As a veteran I can attest to the many challenges veterans face when leaving active duty and seeking a career outside of the military. When I decided to separate I tried to set up a methodical approach to how I was going to market my skills and abilities to companies unfamiliar with the military culture.
Sure I had won top awards, had been ranked #1 amongst my peers consistently throughout my career but how did I market myself as a valuable asset to an organization and make that correlation from what I’ve done to what a company needs. Most companies don’t understand things like Wing, Flight, Battalion, Company etc. therefore when your resume says Commander of, what does that mean to a company? I was determined to build that bridge and was very excited about starting the next chapter of my life.
As I started distributing my resume, my hopes were high and the anticipation of taking the success I had achieved in the military and applying it to a civilian career was scary and exciting at the same time.
Then it happened…my phone didn’t ring and my schedule wasn’t full of interviews. As the day got closer to my separation date and the end of that income stream I was left thinking…Why? What now? How do I support my family? I remember seeing such support with so many people waving flags and stating that they support the troops…where were they now? I soon learned that these feelings were being felt by many veterans in my similar situation. As a company, why should you hire a veteran?
A veteran brings a proven work ethic, leadership, teamwork, and is mission focused. A veteran isn’t worried about what time he/she gets off…they live according to set values such as integrity, honor, selflessness, loyalty and understands the meaning of an honest days work. They are not concerned with meeting the standard; they strive to exceed it.
A veteran has been in many situations that have caused them to adapt quickly and think fast on their feet and are used to a high stress environment. A veteran can hit the ground running, learn fast, and will be an immediate contributor.
Sure their resume doesn’t reflect “industry experience” however, if you give them the opportunity you’ll soon figure out what an outstanding asset a veteran is to your organization. With so many qualities the true questions is…Why not hire a Veteran?