When new recruits report to U.S. Army Basic Combat Training (boot camp) they typically expect a rigorous challenge. They go through a series of challenges learning essential soldier skills. Most recruits expect to learn skills like physical fitness, marksmanship and teamwork. But they may not expect the one vital skill every recruit must learn before graduating from boot camp: land navigation.
Land navigation is the skill of using a compass and a map to figure out where you are and find a way to get where you want to go. The two tools that become essential for recruits to use have very different functions.
#1: The Map
The map is a two dimensional drawing of a three dimensional world. An experienced navigator can look at a map and identify landmarks such as roads, hills or bodies of water and use those landmarks to discover location as well as approximate distance and direction. In short… maps are incredibly useful tools. But maps depend on someone having been there and drawing the map in the first place. They also require the user to be able to translate the 2 dimensional image into a 3 dimensional world.
#2: The Compass
Because the Compass uses the Earth’s magnetic field to point north, the user knows the cardinal directions (North, South, East and West.) This small, but incredibly valuable tool can allow a person to chart a course even without a map. This comes in handy for the recruits when they do the night version of the land navigation course. At night, it is impossible to identify landmarks and use those to guide the recruits. It also enables people to navigate to areas that have not been mapped.
There are lots of different maps
If you’re like most people growing up in the U.S., you had a life map handed to you. It goes something like this: go to school, graduate high school, go to college, get a job, retire at age 65, die.
When you get to college you get another map that goes something like this: pick a major, get good grades, get an internship, graduate, get a job in your field.
Then at your first job you get another one: work hard, impress your boss, get promoted, rinse and repeat. We even call it a corporate ladder because every rung feels like the last.
So there are plenty of people handing out maps and they all have value. That’s because the maps are created by people who have “been there, done that” and give landmarks and milestones useful for charting a path. But… what happens when the landscape changes? Say, from a global pandemic or technical innovation? Sometimes you need a new approach.
Introducing a compass for your career
Remember a compass helps us understand where we are and choose a direction to go. The compass doesn’t chart the path but simply provides the heading. When we trust the compass, we can find new paths using the real world instead of trying to follow in someone else’s footsteps.
At SkillBank, we’re OBSESSED with creating a compass that will help people chart a good course through the world of work. We’ve done it! The latest feature in our Job Discovery app is “Learning Goals.”
Learning Goals – almost like magic
Within the first few minutes with our Job Discovery app, you will have picked out some competencies and shortlisted a job or two.
Now, with Learning Goals, you’ll be able to see the most important competencies for the job you want!
Like a compass that’s powered by competencies, it helps you chart a course to a better job, maybe even one that’ll surprise you!
Try it now…