In May 2011, I conducted a survey of veterans, employers, government officials, and educators in my network on the value of translating military skills to help military veterans succeed in their post-military careers. 90% felt translating military skills into their post-military careers were vital for both their own and their organization’s success. The bottom line: translated military skills are vital for the career success of the veteran and equally vital for the company to succeed. Translated military skills to business make both the veteran and the company better and more successful.
The survey was composed of four questions:
- Question 1: How important is it to translate military skills to business and other professions for post-military career success?
Answer: 90% of survey respondents stated that it was "highly important" or "essential" to translate military skills for post-military career success. An overwhelming number of the comments stated that military veteran’s leadership skills, planning ability, ethics and morals, high standards, and determination were workplace skills that employers needed in their business.
- Question 2: How adapt are veterans at translating their military skills to business and other post-military professions?
Answer: Only 8% of survey respondents stated that veterans possessed "high" or "excellent" skills at translating their military skills to business and their post military careers. The majority felt military veterans were medium to low skilled in their ability to translate military skills to business. There is great opportunity for veterans who can translate the value of their military skills to how it will improve an employer’s operations.
- Question 3: What level of importance do employers place on the value and usefulness of military skills to support their company / agency success?
Answer: This response was the most enlightening of the entire survey. 83% of respondents stated that translating military skills to their business is vital to their company's success. The majority of the scores were in the "medium" to "essential" category clearly demonstrating that employers value military skills when they can be transferred to support their company's success.
- Question 4: How well do you like the "Combat Leader to Corporate Leader" website, e-mails, and resources for translating military skills to business?
Answer: 60% of respondents had a satisfaction level of 80% or higher (100% maximum). The www.CombatToCorporate.com website with handouts, videos, and podcasts in addition to the e-mail newsletter were the most preferred method to receive the information.
The results of this survey were overwhelmingly positive for veterans in the workplace. Veteran's military skill sets can be successfully translated to any number of new careers and employers see exceptional value in the transference of military skill sets to their operations. The survey respondents also had some great comments for veterans in their career transition and career advancement. These comments centered on four areas:
- Use Existing Resources. The ACAP, TAP, TurboTap, and USMC transition programs all contain some valuable resources – make sure you use them.
- Network with Both Employers and Government Officials – Network with potential employers, those that can connect you to potential employers, but also use local government officials and educators. The network of state veteran officials, country veteran service officers, DVOPs, LVERs, and career counselors has a wealth of connections at the local level. Make sure you include them as part of your network.
- Job Search and Career Planning with Company Research Are Vital. In this competitive hiring environment, you must have a robust job search and networking plan that allows you to get in front of multiple people in a company and show how you can translate your military skills to business.
Contact Chad Storlie at www.CombatToCorporate.com for a copy of the survey results and enjoy the free access to handouts, videos, and podcasts that detail how to translate successfully military skills into second careers.