly under pressure to perform tasks quickly and correctly. One trick they use to keep their cool involves regulating their breathing. When Navy SEAL recruits were taught to monitor their breathing, passing rates for the rigorous program increased 32%. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking a few deep breaths. This will help improve your performance when work feels overwhelming.
Today’s digital world is forcing businesses to evolve quickly. If you want to stay skilled in your role, you need to be willing to learn new things and tackle challenges. Failing to do so puts you at risk of being replaced.
In the military, situations are constantly changing. If soldiers want to successfully complete their missions, they need to adapt to the situation on the ground. The same holds true for business professionals. When the business environment changes or a project you’re involved in doesn’t produce the desired results, you must be able to change tack. So expand your comfort zone and cultivate the capabilities required to pivot.
Do you show up to the office on time and continuously create quality work? Or are you often late and spend too much time in the break room? Staying focused and completing tasks is easy when you’re feeling great. But when you’re stressed and having a bad day, it can be a challenge.
Whether they’re in a good mood or not, military members have to complete challenging tasks every day. If they slack off, someone’s life could be on the line. This daily discipline allows them to deliver exceptional work that meets the military’s strict standards. Taking the time to develop your own self-discipline can help you finish tasks faster and at a higher quality. This can help you excel as you move forward in your career.
Do you feel connected to your company’s purpose, or do you feel like a cog in the wheel? When you don’t care about the work you’re doing, you may feel unmotivated and unhappy in your role. On the flip side, if you believe in your company’s mission, you’re four times more likely to be engaged at work.
Many members of the military find a great sense of purpose in their work. This encourages them to perform at an extraordinary level because they feel connected to a bigger purpose. If you struggle to find motivation in your role, ask yourself whether you feel connected to your company’s mission. If not, it may be time to find a new job.
America’s military personnel do an exceptional job protecting our country. Their dedication to their duty is admirable, and there is a lot that business professionals can learn from their work ethic. By developing the skills and traits above, you’ll perform tasks better and feel more fulfilled.