Does Joining The Military Help My Future Career?

Military Graduation. Photo credit here.

Military Graduation. Photo credit here.

While doing pushups in the military may help you get into shape, being a part of today’s military is more than just handling a gun and going to war. Being trained in the military can provide with the kind of discipline and skills that comprise a successful career.

Before you join the military and get the specialized training, you’ll need to understand how you’re planning to end your term of service. Understanding your interests will help you figure out the kind of training you’re going to need. Depending on the types of skills you bring to the table, such as computers, mechanics or administrative duties, knowing this can help steer you in the right direction. After you’ve thought about all of that, you need to assess whether you’re ready to make the level of commitment necessary to see it through.

Doing your research will show you that there are many benefits to joining the military (not only limited to pushups)but if you’re not ready to take advantage of them, putting yourself under contract with the U.S. government may not be the wisest move. The fact is between 40 percent and 50 percent of recruits don’t complete the full term of service. This can be for a variety of reasons but some are cases of “buyer’s remorse” where the picture that was painted didn’t live up to the reality. Part of the due diligence is actively listening to recruiters and becoming more informed about what the military truly entails and if you’re ready to handle it.

If you do decide that it’s the life for you, the Basic Combat Training helps you to learn valuable soft skills such as time management, team work, perseverance and leadership. This is the basis on which all other skills are built. After basic training is Advanced Individual Training which includes hands-on experience in the field you’ve chosen. During this process you’ll get additional opportunities to go to seminars, select college courses, all of which help to build your resume since you’re not only learning but practicing what you learn so that embarking on a future career outside of the military means less of a learning curve.

One obvious career path for ex-military personnel is government. As you would probably have some level of government clearance, you would be more attractive than someone who doesn’t. Within the government there are numerous specialties such as medicine, communications, graphic design, engineering, and other specialties to choose from. Another possibility is law enforcement or other security positions.

Finally, a valuable skill that would fit any industry is project management. Being able to manage time, stay within budget, get tasks done, setting and getting goals, these are skills that many employers look for and will pay for if the prospective employee has the right experience and certifications.