3 Military Skills that do not translate to efficient workflow
It seems to be common ideology that once veterans leave the active duty or similar service, that they will be greeted with a high paying job and a newfound fulfillment upon landing in their new positions. Unfortunately, not all the skills that we develop in Active Duty service translate into things that are useful in a corporate setting or business. I’m going to list 3 skills that we develop in the Military that I believe fall short of usefulness in the “outside world”.
If you were to talk about a skill that all men and women in the military must master, this would be up there. The reason it’s so important is because we are often put into situations that our training had not prepared us for. This can be things such as doing someone else’s job or even having to perform “secondary billets” which are jobs that were deemed not important enough to have their own MOS (Military Occupational Specialty). In the Marine Corps specifically, we are taught that all Marines are riflemen and are instructed on the basics of marksmanship and combat. While this might be important for the rare occasion in which those of us not in combat roles see combat, it isn’t necessarily a great use of our time if we are attempting to also develop technical professionals. I would have to agree that adaptability is an important skill in life, but it is not something that translates to efficient workflow in a professional environment.
It would not take me long to tell you what I believe the most useless and overrated “skill” is, without a doubt its multitasking. The term originated in the computer industry which makes total sense because only a computer could perform this skill effectively. Sure, you could probably accomplish two or maybe even more tasks simultaneously but answer me this; would any of these results be top notch? I think we all know the answer to that. Picture you’re in a room with your 5 closest friends and 10 slices of pizza. In this situation the pizza is your focus, and your 5 friends are the tasks that need to be completed. If you were to give each of your friends 2 slices of pizza, sure you would probably feel pretty good about having all your friends equally feed, but are any of them completely satisfied? Now let’s say that you chose 2 out of 5 of those friends whose relationships mean that most to you and fed them 5 slices each. Those 2 friends will end up full and happy. In the first option, you may have completed ALL the tasks, but you did it poorly. In the second option, you had to leave out some less important tasks, but the ones that were most important were completed at an exemplary level. From an efficiency standpoint this is important to understand because the work you complete needs to be done fully and with great precision, it is much better to do things right and slowly then all at once poorly.
Admittedly this is something that isn’t as prevalent as it was when I joined the Military 7 years ago, but it is absolutely a “skill” they would prefer for us to master. “Instant willing obedience to all orders” is what we screamed at the top of our lungs during recruit training. Some would argue that you shouldn’t be questioning your leadership, but I would say that you should ALWAYS be questioning your leadership. This is how practices are made better and trust is created, when leaders are okay with explaining WHY they’re subordinates are doing something and its importance, this creates trust between leader and followers. Questions are the foundation of learning, without them, we would never seek out knowledge and new ways of accomplishing great things! The era of blind followership is over, let the questioning begin!