Having served as an officer on active duty in the United States Armed Forces, I learned firsthand about the valuable skills and experiences gained from military service. Finding a reliable means to share these skills and experiences with potential employers in the civilian industry can be challenging.
It’s important to find a profession in the civilian industry that you are passionate about. For example, if you have an interest in project management, it’s vital that you know how to determine project scope, develop training documents, develop an approval matrix, and define success factors. Then, utilize your applicable military experience to frame specific skillsets for the civilian industry.
Incorporating military-based academic accomplishments with your military experiences has a very positive impact in the civilian environment. The combination of military experiences and an education showcases your ability to acquire knowledge, learn new ideas, collaborate with peers, examine research, and make applications to the workplace. Gaining knowledge and learning new ideas provides a personal reward and enriches your interactions within the civilian business environment.
Combining military experience with academic qualifications will also verify your understanding of proven business practices. For example:
- Civilian employer interest in strategic planning stems from military experience with budgetary planning and operational order preparations and completions.
- Civilian employer interest in project team initiatives stems from military experience with troop leading procedures.
- Civilian employer interest in operational management stems from military experience with tactical planning, preparations, and project completions.
- Civilian employer interest in personnel management stems from military experience with officer and enlisted performance management and evaluations.
- Civilian employer interest in accounting and finance stems from military experience with budgetary planning, inventory control and management, and via inspection and audit processes.
Similarly, preparing for civilian employment via academic coursework and completing a degree or certificate program showcases your ability to develop a culturally diverse perspective that can be applied to interactions and projects throughout the business environment.
About the Author
Dr. David Bouvin is a faculty member in Marketing at American Military University. He understands the military environment well and has a background that includes experience with the federal government, academic, and Fortune 500 environments. After college, he began his tenure with the federal government by accepting a commission as an officer in the United States Armed forces. This career path gave him an opportunity to head right into academia by serving as an instructor while completing his graduate education. After completing his education, Dr. Bouvin had the opportunity to serve as a professor with the federal government working at both the National Defense University and the Air Force Institute of Technology. As a professor, he transitioned from a military position to service as a contractor, where he could spend a greater amount of time on his research and consulting. His research and teaching experiences have led to multiple publications, research projects, and answering requests for consultation with Fortune 500 firms.