One of the best pieces of Army career advice that I ever received was “take the jobs that no one else wants.” These are the jobs that require lots of work, endless challenges, and a high probability of FAILURE.
Once you’ve been in the Army for any period of time, you will quickly discover that most people AVOID the tough jobs. Either they don’t want the challenge, the added responsibilities, or they don’t want to put themselves in a position where they might fail. Personally, I’ve never subscribed to that mindset. I’ve always believed that the tough jobs are an opportunity to show what you bring to the table.
Several examples of tough Army jobs might include:
- High visibility job such as an Aid de Camp
- Command Positions
- S3 Jobs
- Jobs That Require Long Hours
- Jobs That Require a Lot of Travel
- Jobs Where the Unit is Horrible and Has a Bad Reputation
One of my former Battalion Commanders once told me to ALWAYS take the tough jobs. Seek them out. He claimed the benefits for doing so included:
- Learn New Skills
- Challenge Yourself
- Get Noticed by Superiors
- Build a Strong Resume
- Move Up Your Career Quicker
If you take a tough job, and succeed with the job, you will get noticed. On the other hand, if you fail at the new job, it could have a negative impact on your career. However, I’ve never subscribed to the mindset of playing it safe. If you have big goals and want to advance your military career to the highest ranks, you have to be willing to do what most of your peers WON’T DO. Never forget that. There’s always a chance that you could fail in a job and get a bad evaluation report. Once again, if you’re good at what you do, that’s highly unlikely. But yes, it is possible.
If I could leave you with some final Army Career Advice, it would be this. Make an assessment of all the job positions in your unit and determine which ones are the hardest and most demanding. If you can, apply to those jobs. Also, look for jobs in HORRIBLE units. Try to find units that NO ONE else wants to serve in and take leadership positions in those units. If you are good at what you do, you have nowhere to go but up. Additionally, look for individuals who are horrible at what they do, and be the person who replaces them in their job. Once again, if you are good at what you do, you have nowhere to go but up.
In summary, some good Army Career Advice is to “take the tough jobs that no one else wants.” Look for tough Army jobs and horrible units that allow you to show others what YOU bring to the table as a leader. This is quite perhaps the best way to “stand above” the crowd and get noticed, so you can advance your Army career quickly. If you do what most people do and play it safe your whole career, you will simply have an average career.
What are your thoughts? What do you think about taking tough assignments? What are some tough jobs you can think of? Leave a comment and let me know. Thanks.