Unlearn These 3 Military Habits When You Enter The Civilian Job Market

Transition
U.S. Army photo

Congratulations! You have successfully entered the civilian sector and landed your first job after separating from the military. Yet, your transition is not complete. There are some military mannerisms that you’ve acquired while serving that can sabotage all of your success.


Whether you served as a Marine infantryman in combat or as an Army clothing repair specialist, the immersion into the military culture is undeniable. Certainly, there are events that cannot be unseen, unheard, or undone. No one can take away your experiences, but some military behaviors must remain in the military. Here are three habits to leave behind as you starting applying for jobs in the civilian world.

1. Military jargon, be gone!

“That new guy is a great worker and he gets the job done, but every time I tell him to do something he calls me Roger.”

“My freakin’ name in Ted!”

If you don’t want your civilian colleagues or even worse, your boss, to get misconceptions about you, stop the military talk! We all know what happens when we assume that someone understands the words we speak. Remember, you had a life before becoming a service member and the jargon had to be learned in order to function within the organization.

Therefore, jargon can be unlearned. If you are having a difficult time adjusting, integrate yourself into the job culture, take some college courses, read books aloud, and stop playing video games in your underwear for a while. Make a conscious effort to talk as the rest of the world does or you’ll be talking yourself right into the unemployment line.

2. Send the power trip on a permanent hiatus.

If you’ve secured a management or supervisory position, leave the rank at the door. In the military, lives are dependent upon a leader’s action or inaction. As a civilian, don’t let civility fall to the wayside. No one’s life will be in jeopardy if documents aren’t filed immediately.

While some directness is appropriate; you cannot make your colleagues do push-ups or tell someone to “get their nasty, goat-smellin’ butt” back to work. Instead, use the extensive mentoring tools taught to military leaders and make workplace mishaps coachable moments without the public shaming or degradation. The proper building of trusted, cohesive teams will increase your worth as a civilian leader.

3. Burning the midnight oil will burn you out.

For years, the mission was first and your welfare was last. Now that you are a civilian, the time has come to focus on yourself. Let me put this in terms you might better understand: Don’t Charlie Mike until your life is FUBAR. There will be FRAGOs but few BOHICA moments that you won’t be able to handle during regular working hours.

In most cases, you work late because of the mismanagement of time or priorities. Constantly working late will not win favor with bosses, colleagues, or your family. The importance of a work-life balance cannot be overstated as you’ve done extremely hard work in the service that some will never understand. Make the most of scheduled work hours and shift the focus from your civilian mission until you clock-in again the next day.

Your military experience will live within you forever whether you like it or not. No one wants to take that away from you. Yet, it’s imperative to unlearn old habits that prove detrimental to success and learn new ways to communicate and work effectively in a different environment. With a little effort and understanding, you’ll be able to nurture meaningful relationships with your new civilian family.     

U.S. Military Academy Class of 2022 conducted a 12 mile road march as family and former graduates cheered them on, concluding six weeks of Cadet Basic Training Aug. 13, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Matthew Moeller)

Search efforts are underway to find a West Point cadet, who has gone missing along with his M4 carbine, the U.S. Military Academy announced on Sunday.

"There is no indication the Cadet poses a threat to the public, but he may be a danger to himself," a West Point news release says.

Academy officials do not believe the missing cadet has access to any magazines or ammunition, according to the news release, which did not identify the cadet, who is a member of the Class of 2021.

Read More Show Less
Soldiers from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division in their Bradley Fighting Vehicle during Marne Focus at Fort Stewart, Ga. during the week of Oct. 14, 2019 (U.S. Army photo)

Three soldiers were killed and another three injured when their Bradley Fighting Vehicle rolled over during a training exercise at Fort Stewart in Georgia on Sunday morning, Army officials announced.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019. (Reuters/Erin Scott)

KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war.

Esper's trip to Kabul comes amid questions about the United States' commitments to allies after a sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and Trump's long-time desire to get out of foreign engagements.

Read More Show Less
Ummmmmm what? (Twitter)

Mark Esper is the third person after James Mattis and Patrick Shanahan to helm the Pentagon since Donald Trump became president, and he's apparently not making much of an impression on the commander-and-chief.

On Sunday, Trump sent a very real tweet on "Secretary Esperanto," which is either a reference to a constructed international language developed more than 130 years ago and only spoken on the PA system in Gattaca or an egregious instance of autocorrect.

Read More Show Less

The Army says it's settled on three defense contractors to battle it out to become the service's M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon replacements, but at least one other company is hoping that a bit of consumer approval could help upset the competition.

Read More Show Less