Bridging Mission-Focus to Profit & Loss
It's inaccurate to describe military veterans as not having budgeting or expense-management experience. Of course, we have nearly no revenue-generating, aka Sales, experiences in the service. And most employees in most corporations never deal with revenue-generation and only some directly manage budgets for their departments or projects.
The scale of military projects and their associated costs or budgets are a challenge for civilian employers to understand and to relate to. Commanding a $5 billion dollar submarine or flying a
$300 million dollar aircraft or managing 150 people 24x7 in arduous environments is hard to conceive to in the civilian sector. $10,000.00 is a lot of authority in the civilian sector.
How do we help them to understand the direct applicability to their organizations of our service experiences?
Step (1) document every job that you had in the service beginning with your college education.
Describe these experiences and achievements in a W/T/R format: What you Did, the Timeframe that you did it and The Results that you achieved. Organize this information chronologically. The intent is to get it all on paper as the master library of what might be used in pursuing potential employers.
Step (2) divide these skills and experiences in 3 categories: 1. Technical Training; 2. Leadership Experience; 3. the Capacity to Get Things Done with less than perfect information. None of this is taught or learned in any sort of MBA or graduate school program.
Step (3) and especially if you are a mid-career transitioning officer, be mindful that senior executives today must demonstrate the following: A. an understanding of how the business operates; B. a sense of how the financial statement works; C. the capability to develop productive busine$$ relationships. It is no longer sufficient to rise through the ranks checking all of the correct position descriptions and relying on staffs to make it happen.
Step (4) Prepare for 3 kinds of conversations about yourself: 1. the elevator / cocktail party / networking event synopsis; 2. the informal luncheon or dinner meeting; 3. the formal interview process. The framework is the same for each occasion, i.e. I have the Technical Training; 2. Leadership Experience; 3. the Capacity to Get Things Done with less than perfect information. The differences are the length of your substantiation of these three areas.
When you speak with others about your background, talk to them in a language and terms that relate to their business and their company objectives. Your prior research will reveal what is appropriate in this regard. We'll cover Research in another blog post.