Professionals embody practices and behaviors that set them apart.

 

I recently read THE CHECKLIST MANIFESTO by Dr. Atul Gawande. I have a history in aviation, so I was familiar with checklists and intrigued by the book’s title. Dr. Gawande, a general and endocrine surgeon in Boston, related the checklist concept to medicine and several other professions. Regardless of profession, checklists amplify good behaviors and minimize preventable human errors.

 

 “We need a different strategy for overcoming failure, one that builds on  experience and takes advantage of the knowledge people have, but somehow also makes up for our inevitable human inadequacies. And there is such a strategy—though it will seem almost ridiculous in its simplicity, maybe even crazy to those of us who have spent years carefully developing ever more advanced skills and technologies. It is a checklist” 

 

Dr. Atul Gawande THE CHECKLIST MANIFESTO p. 13

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Some transitioning veterans may be considering a career in law, and that means applying to, and gaining admission to, law school (duh). If the closest you’ve come to the law is reruns of “Law and Order”, or even if you’ve already been fitted for judicial robes and have just a few unanswered questions about the application process, or, this column may be for you. Read On!

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“One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment.” – Robert E. Quinn

 

I’m writing this article many years after my first shot at being in an upper management position, over a group of civilians. This position was offered to me after being in the military, where I was trained how to “manage troops”. First of all, if you’re a veteran, thank you for your service. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I’m the daughter of a twenty year military veteran and my grandfather is a twenty year military veteran as well. I have several other family members who served honorably and I could list other family members who are presently serving in the military. I have a lot of respect for those who choose to serve our country.

 

I served in the Air Force as a reservist for ten years, working in the medical and flight medical service. I was honorably discharged as a Technical Sergeant (E-6). While being in the reserves, I also worked full time in civilian emergency medical services (EMS) as a Nationally Registered Paramedic, and I was often promoted to leadership positions at my civilian jobs because of my military training. I’ve learned a few important differences between these two leadership settings, and I wish to pass this along to other military veterans who may be placed in a position to lead civilian employees.

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When I was out of work, I began reading a column in the local paper by a career coach named Eli Amdur. I have actually had the privilege of speaking with Mr. Amdur either on the phone or via email and he is always willing to help, especially Veterans. One of his articles, which I have used to instruct in my resume writing class, was the top 20 resume mistakes to avoid when applying for a job. Below is a list of those 20 mistakes, of which, Mr. Amdur has found 19 on one resume. This is because one of these mistakes cannot exist with the presence of the other.

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I joined the Army in 2006 with the goal of getting out. That might sound strange, but in 2004, while living in my car in San Diego I’d made a 10-year plan. I had a pathway in mind to where I wanted to be at the end of my service. Part of my plan was to be strategic about using my GI-Bill. I wanted to maximize how I used it in conjunction with tuition assistance.

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Remember the movie “Castaway” with Tom Hanks? He played a man who crashed landed on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And he lived there for many years, alone, until one day the tide washed up a piece of metal that he used to build something that helped him get off the island. The point was that you never know what will wash in with the tide and how it could be the very thing that will save you. This has been my experience with job hunting. You never know what will happen, so be prepared to use every resource.

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Many veterans have the financial resources for higher education with benefits ranging from Tuition Assistance to the variations of the GI Bill. Where they need assistance is finding the right colleges and universities that truly deliver successful outcomes for their students. 

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Transition is defined as a process or period of changing from one state or condition to another. There may be no greater challenge than transitioning from a life in the military to a life in corporate America. While many of us relish the opportunity and look forward to the change in lifestyle, there are many challenges. There are multiple avenues to take in your transition aside from utilizing a recruiting firm. A solid, simple, and structured strategy will help a Junior Military Officer navigate the complicated and stressful path to a new career. I have read numerous helpful plans on LinkedIn and other publications that have helped me in my transition. Using the knowledge I have obtained from my experiences. I think that these five steps of self discovery, building your corporate knowledge, connecting your knowledge to your unique skills, networking, and targeted job hunting are a blueprint for a successful transition. I hope this article helps simplify the approach a Junior Military Officer (JMO) takes to transitioning and enable veterans to have a smooth, efficient, and enjoyable transition to a new life in corporate America.

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As a digital mentorship platform where mentor-mentee conversations take place over the phone, think of your first call with each mentee as a chemistry match. With strong chemistry matches, you and your mentee may decide to continue building the relationship, perhaps off-line, or it might be easier to just continue scheduling via Veterati. Or, your mentorship session is more an informational interview where the mentee is trying to get specific questions answered. 1 conversation might already make a big difference to your mentee, and you might not need to build the relationship forward. It is ultimately up to you and your mentee.

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Before the Internet, we had Tribes.

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