Veterans On the Job

veterans WWII memorialHappy Veteran’s Day to all our soldiers who have served, and are still serving, our country. I thought today on the blog I would try to do something that might help those who have served and are now looking for employment outside the military. Sort of a RTW plan but for veterans. It’s no easy transition to go from serving in the military to a regular 9-5, and a lot of soldiers come back to find they are out of a job and have trouble finding a new one. But soldiers who come back and can find a job can often find more stability elsewhere in their life as well.

For employers- the military provides a great training base for many jobs. It promotes teamwork, leadership, discipline and a myriad of other qualities that employers look for in their hires. The military uses people of all branches of industry- medical, legal, financial, etc. When looking to fill positions, think about the skills that many veterans already possess.

There are many different groups and companies that look to help veterans re-enter the workforce. The Veteran’s Association provides many resources and tools. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VocRehab) program mentors veterans on the way to a new job. Other advocacy groups like “Value of a Veteran” offer help from returning veterans who have been in those shoes. There are also many job fairs that are exclusively for veterans and companies who are dedicated to hiring veterans.

Here is a sampling of the 10 Tips from the VocRehab program for those looking to enter the job market:

  1. Network- family and friends can help with contacting potential employers
  2. Emphasize Character
  3. Pace yourself- don’t get discouraged by a failure
  4. Prepare yourself for a new culture

It can be hard for veterans to adapt. The jobs they used to do can be vastly different from the jobs they are applying to now. It is important to be vigilant for symptoms of PTSD and to encourage veterans to seek help if they need it. Assign a mentor to help them get acclimated to the new workplace and help them by sharing their experiences.

Veterans seeking a new job might look for help in preparing everything they will need before and during the interview. Many may have never written a resume or been through an extensive interview. Talking to friends about their job and their workplace expectations can also go a long way in preparing a veteran for a new career.

Veterans have already learned a great deal on the job during their time in the military and they are well qualified for many jobs back home.

What's your take? Continue the discussion with others over at the WCInsights LinkedIn Group.
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