Friday, June 28, 2019

Book Nook: Boots in the Office - Your Workplace Survival Manual

For veterans, the move from military service to civilian jobs can sometimes be more challenging than anticipated. An exciting new book confronts this issue on behalf of vets.

Boots in the Office: Your Workplace Survival Manual provides valuable strategies designed to help military service personnel successfully transition to the civilian work environment. Written by Fred Stawitz, a noted expert and speaker on employee engagement and business operations, Boots in the Office is a powerful tool that gives our veterans a self-managed approach to professional development and helps them leverage success in the corporate world.

I had a chance to interview Stawitz to learn more.

Why did you decide to write this book?
People who serve in the military are owed a special debt of gratitude. Not just a “thank you for your service” pat on the shoulder but true support for helping them through any issues medical or otherwise that arise from their service. Plus, general assistance in achieving success throughout their lives once they leave the service. Unfortunately, we, through our elected officials, have fallen far short of offering veterans this level of thanks. As an author with a focus on workplace issues, I thought I might provide a small measure of gratitude by writing a book that takes a look at civilian workplaces from the military perspective of (1) assessing the environment, (2) evaluating the resources at your disposal, and (3) determining a path to mission success. In this case, success means a smooth transition to a civilian job, a rewarding career progression, and a happy life. My goal is that Boots in the Office: Your Workplace Survival Manual provides veterans useful assistance in this area.
Why is it so important to have a career book specifically geared towards those making the transition from military to civilian careers?
The military offers a rules-based, regimented environment where orders are given and followed. Civilian workplaces have much looser standards and structures. Behaviors that produce success in the military may not translate directly to a civilian workplace. With Boots in the Office: Your Workplace Survival Manual, I have tried to offer veterans a clear understanding of how things work in the corporate environment and guidance for navigating a self-managed path to success in each of the four types of workplace environments explained in the book.
How can non-military colleagues help support a career transition?
Support is the key word. All colleagues can help veterans and not-veterans alike by working to create a supportive, team-oriented work experience regardless of what other conditions may exist in the workplace. A supportive colleague helps find resources, expands networks, explains processes, assists in resolving problems, and sometimes just listens. A supportive colleague is both a coworker and a friend who can be trusted and relied upon, something many veterans leave behind when they leave their unit.

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