This article is aimed at the frustrated veteran who has years of leadership experience but just can’t seem to leverage his or her leadership experience into a good leadership job. Hopefully this will help change your perspective of the civilian job market and set you on the path to getting a good job.
I want to echo what Peter Gudmundsson said in a recent U.S. News magazine article. Peter said that veterans after they leave the military really only have three career choices and those are: making stuff, selling stuff, or counting stuff. Notice I didn’t mention leading people which so many veterans would count as their strong suit and would hope for job opportunities to lead people. While in the end you might wind up leading some people that won’t be your primary responsibility for the new job. Your primary responsibility will be making, selling or counting stuff and the leading will come in second. Don’t get me wrong the new employer will appreciate that fact that the veteran can lead people and that might get them promoted ahead of pears who cannot lead well but first and foremost they expect the veteran to make, sell, or count.
My former boss from Fort Knox is now an employee at GE where he has done well in the manufacture of refrigerators at GE’s Louisville, Kentucky plant. He has been promoted but his job is still primarily that of making stuff…in his case he started with the right hand door of refrigerators. My last job was that of selling stuff…I sold cars in Louisville. Ever since my retirement in 2012 I have misunderstood why employees didn’t hire me to lead. I have fantastic leadership credentials from my 23 years in the Army. However, as Peter points out, that is not what civilian employers are looking for. I thought getting my MBA would change that…but it didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, leadership skills are essential and necessary but they are assumed. They will assume that if you rise through the ranks of making refrigerators or selling cars to the point that you are responsible for people that you can then lead. It might prove to be a false assumption but it is the nature of the civilian job market never the less.
So when you find yourself transitioning from the military whether after one enlistment or a long career you need to start thinking which of the three primary functions you’d like to perform for the next phase of your working career…making, selling, or counting stuff. This should be one of the first things Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are told when they begin the transition process and start working on a resume. That they need to build a resume to target one of those three functions and they will have more job hunting success.
Here is a link to the U.S. News article.
“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns.” Said by Marine Colonel Nathan R. Jessup played by Jack Nicholson in the 1992 movie A Few Good Men. We do live in a world that has walls. Famous walls through history include the Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, and the wall separating East and West Berlin. General George S. Patton is noted as having said: “Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.” Now Presidential Candidate Donald J. Trump wants to build a wall between the United States of America and Mexico.
Were I an advisor to Mr. Trump, I would advise against building the wall. I’m not sure if building a wall would prove effective. I understand the intent but I believe people and drugs will find ways around the wall. It could be that the people and drugs are taken by boat to the west coast of the United States or up to Canada and then into America bypassing the wall. Will we put up a coastal and northern wall next?
I think a better strategy would be to fix what ever it is that is causing the people and drugs to come illegally flooding into the United States in the first place. People have always come to the United States for the opportunities. According to Wikipedia during the peak year of European Immigration in 1907, 1,285,349 persons entered the country (Wikipedia n.d.). Ironically from 2009 to 2014 there has been a net loss of Mexican immigrants of 140,000 persons according to the Pew Research Center (Gonzalez-Barrera 2015). For purposes of stopping illegal immigration it seems the wall isn’t needed.
So that means that the wall which Mr. Trump plans on building would primarily be designed to stop drug trafficking. My gut tells me the drugs would still find their way into the United States. The drugs would enter through the coast or Canada which bypasses the wall. Many drugs even today enter through checked baggage at airports or through vehicles legally entering the United States through border checkpoints. Better to legalize and tax marijuana and heroin to control them, limit the violence and reduce the prison population. Treat drug use like marijuana as a controlled substance like alcohol and treat heroin use as an illness requiring treatment not a crime that only breeds the violence and prison population.
One last point of contention should the wall get built is who would pay for the wall. Mr. Trump claims that Mexico will pay for the wall. Meanwhile former Mexican President Fox says there’s no way Mexico will pay for the wall. What I think would wind up happening would be that the U.S. would simply reduce the amount of annual aid that the U.S. gives Mexico by the cost of the new wall.
I think there are far better ways to handle the border problems than by building an ugly wall separating two friendly nations.
Gonzalez-Barrera, Ana. 2015. More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S. November 19. Accessed February 29, 2016. http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/11/19/more-mexicans-leaving-than-coming-to-the-u-s/.
Wikipedia. n.d. Immigration to the United States. Accessed February 29, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States.
This is my first serious attempt at blogging besides Tumblr and Twitter. I plan on improving as I go but I’m always learning. I intend to makes posts about:
- Law Class Stuff
- Job Search
- Politics & Military
- Current Events
- Worthy Causes
- Random Thoughts
It should be interesting. I’m a fairly decent writer and I will get better the more I do this. Eventually I will pay for a professional theme and add advertisements in an attempt to monetize my blogging efforts. If there is anything you would like my opinion about, feel free to leave a comment.
Thanks for your time and I wish you a great day.