Career&Employment, Employment & Career

Transitioning Military: 5 Ways to Learn Corporatese

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Transitioning Military – 5 Ways to Learn Corporatese

I recently talked to a recruiter.  She was frustrated, as her company wants to hire veterans, but the resumes she receives are full of that foreign language I like to call militaryese.  One of the most important things a transitioning service member needs to do is “talk the talk.” You would not expect to have a leader in your unit who could not talk militaryese. If you want to be a member of a corporation you need to learn to translate your experience into corporatese.  The big question is how?


  • Immerse yourself in corporatese Did you  not learn militaryese in an instant, when you immersed yourself in the culture? You need to do the same to be able to speak corporatese.  Read books and articles, get involved in professional organizations, and attend networking events. Listen and learn.



  • Hold advisory conversations (aka informational interviews). Talk to people in the corporate world. Ask what someone in your chosen field would do in the civilian world. Learn how to translate what you do to corporatese.



  • Get a mentor The military has a mentorship culture that encourages Service Members to mentor each other formally and informally, to help develop the necessary skills to succeed in the military culture.  Corporations have mentors too. American Corporate Partnersand is a great program that matches up transitioning service members with corporate mentors, find it here .
  • Reach out.  Reach out to other veterans, including former colleagues, supervisors, and subordinates.  LinkedIn is a great place to find them.  Ask for help in translating your skills.



  • Attend the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and take it seriously. Do not just attend, participate, and make the most out of it. Take advantage of employer days and additional services the program offers.


Put the time and effort into your transition and learning corporatese.  Immerse yourself in the corporate culture as you prepare to separate from the military and do not be afraid to reach out.



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