Military Habits That Does Not Translate Well In Civilian Setting

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military habits

Military habits are bound to be with you as you transition into a civilian life. It does not matter if you are part of the Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force. A lot of things will change in your behavior after you enlist in the military. The combination of your training, experience, situation, and the overall culture in the military will facilitate these changes in your behavior.
military habits

Most of these habits will actually make you a better person. The discipline that will be drilled into you will be a great asset as you transition into a civilian lifestyle. Not only that, you will get a lot of skills that could help you build a career in the civilian world.
military habits

However, there are some habits that will not really be as useful as they were back in the military. You need to identify these habits so you can try to change them. The civilians around you might not understand and could get offended by your behavior.
military habits

Here are the different military habits that you should consider changing as you transition into a civilian lifestyle.

Habit: Vulgar speaking and language

A military person’s mouth can be admittedly very vulgar. You just have to be there to believe all the obscenities that are coming out of their mouth. If you know what they are going through, you will somehow understand why they develop this habit. Of course, that does not mean it is okay.
military habits

Why it is a problem

It may seem normal when you are in the military but it can sound unprofessional and disrespectful when you are in a civilian setting. Sure, everyone have said or heard curse words before but if you cannot seem to control your language, it would make you lose some “class.”
military habits

What to do about it

Think before you speak. Try to read and learn the jargons in the industry that you belong it. Observe the culture in the office. There are so many things that you can do. Admittedly, changing habits will not be easy and it will not happen overnight. But if you do not forget who you are right now and be conscious of where you are, you should be able to slowly change out of this nasty habit.
military habits

Habit: Blindly following orders

This is one of the basic training that you will get in the military – to follow orders blindly. In most cases, this is what will help you survive life in the military. You will be trained to follow automatically and not to ask questions even if the orders seem off. This is meant to make things flow more efficiently in the military.
military habits

Why it is a problem

There is one thing that you need to understand. Military people are taught to follow orders automatically because the officers giving them are trained to evaluate the orders before giving them. That makes it safe to follow orders blindly. In the civilian world, that is not the case. Your boss or superior may not have the same training as the officers in the military. Not only that, being used to following orders without question will suppress your critical and creative thinking skills. This is not usually a good thing when you are trying to build a career in the civilian world.
military habits

What to do about it

The solution here is simple, train yourself to view orders as objectives. Changing your mindset will help you think first before you act on any order. In a civilian setting, you almost always have a choice to obey or not. And even if you decide to follow the instructions, you do not have to do it one way. You can choose how it is done – as long as the results are as expected. When you are striving to become an entrepreneur, you need to learn that those working for you are not “trained” to follow orders blindly. Try not to get frustrated by that fact.
military habits

Habit: Relying on the government for everything

While you are deployed, everything is usually provided by the government – your food, accommodations, and even your transportation. This makes you very reliant on the government or the agency that you work for.
military habits

Why it is a problem

Since it all used to be free, this might come as a shock to you after you retire from your military career. You might be surprised by the amount of money that you now have to spend on these three expenses and how small your discretionary income will be as a civilian. This might be tough to get accustomed to.
military habits

What to do about it

Start by creating a budget. This is the best way for you to get the big picture on your finances. You need to look at your income and change the list of expenses that you now have to shoulder. Make sure you leave room for your savings and that you build up an emergency fund. It might be more difficult to get financial aid from the government now that you are out of the service.
military habits

Habit: Expecting respect from civilians

When we see men in uniform, there is a certain level of respect given to them. This is probably why those who are transitioning from the service into a civilian life expect civilians to treat them with respect. After all, their service involved a lot of sacrifices. While this is true, not all civilians feel this way. That means you might not get the respect that you deserve or expect.
military habits

Why it is a problem

It might be discouraging for someone who was given a lot of respect while serving in the military to suddenly be looked down upon as a civilian. This can affect your self-confidence and push you towards depression. After everything that you went through, it might be tough to accept this image. It will make the transition even harder than it already is.
military habits

What to do about it

First of all, do not involve yourself in office gossip – even if it is about you. Remember that you are there to work and not make friends. If these things happen, try to focus on your job and not the people around you. You should also lower your expectations. You do not owe anyone anything and do not think that you are entitled just because you did your service in the military. It is all about changing your mindset.
military habits

Habit: Treating people based on their rank

In the military, officers are treated with utmost respect and their orders are obeyed automatically. Basically, your rank will dictate the level of respect and authority that you can command.
military habits

Why it is a problem

While the same principle holds true in the civilian setting, there are a couple of differences. For instance, employees are allowed to argue with their managers and question instructions given as long as it is done with respect. This is not the practice in the military. Even if you are the manager in the company, you cannot expect your subordinates to quickly follow orders with question. This might be frustrating unless you change your opinion about the ranking in the workplace.
military habits

What to do about it

The best way to deal with this habit is to simply treat everyone as your equal. This is, after all, the right thing to do. Regardless of the rank, people should be treated in the same way that you would like to be treated. This is how you can be an effective leader in a civilian workplace.
military habits

Habit: Routine exercise

Being physically fit is a must in the military. You have to understand that service members live on a tight and detailed schedule. This is usually a schedule that is done by your officers. This includes when you take a bath, brush your teeth, eat and exercise.
military habits

Why it is a problem

When you transition to a civilian life, this schedule will no longer be handed to you. This is why you need to come up with your own schedule. Otherwise, you will forget about exercising – which admittedly is something that a lot of people struggle with. In the military, you are forced into it. Once your service is over, it is easier to make excuses to stop exercising.
military habits

What to do about it

You need to start a new routine as a civilian. Write a schedule that works for you and enforce the discipline that was drilled into you in the military to ensure that you will follow through. Your health is the main benefactor when you continue to keep yourself physically fit.
military habits

Habit: Brutal honesty

If you think about it, there is really nothing wrong about this – but only when you are in the military. You are used to calling it as it is because you are trained not to take things personally. You are also used to having your officers directly tell you their observations and you are not supposed to feel offended by them.
military habits

Why it is a problem

Civilians get easily offended and can react negatively because they do not feel like they owe anyone anything to get judged. This is why you need to forget about being too forthright when you make comments or when giving your opinion.
military habits

What to do about it

Practice being tactful. While being honest is important, there are better ways to say the truth without destroying the morale of the person you are talking to.
military habits