Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hey Army Guy-Nobody Cares!!!!

So the other day a new hire at my business says he wants to talk to me. I said sure and he sat down in my office. He then regaled me with his many years of military experience (6 years). His desire that our employees should be better trained ( I agree but unfortunately clients pay the bills so they get what they pay for.) His thoughts that he should become an instructor for the company ( I asked for his bonafides and he had none other than he almost went to Special Forces selection and he was a combat lifesaver.) I discussed the reality of the business world with him and sent him on his way with some encouragement, to put his nose to the grindstone and good things would happen. Good initiative poor execution on his part.

After he left I reflected on the undeniable fact that I have learned in my 11 years of post military "retirement." That fact being NOBODY CARES! You could be the most ass kicking operator with multiple combat tours and awards out your ying yang but without the civilian street cred nobody cares.  Civilians don't understand military jobs or responsibilities. I have been leading and managing individuals since I was 19 years old but the first 22 years I had no paper trail to back it up. Anyone can say they have "leadership experience." You need to start from the ground up and work your way into acceptance. For anything but an entry level job you need training and experience. No one is going to hire you off the street to manage 300 employees if all you have done prior is be a squad leader.

You need to better yourself. Through education and training you need to make yourself more marketable. There are thousands of former military out there with the same experiences as you. Just because you went to Iraq and busted some caps doesn't mean I am going to start you off at $20 per hour. Get some training, show up on time and work hard.

Don't assume that civilians don't know anything. They have all done the job longer than you. Shut up an learn something. No one likes the know it all. Be diligent and thorough in your work.

Everyone likes to say thank you for your service but when it comes to investing money, business owners are going to go with the solid performers regardless of background. Honestly I have had mixed success with former military members. Some are great and some disappoint me. Sometimes I am embarrassed to acknowledge our common bond of service.

So those former military members that are hitting the civilian workforce. Get over yourself. Thanks for your service, now get to work.


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