By guest author Lori Norris for Stratum Facilities Management Community
Veterans are great candidates for the facility management career field. Of course, there are veterans whose military occupation specialty is facility manager, but many of you who have been in other career fields can also transition into this career field quite effectively.
Let’s look at some of the key qualifications of facility manager and compare them to various military career fields:
In the military, you learned the skill of prioritizing preventive maintenance and emergency repairs whether you were an Air Force crew chief, a Navy nuclear submarine electrical manager or an Army heavy equipment mechanic. Facility managers receive repair requests and reports of equipment outages. Your military experience taught you to triage these requests, put them order of highest priority and dispatch teams to or source vendors to complete these repairs.
Security, Safety and Quality Inspection
Your experience does not have to revolve around inspecting facilities and evaluating building systems to be relevant. Have you ever conducted a security inspection on a facility, created a strategy to prevent incursions for gates or assessed the safety of secured facilities? Those are relevant skills. Have you conducted quality and operability of equipment prior to its use? Instead of writing a bullet that says “Inspected XYZ weapons systems on the ABC rifle prior to field sniper operations” on your resume you would write “Conducted daily operability and safety inspections of 45 pieces of critical operations equipment prior to field use and recommended any repairs or maintenance actions.”
Leadership and Employee Relations
There is a high probability that you led a team within your first few years in the military. Did you have to rally your team to accomplish an impossible task? Did you train new employees in technical tasks as you received new personnel? Did you simultaneously serve as a mentor, rule enforcer and coach? These are all skills that a facility manager needs to bring to the table.
Hopefully with these few examples, I have shown you today that when you look at your military experience and skills with a different lens, you will find that many of your skills transfer into new career fields. Facility management is one of those career fields where I have seen veterans excel.
Don’t forget to add the metrics that showcase your scope of responsibility: how many facilities did you inspect, what is the square footage of the 3 aircraft hangars that you oversaw, what was the value of the facilities and equipment you managed? These are the metrics that will help your future facilities management employer understand the value of your military skills.
Lori Norris, the owner of Get Results Career Services and the host of the Lessons Learned for Vets Podcast has been serving veterans since 2005. She calls herself bilingual, because she is a civilian who speaks the language of the US military and she uses this unique skill to help veterans translate and transfer their skills into their next career after they complete their military service.