This is not surprising to me.
75% of veterans confident about skills they bring to civilian workforce whereas only 39% of employers believe vets are appropriately prepared to compete for civilian jobs out of the military.
When I got out of the army, more than one person during interviews told me that I had “no experience” despite my laboring in a high-stakes, high-pressure office environment for five years, AND working out 1-4 hours every weekday, AND doing things like regular parachute jumps, AND qualifying on various weapons, AND completing courses to become a combat lifesaver, AND writing for national publications.
But, no experience.
Despite the fact that, as the old cliché goes, I did more before 9AM than most civilians did all day.
Naively, I thought being a veteran would help me get a job. Actually it hurt me, as many employers are highly discriminatory against veterans. If I’d listed nothing on my resume my prospects would’ve been better, but I left my military experience on there as I worked hard for that.
Later on after I ascended the corporate hierarchy myself, I started hiring veterans when I could (and they were qualified), and here’s what I found:
- Veterans are more reliable.
- Veterans react better to stress, as 99.999% of corporate jobs are way, way less stressful than what you experience in the armed services every day.
- Veterans are better at finding unusual and innovative solutions. I suspect this is because in the armed services there are often many institutional roadblocks in your way, yet the mission has to be completed, so you get really good at finding a way to get things done no matter what.
- Veterans complain less overall, but don’t yield when something is really important.
- Veterans will keep going after other people give up. (That’s just something you get used to in the military.)
Obviously this is not true of all former servicemembers. These are just tendencies. However, I’ve never regretted hiring a veteran, but have regretted hiring many non-vets over the years.
Take from that what you wish.
But now when someone says after they find out I’d been in the military, “I didn’t know you were in the Army! You’re actually smart!” it’s everything I can do to not use some of those other military skills I gained on their craniums.
Fortunately I’ve experienced a state of ataraxy as I’ve gotten older, so their craniums remain unblemished.