It’s not what’s important to you, it’s what’s important to them.

As we look through our careers, we all have moments that are special.  Most likely they are specific missions that we were privileged to conduct, the people we worked with or some significant accomplishments.  Maybe it was a time that we survived an ambush or cheated death in another way. These would be the highlights of our careers if we were to think of it as a movie trailer to ourselves.  What’s more important as we transition is to identify what is more critical to our future organizations.
Heading into the corporate world, no one cares about all of the guns we have fired or amount of enemy that we neutralized. It’s great that we graduated from schools that provided us with specialized skills that helped us in our missions.  Whether that skill is long-range marksmanship, urban combat or diving, how does it translate?  What matters most is that next mission.

Through research and networking, you need to identify the skills you want to translate for your new career.  It will not always remain the same for each company that you are targeting.  In a lot of cases, the non-sexy stuff is going to catch their eye vs. what we may imagine the cool stuff.  How you were able to manage manning and logistics for your team and partner force directly translates.  The negotiating with tribal elders to bring security to a village is applicable. Working across cultures with foreign leaders to solve problems of a strategic nature is most likely what they find pertinent.  Planning (MDMP) and implementing (execution) a process to increase the customers (partner force) performance ($) over a 6-month period.

It’s just like when we work with our partner forces. It’s all good that the ODA has an assigned mission and objectives, but if you are not hitting what the partner force is demanding the mission is going to go south.  Same situation here just a different language, cultures and processes. Pull back for a moment and think what’s important to them?  What is the organization looking for?  What skills are they seeking?

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