Why Intel Collection Is the Most Important Skill You Need from the Military
2-½ minutes to read
Do you want:
- Your first post-military job,
- A better job,
- A higher salary and/or better position at your current organization?
Our nation begins with a national defense strategy. Combatant commanders develop operational objectives. To meet these objectives, we execute tactical missions. You can follow the same process to achieve your civilian life goals.
Make Sure Your Message Is on Target
The headline of a post in a LinkedIn veterans’ group says, “Why is getting hired so complicated?” The writer says he tailors each resume and cover letter. Sometimes, he’ll apply for openings that don't fit his qualifications. He’s working on another certification and will lower his expectations. Sounds like he’s committed to finding a job, right?
You’re a hiring manager. How do you see him? Willing to follow the pack? Desperate? Unqualified? It may sound harsh, but his lack of success isn't surprising. His self-marketing screams, DON'T HIRE ME!”
Most organizations want people who:
- Go the extra mile.
- Have confidence in their ability to deliver value
- Strive to go beyond mere qualifications and find the competitive edge.
Asking a company “to give you a chance” means you want it to gamble. Why should it do that when it can hire someone who has taken the time to fill in all four of the diagram’s boxes? That candidate presents little risk. Rather than appealing for a chance, go out and create opportunity.
Most candidates won't take the time to do this research and analysis. Set yourself apart from the masses. Gather and apply this intelligence.
How to Build Your Strategy and Tactics Based on Intel
Until you can fill in each of the four boxes, you’re flying in the dark without instruments. Build your strategy as follows:
How you see yourself – Most private sector organizations want to hire veterans. But they need you to operate in the civilian workplace. This requires revising your identity. Military command and control won't work. Imagine adapting. How can you alter your military persona to better mesh with civilians? Write down your new purpose.
How the company sees you – In the military, people often based their perceptions on your ribbon rack. At higher levels, your reputation preceded you. Neither may have matched your self-perception. When a civilian organization considers hiring you, it assesses your ability to deliver value. In the absence of self-marketing, where will the hiring manager get accurate information? Plan what you’ll say and do during phone calls, meetings, and in written communications.
How the company sees itself – Like people, organizations have self-images. One may see itself as being forward thinking. Another identifies as being military friendly. By understanding how a company sees itself, you have crucial intelligence for presenting how you'll deliver value. Research the organization’s culture. Determine how you align with and enhance its mission. Do you sound like someone the organization wants to hire? Now, look at your resume and cover letter. Re-calibrate your self-marketing with the company’s perspective in mind. Make the company feel compelled to hire or promote you.
How you see the company – How an organization sees itself and how you perceive it may differ. Your job satisfaction will rest on how well you’ll fit it. Having researched the organization’s culture, assess whether it's a place you can thrive. If there’s a match, create a self-marketing plan that highlights connection points. Move on if you don't fit in. Spend your valuable time targeting a better prospect.
Stop treating your professional prospects like roulette. Separate yourself from the pack. Get clarity on you and the company. Use it to prove your value. You’ll get the job or promotion.
What will prevent you from following this process?
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