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How to Transfer Your Military Skills to the Corporate World

(StatePoint) A military background brings with it an ability to collaborate, problem-solve and thrive under pressure, making veterans well-positioned to take on leadership roles in the corporate world.

Having worked in the banking industry for more than 25 years and in his 30th year with the U.S. Army, Jerry Quinn is an example of someone who has maximized his military leadership skills in the corporate world. As senior vice president, and head of Enterprise Military Talent External Recruiting at Wells Fargo, Quinn also serves as chairman of the Association of Military Banks of America.

To help make your transition from military service go smoothly, Quinn is offering the following tips and insights:

Know yourself: “Knowing yourself is a key leadership principle,” says Quinn. “By understanding what your values, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses are, you can step into a leadership role that will allow you and your team to thrive.”

Know your organization: Understand the ins and outs of the organization you work for or want to work for, including its vision, mission and objectives, as well as the company’s current capabilities and potential for growth.

Set the example: “Leaders set the example by which others follow, so be sure to treat your team and customers with respect and gratitude, and always lead from the front,” says Quinn. “Being proud of what you do can be infectious.”

Build a team committed to excellence: Good leaders attract good talent and assist others in achieving their success. When benchmarks are met, give the team the credit -- you aren’t a leader without them.

Make and work your plan: When facing challenges, make it your business to pull your team through it. Stay disciplined. If you have a deadline or have made a promise, always deliver on it.

“Don’t let your activity dictate your priorities; Your priorities need to dictate your activity,” says Quinn.

Be valued: Consider specifically seeking out positions with employers who value the leadership, discipline and service record of military veterans, veterans with disabilities, National Guard members, and Reservists, and then take advantage of any resources offered by the company. The existence of a military affairs program, such as the one established by Wells Fargo in 2012, is a good sign that a given employer is committed to hiring and retaining veteran team members. In the case of Wells Fargo, the company offers such resources as apprenticeships, internships, transition services and leadership training in an effort to help veterans translate existing skills to a new position and grow professionally. Wells Fargo also offers employee resource groups, financial education, military leave benefits and other programming designed to help veterans be successful.

More information about making the transition from the military to the corporate world is available at

By honing in on the skills acquired during military service and seeking out tailored professional growth opportunities, those in the veteran community can maximize their leadership potential and thrive in the corporate world.

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