We learn job skills from many experiences. Military service is one, and one we should recognize as a resume-worthy citation.
How can we bring our vets back, find them jobs and acknowledge their service and sacrifice?
By treating them as humans first. By recognizing skills for their value, not judging them for where they were acquired. By being bigger-hearted, by rejecting small-minded and simplistic views. By being real people working with real people.
Here are five key skills veterans may have which other job applicants may lack:
1) Leadership. Platoon leader, group leader, team leader – military veterans work in a highly team-oriented and hierarchical environment. This means they know how to take orders, and when to give them.
2) Grace under pressure: If you’re on the front lines in a war, you need to stay calm and function under extreme pressures. It makes some HR and management calamities look trivial – after all what we do is HR/people management, not ER.
3) Performance and results-oriented. When you’re in uniform you have a mission, one on which lives may be dependent. Performance and results are non-negotiable. You know how to get things done and you do them.
4) Self-sacrifice. Leaders in the military have to watch out for their teams first and themselves second, which is a leadership scenario not always encountered in Corporate America.
5) Communication and goal-setting. Effective communicators build teams. Leaders set goals and teams accomplish them. You can’t have one without the other.
About the Author
Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.