Friday, July 7, 2017

Why you still need to be good at your current job

I referenced in one of the first posts how disappointing it can be to find out you picked the wrong job field while you're in the Military.  A good number of you knew you were in the wrong job long before reading that post.  Some of you unfortunately probably don't put any real effort into your current job.  What's the point?  Well, there's a few points as to why you should care.  I mentioned in the last post how being good at your job in the Military will enable you to build trust with your leadership so they'll be supportive of you needing time for school and other things.  It's absolutely necessary, if you think you don't need their support you're wrong.  There's a few reasons besides that though.  I saw this come back this week when I applied for a new job and promotion in my current career.  Just like when I initially was being hired they called my references.  Every reference they talked to from my time in the Military told them the same thing.  I applied for this after only being at USAA for roughly 4 months and every reference agreed that just from what they remembered about me I could handle the increase in responsibility and be an asset in the new position.  My work I did in the Army is still assisting me now.

Being good at your job and learning to master it and apply yourself will carry over into everything else you do.  Some of you (not all) never saw anything through until the end.  You would start something, get bored, and quit it.  So you joined the Military only to find yourself in a job you don't like.  Here we go again, you're thinking "I don't like this either so I'll just go through the motions until I'm out".  You have to stop thinking that way.  I'm not saying love your job.  I was good at what I had to do for 5 years but I never had any real passion for it in my heart or wanted to make it a career.  However, I understood the lessons of applying myself to still do good in it would carry over.  Best of all, I knew in the future when I was doing something I liked it'd be a breeze to master it because I'd actually enjoy it.  Embrace the times you're not in a job you love.  It'll build character.  It'll also make you appreciate you're new career in the future.  Put in the work now and push forward, the time will pass.

To really drive home my first point again, your future employers will care about the type of work ethic you had in the Military.  They will look at your references, they'll call them.  You want your past leaders to talk positively about you.  You want them to tell your future employers that replacing you was difficult, that you were an asset to them.  You want to be known as someone who's presence made that place run smoothly and efficient.  You want to be that for any employer.  How well are your chances if they call a reference and they're not enthusiastic about recommending you?  Not good.  Now, that same employer calls and is told that they had difficulty replacing you because you were valuable to them and that you'd be an asset to the new company you're applying for.  That looks a lot better right?  Don't assume just having a DD214 will get you a job.  Employers know some veterans don't bring anything to the table.  You need the references still, you need the good reputation.  One last note on this, when you do land that interview do not talk negatively about your time in the Military or any past job for that matter.  Being positive  is the key.  It's not a good trait to talk negative.  Of course waking up at 630am everyday for PT and dealing with the laundry list of other annoying issues that comes with the Military is frustrating, but talking about only this in an interview is not a good idea.  Leave that for the reminiscing with your friends AFTER you're hired.  Smile big and say you loved every minute of being in the Military.

To close this out, use the experience you learned in the Military.  One of my award write ups from my first Chief in Alaska was one of the tipping points that secured my job initially.  What I do now includes using communication effectively, something I had plenty of practice with in the Army.  Evaluate the skills you learned in the Military.  Update your resume often to reflect these skills, keep your awards (even the ones you feel aren't significant).  Talk up everything you learned while you were in.  It'll come in handy.