Is Human Resources a Good Career Field for Veterans?

One of the many problems facing veterans of the US armed services is how to find civilian employ. While many of the veterans’ skills, and much of their training, relates well to a variety of industries, the frequent lack of formal education — coupled with the challenges involved in adjusting to civilian life — can often make finding the ideal job difficult, if not impossible. Too many veterans wind up stuck in low-paying jobs, as their considerable expertise is sidelined due to lack of use, but there are alternatives: some career paths that many people might not consider at first glance are ideally suited for veterans of the armed services, such as human resources management.

Here are a few reasons why a career in human resources is a good path for veterans.

Military Training Involves Viable Skills

The skills one learns as a member of the US armed forces are widely applicable within civilian life. They include communications skills, such as the ability to give and receive directions, and follow them logically, something that many people often take for granted. Former military personnel have an ingrained respect for the chain of command, but are also capable of independently making decisions, with the recent military focus on soldiers and other military personnel becoming increasingly self-sufficient. Another skill that is too often taken for granted is critical analysis: military personnel are trained to notice problems, and to deal with them efficiently, while other people may be inclined to let problems balloon out of control before confronting them.

Organizational Skills

Worth mentioning on its own is the fact that military life is highly organized and regimented. The degree of organization and self-discipline involved in military training far surpasses that of virtually any civilian pursuit or profession; arguably, there is no equal to it outside of the military profession. A person who is good at maintaining an organized lifestyle is a good fit for any business, but human resources relies particularly heavily on the ability to manage information through the organization, maintenance and updating of confidential records.

Balancing Empathy with Professional Discipline

Human resources often functions as a go-between, with administrative and management personnel within the department needing to balance the overall needs of the company with those of the individual worker. The end result is a balance, contributing to a positive, well-adjusted workplace environment, encouraging greater employee happiness, loyalty and productivity. A veteran of the armed forces has worked within an environment where a great deal was expected of them; they have also had to deal with the bureaucracy of a large, often inefficient government body, which is meant to help them with their affairs. They are well-positioned to provide a certain degree of understanding, while maintaining professional expectations and an atmosphere of self-reliance.

A human resources career takes advantage of many of the skills learned during a career in the military. It relies heavily upon self-discipline and confidence in dealing with other individuals. Military training can prepare an individual for the kind of balance between empathy and professional responsibility that the profession of human resources requires. It isn’t the first thing that a veteran might think of when looking for viable career growth opportunities on the civilian market, but it is definitely a worthwhile choice to consider.

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