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Jan 23

Getting Hired in 2014

After a long career in military service, many transitioning senior leaders assume their credentials and talents speak for themselves and are enough to land a good job. Unfortunately, this is not always the case:

  • Companies may presume it will be harder for transitioning senior military leaders to adapt to a new workplace environment and that they will bring a know-it-all attitude. How can you demonstrate your willingness to learn, understand a different culture and ability to work successfully across generations in the civilian workforce, given that your prospective boss may be the same age as your son or daughter?
  • Potential employers will read your resume and assume you know how to lead. What they don’t know is HOW you will lead a team outside of the military establishment. There is often an assumption that military careerists come with an aggressive, overconfident attitude; they wonder if you will “browbeat a team into submission” or roll up your sleeves and lead by example.

There is often an assumption that military careerists come with an aggressive, overconfident attitude; they wonder if you will “browbeat a team into submission” or roll up your sleeves and lead by example.

There may be little doubt that you can do the job; the key to getting the job is your ability to articulate the specific skill set and leadership approach you will bring to the table and how you will make a difference to the company or agency bottom line.

Successful job search and on-boarding strategies are just some of the critical topics that will be addressed at upcoming Military Officers Association of America Military Executives in Transition workshops in Alexandria, VA on Tuesday, January 28 and in San Antonio, TX on Thursday, February 13. For more information and to register, be sure to visit: www.moaa.org/career

 

 

2 comments

  1. Joel

    I was a bit surprised by a recent interview for a local government position for which I was exceptionally well qualified. I was told that in the military it was easy because I could give orders and people had to comply and that was not the way things worked in city government. I tried to explain that was not really the way things worked at the senior officer level, but they had already made up their mind that a military background would not work there.

    1. VSB

      Joel, thanks for sharing your recent interview experience. It is important to be able to demonstrate your own leadership style via your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and in-person interview. While prospective employers may have incorrect preconceived notions about the type of person you are, you will want to use every opportunity you have to give examples of how you can effectively become part of a new team with a different culture. You might also want to emphasize your commitment to public service, doing more with less, your financial and budgeting experience — all skills that are prized by government as well as the private and nonprofit sectors.

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