U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley
Service members are innate leaders, and spending a fews years in the military sharpens those skills needed to command a team and complete missions. In business, the same rules apply: You need good leaders to drive success. As a result, entry-level management positions are often an excellent starting point for service members who are transitioning out of the military.
Here are five tips to break into entry-level management.
Look into a management degree.
Your Post-9/11 GI Bill will come in handy here. If you are hoping to work in management, there are hundreds of educational options, whether you take classes online, at an associate level, or a full-blown university. A degree in management will supplement all the military experience you have, making you an extremely attractive job candidate.
Before you start applying to jobs, make a list of companies that appeal to you. Find an area of business that interests you, and check sites like Hirepurpose and Glassdoor for background information. Highlight some places in the area, although if you are willing to relocate, your geographical parameters can be a bit wider as well.
On your resume and during interviews, know some key buzzwords and phrases that relate to leadership and teamwork — examples include cooperation, motivation, and determination. You want to highlight that you can command a team and deliver results. In describing your skills, you need to strike a balance between being someone that drives success, but also knows how to inspire others to work smarter.
Leaders are always looking for ways to manage better. One key aspect of growth is questioning things to determine if there are alternative options that may create more successful outcomes. It’s good to ask questions like: “Is there a more efficient way to do this,” or “how can I get my team to think outside the box.” Or even during your interview, asking questions about the business will show potential employers that you are a critical thinker.
Take on small managerial tasks.
Once you get the job, whenever possible, take on small tasks that show leadership. Whether it’s organizing team events to promote cohesion, or stepping up when upper management needs help, any instance where you can take charge will show your bosses that you are management material.
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Marine Corps drill instructor R. Lee Ermey in his iconic role in 'Full Metal Jacket' (Warner Bros.)
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