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What skill do you wish you had before entering your field?

I have been thinking a lot about my future and how to make a smooth entry into the career of my choice when it comes time (I plan on being a field medic in the Marine Corps.) and want advice on what to work on from now until I can apply.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Gabriela’s Answer

I often find myself wishing that I had engaged more with volunteer work at a younger age. Such experiences could have provided me with the chance to cultivate leadership skills, which are incredibly valuable. These skills can be applied to all aspects of life and can greatly enhance personal and professional success.
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DaSabria’s Answer

Hello! Kudos to you for taking this significant leap towards serving your nation - it's truly a unique privilege. I transitioned into veteran status just this past April. As you embark on this journey of service, you'll be exposed to a rich variety of training experiences that will shape you into a disciplined and multifaceted professional. Drawing from my own time in the military, I'd suggest focusing on a few key areas that I wish I knew, while you prepare to join the ranks of the Marines.

Firstly, work on becoming an effective communicator. Secondly, cultivate flexibility, as the military often requires you to adapt to changing circumstances at a moment's notice. Lastly, hone your problem-solving abilities to ensure you're tackling tasks in the most efficient manner, rather than the hard way.

These skills won't just serve you well during your time in the military, but will also give you a competitive edge when you transition back to civilian life and find yourself in the job market. Best of luck, future Marine! If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at any time.
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Kimberly’s Answer

Excellent question! To excel in this field, you'll need to hone certain skills, like multitasking and maintaining composure in high-stress situations. While some people naturally possess these abilities, don't worry if you don't - they can be developed. Start by investigating strategies that can help you master these skills. Look into practices like controlled breathing and positive thinking, which are used by professionals like firefighters, military divers, and special forces to stay calm during emergencies. A serene mind allows you to think clearly and make swift, effective decisions, a necessity in your daily role as a Marine Field Medic.

Kimberly recommends the following next steps:

Research calming techniques
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Eric’s Answer

Regulus,

As a Navy Corpsman who specializes in providing role 1 direct medical care for Marines I will advise that while having many different soft skills will be crucial, I would recommend that you put your worries to the side and dive head first into the Navy, then into your job, and then the Marine Corps once your in.

If you can dedicate and commit yourself to those subjects, everything else will fall into place. I’ve been serving for nearly 12 years, and life in the service has been my greatest experience in cultivating the skills I needed a Sailor, Corpsman, Leader, Father, and now a Recruiter.


Respectfully,
Eric E. Hopkins, MHA, RMA
HM2(FMF), USN
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Steven’s Answer

Regulus

While some school activities address key elements you will need, not much is done in a school environment to prepare you for solid teamwork and conflict resolution. If you can communicate effectively and be a solid team member it will take you where you need to go.

Good luck in your career.
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Michael’s Answer

Hi Regulus,

Great question - and the first thing that comes to mind for myself is learn a second language. This will help you in both your professional and personal life.

It opens doors to international job opportunities (e.g., military, public, or private), improves communication with a diverse range of clients and colleagues, and demonstrates adaptability and cultural awareness to potential employers. This skill can set you apart and increase your value in a professional landscape.

In your personal life, it will enrich travel encounters and cultural appreciation -- opening doors to diverse connections and an exciting new outlook on the world.
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