Fixed or growth. These are the mindsets we hear about most frequently in the civilian business world. Having a fixed mindset means you believe your current level of ability cannot be changed, and having a growth mindset means your abilities can improve with hard work. Coming from a career that requires constant training and improving, it’s easy to see which of these stances the military stands on. Hint: It’s growth. By sticking with this Veteran mindset even after your military service, you can apply it to a new environment to aid you in growing your skill sets.
Here are six ways your Veteran mindset plays a role in your success post-separation.
Prepare and Practice
Most of your time spent in the military was in training courses that prepared you for the real thing: deployment. This same strategy should apply to your new life as a civilian. Do you have a big presentation at work coming up? Practice it the way you’d practice the assembly and disassembly of a weapon: over and over and over again. It’s all about confidence, and the more you do something the more confident you are in your ability.
When mistakes are made in the workplace, the best thing to do is admit them and take responsibility. Putting blame on others to save face isn’t how you gain respect from colleagues, even if the mistake wasn’t all your fault. As a Veteran, you know this lesson well. On the flip side of this, it’s just as important to not take all the credit when things go well. If you’re the leader on a collaborative project, give credit for its success to other team members. That IS how you gain respect from colleagues, which will make learning from them easier and more productive.
We could talk all day about how adaptable the military has made you in just about every aspect of life. Use this to your advantage. The civilian world is full of ambiguity and sometimes even rejection leads to new opportunities. If you hear “no” to a job, project, or business venture, find a new strategy instead of giving up. Persistence and a willingness to adapt to a different way of doing things is usually rewarded in the end.
There’s a reason it’s called military service, as service to others is the cornerstone of a military career. Though it may not seem as obvious as it did in the military, there are plenty of ways to continue serving your fellow man post-separation. Make coworkers feel appreciated through random acts of recognition or pay for a lunch out with a team member who works under you. In your personal life, volunteer in your community and become more involved in your loved ones’ lives. Service to others can take so many shapes, and finding your shapes can make a huge difference in your overall happiness after the military.
Be a Servant Leader
One of the most obvious skills military Veterans bring to the table is leadership. But there are so many experiences — from public speaking to leading troops — that make Vets experts in this area. One way Veterans can demonstrate their expertise in the civilian workplace is by being humble, patient, and honest. These qualities are required by any true servant leader, and that is the perfect way to sum up a military Veteran’s leadership style.
Have Attention to Detail
In the military, the mishap of glossing over minor details could sometimes be the difference between life and death. Though your civilian job will likely not have as much on the line, giving this same attention to detail will serve you well with any project you find yourself working on. Since success often comes from the effort of several small things that add up to a big one, taking extra time to do the little things correctly will set you on a much clearer and more successful career path.
As you begin your transition into civilian life, SAVI can help you translate skills and a Veteran mindset into real-world victories. Contact us today to get started on your success story.