U.S. veterans return from duty with knowledge, skills and abilities that employers are looking for in their workforce. Here are some transferrable skills that veterans bring to civilian jobs:

  1. TEAMWORK: Most military activities are performed with the help or coordination of others. Veterans have learned to collaborate with others to complete tasks and stay safe. Veterans who have served as team leaders have learned to evaluate situations, make decisions quickly and accept the consequences of those decisions, good or bad.
  2. FLEXIBILITY AND ADAPTABILITY: Life in the military is ever-changing. Service members learn to adapt to the changing needs of any situation while remaining calm and moving towards the goal.
  3. EDUCATION: All service members are required to have a high school diploma or GED. Many have college degrees as well.
  4. CRITICAL THINKING: Service members are trained to examine the results and consequences of a specific action. They learn to use reason and evidence to make decisions and solve complex problems.
  5. WORK ETHIC: In the military, mission comes first. Service members are recognized for finishing their missions in a timely and effective manner. They learn to take responsibility for their duties and complete them with minimal supervision.
  6. LEADERSHIP: The military’s focus on duty, honor and responsibility give veterans leadership skills that are highly valued by employers. They have been taught to take responsibility for other people, activities and their own behavior and to motivate others to achieve results.
  7. GLOBAL OUTLOOK: Service members are stationed across the globe, exposing them to different cultures, economies and languages. Veterans can bring a diverse outlook and new ideas to the workplace.

Veterans who need help translating their military skills, qualifications and experience to their job search can visit a West Michigan Works! service center to be connected to a veterans representative.