In my first blog, I wrote about my challenges in transitioning from the military into the workforce. What some employers may not appreciate is how many skills and values imparted through the military are beneficial on the job. The commercial real estate industry is an example of how military training can provide an edge, and I’m grateful for my opportunity here at Cresa—and encouraged that our newly formed Real Estate Careers for Armed Forces (REC4AF) will help ease the transition for veterans and their families.
How has the Armed Forces helped me and countless other veterans? Well, many things come to mind, things that I usually take for granted because they are secondhand nature. But three specific areas stand out and perhaps give me an added edge: work ethic, adaptability, and punctuality.
Work ethic. In the military, I never thought that waking up at 0500 and working through 1700 was anything special; it was just something we did. However, now that I am out, working normal business hours may be easier for me than others not previously subjected to long, hard hours. During my time in the military, long hours we a given, and if you didn’t comply, you were punished accordingly. Today, at Cresa, I feel energized and am ready to put in extra time as needed.
Adaptability. Possibly the most important skill the military taught me was adaptability. We would regularly have a change of plans in which we were given a “time hack” to change uniforms, grab our kits and weapons, and be back in formation within 10 minutes. Now, having one person do this isn’t hard, but when you have 180 soldiers coordinating up a single flight of stairs at 0600, it’s another story. Yet this again became natural to me, as we were always ready to change on a dime. And this has prepared me for the ever-changing brokerage world, where meetings are often changed with just enough time for me to get in my car and get there on time. For some people, this sends their stress levels through the roof; for me, it’s nothing new.
Punctuality. The military also taught me to be on time, something that a lot of people do not believe is as important anymore. There were countless times in the military where we would not have someone on time for a formation and we would pay the price physically. The quote “if you are on time, you are late, and if you are 15 minutes early you are barely on time” is something that I pride myself in as I will always make sure that I will be prepared and never be late, no matter the circumstances.
These are just some of the advantages that I and other veterans have gained through our military service. These and other skills and values engrained into all soldiers don’t necessarily make us better than others who haven’t had this experience. But they do help enhance our workplace performance. Our hope is that REC4AF will provide the mechanism for enlightening employers and allowing thousands of veterans to advance in their careers.