While in the Army, Learn Soft Skills You Can Use in Your Civilian Career

It’s true. By enlisting and serving in the Army, you will learn several skills that are critical to running the Army. “So what does that have to do with getting a job after I’m out?” A lot – after all the Army is just a big, very big, corporation.  So if the Army develops these skills in their people, you can bet employers will be looking for the same skills when they’re hiring new employees in their corporations. And these are not skills limited to an industry or two – they transfer across the whole gamut of industries, soft skills, such as:

  •  Leadership
  •  Organization
  •  Management
  •  Communication
  •  Team Building

How to lead (and be led) are skills you learn while in basic training. As an E-1 through E-3, you learn how to follow orders; as an E-4 Corporal, you start to learn how to give orders and lead troops. As you increase in rank, so will your leadership responsibility increase.

As a soldier, the Army teaches you to organize everything you manage. From organizing your people to your equipment, you learn how to properly account for everything under your control.

The way the Army and most large corporations work,  resources must be managed to obtain maximum efficiency and accountability. Not only do you have to know where your people are at all times (no soldier left behind), but you may be responsible for millions of dollars of equipment, much of which could be critical to our national security. You will learn the security measures you must take to properly managed these resources.  

As a leader, you have to express yourself well, both in the spoken and written word. From directing your team on a patrol, to teaching them a new task, to writing a report, being able to communicate effectively is vital.  Part of being a good communicator is being a good listener. You have to understand what your leadership wants you to accomplish when they give you an oral operation order. The lives of your team members can depend on it.

Team Building
Part of your training as a leader will be learning how to assemble a group of people that come from diverse cultures, beliefs and background, and get them to work together. The Army teaches you team building/leading techniques that will build your team into something greater than the individual team members themselves.  
As stated earlier “So what does that have to do with getting a job after I’m out?” It means you have an advantage over the new college graduate that is applying for the same job as you. While s/he may have the latest education and training, you have the experience at leading people – a skill that will take the new graduate years to learn.  You can become an instant manager of a section or a work area with little to no train-up time or expense to the company. That is a huge advantage, all from your Army soft skill training.

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