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Veterans and Tech Jobs: The New PB & J

Coopper Kingsley - May 17, 2021

Military lifestyle can be something difficult to transition out of. Going back to the civilian world can be challenging, especially for veterans who’ve worked in trades that have no direct equivalent in today’s job industry. I was lucky enough to work in an IT environment during my service, so the switch to a tech job felt natural to me. Looking back to what made my transition so simple, I realized that my previous knowledge in IT was obviously beneficial to me, but so was my military experience. I identified four skills acquired during my time of service that helped me succeed in my first tech job:

  • problem solving, 
  • analytical proficiency, 
  • multitasking and 
  • willingness to learn.

Problem solving

No mission ever goes as expected. No matter how much time you spend making sure everything goes your way, there’s always a hiccup or two. In the military, I was taught how to react to unexpected situations by delegating responsibilities, functioning under pressure and de-escalating conflicts. I was happy to learn that the tech industry is no different. Management positions in tech work closely with entry-level ones and are able to delegate tasks when needed, where conflict resolution turns into troubleshooting.

Multitasking

This is a no-brainer. Our training teaches us to prioritize multiple tasks while quickly adapting to change in scenarios. The art of building a plane as you fly it requires the ability to multitask, which is a skill every single veteran has. It is also a crucial skill needed in IT; there are often bug fixes, updates that need to be made, last-minute changes to a policy: knowing which task to prioritize is an important skill to have.

Analytical proficiencies

Improvise, adapt & overcome. It sounds simple, but without analytical skills, assessing and resolving conflicts in a timely fashion can be an impossible task. Veterans acquire those analytical skills during their training, but those skills are not only used in a military context. Being able to draw conclusions from data by looking at the numbers, whether you are monitoring web traffic or live updates is one of the most important skills to have as an IT professional

Willingness to learn

In the military, you learn that your environment is constantly changing. Whether it is new equipment, threats, or challenges, there is always something new to learn. Veterans have that willingness to seek knowledge that sets them apart, always staying on their toes, looking for new innovations that can help them improve their organization. In the tech industry, you need to be someone who can adapt to change and show openness to new ideas and concepts. Luckily for them, veterans naturally thrive in that area.

In Conclusion, the transition to the civilian workforce is for sure demanding; it seems like a whole new world! Any veteran can land a great job in Tech by focussing on the similarities to military careers.  The skills a veteran possesses are exactly those needed to succeed in any tech job. It’s almost like veterans and tech jobs go perfectly together; just like Peanut Butter and Jelly!

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