The transition out of military service into the civilian workforce can be challenging for many veterans. The military provides extensive training and experience, but adapting those skills to a career path can be difficult. Many veterans face unique obstacles, including a lack of civilian work experience, limited professional networks, and culture shock.
Companies can ease the transition for veterans, playing a valuable role by offering support, resources, and opportunities that help veterans find meaningful, rewarding careers.
The importance of hiring veterans
There are plenty of reasons to hire veterans. As noted, the military provides ample skill-based training in various fields. Looking beyond those skills, companies will find exceptional core values in this workforce. Some of the unique traits veterans have that make them excellent employees include the ability to work as part of a team and to lead others in achieving the objectives of the day, job, or task at hand.
Veterans are also problem solvers. Because they develop highly intuitive reasoning and critical thinking skills, they often see solutions in on-the-job challenges faster than others. This often means they can support companies going through transitions or expanding into new areas.
A veteran workforce is also likely to be highly resilient. They tend to have solid endurance and strength to master mentally challenging and physically difficult situations. Many are used to long hours of work, very early mornings, and long nights requiring constant focus.
Resources for veterans and the workforce
For many companies and veterans, the question is “how?”. How can we transition into a new role? How can we better assist these veterans in transitioning to this new role? There are resources out there that provide exceptional help for both.
The Expiration Term of Service Sponsorship Program (ETS-SP) has announced a new initiative called Onward Ops, a military transition support program aimed at bridging the gap between military and civilian life for uniformed men and women. The program is designed to provide best-in-class tools, vetted resources and mentorship from trained community sponsors to ensure a smooth transition from active military service to civilian life.
By addressing the various domains of a service member's life, from employment and education to family and social needs, Onward Ops creates a personal transition plan for each enrollee, informed by best practices across the Veteran support space and validated by successful Veterans. With plans to enroll over 24,000 transitioning service members and their families over the next year, Onward Ops is offered at no cost and provides the option for self-guided or sponsor-guided transitions. This initiative represents a significant effort to provide much-needed support to our Veterans, helping them achieve success in their post-military lives. Onward Ops is a beacon of hope for military service members who face the daunting challenge of transitioning to life as a Veteran. Their unwavering commitment to integrity, empowerment, and compassion is at the heart of everything they do. Onward Ops closes known gaps in the current transition process and empower service members to achieve success in their post-military lives. If you would like to learn more about Onward Ops’ launch, see their press release.
Offering veteran-specific training and workshops
ETS Sponsorship can also support this transition through veteran-specific workshops. These programs promote the social welfare of service members. To help members, the organization partners directly with local governments, experts within the service member's community, and other certified partners. All complete a VA-certified sponsor training course and then work with a Community Integration Coordinator. They work alongside the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to support members transitioning.
Veteran Cultural Competency Training
Another excellent tool for companies is the Veteran Cultural Competence Training provided through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It's designed to address the difficulty of transitioning into work life. It also aids companies in better understanding how they can integrate veterans into their jobs.
Using military translators to translate military skills to civilian skills
Businesses can also use a military skills translator, a simple-to-use online tool that allows employers to find service positions and military job titles and how they relate to the jobs offered. For example, companies can input specific job titles and find equivalent or similar military job titles.
Creating a military-friendly work environment
Work to support military members within the organization through educational programs, fair and equal treatment, and good communication with existing staff and management team members. Create a space where the military professional feels valued.
Hire veterans for leadership roles
When they have the skills needed, veterans work well as leaders. Consider using them as a core component of the workforce or fast-tracking promotions.
Transition to civilian life
Another key reason to support and hire veterans is that they need the opportunity to transition into civilian life. Each veteran has put his or her life on the line or sacrificed being away from family to support the country as a whole. By providing an opportunity for veteran support, companies can help bridge the challenges present, such as adjusting to working in a sales environment or creating long-term relationships with co-workers.
The challenges veterans face in finding employment can be worrisome. First, there's often a skills mismatch. The direct military-focused skills that many veterans have do not always align properly with the traditional workforce. These workers often have no-nonsense dedication, but they may have differences in areas such as work ethics and methods.
It's possible that some veterans will need specific skillset training. Not all training for all fields is within reach while in the military. Companies that provide entry-level positions in key fields and teach necessary skills can help support veterans as they transition. That's critical for the sustainment of this population.
The benefits of hiring veterans
From a company vantage point, there are some core benefits to hiring veterans for available jobs and positions. While individual skills and talents are essential to consider, companies may find some excellent benefits in hiring veterans.
Veterans in the workplace bring many core skills that are sometimes hard to find in the general population. That includes the ability to work as a team member and follow through on assignments thanks to their strong work ethic. Many veterans are also self-confident and take pride in providing exceptional workmanship for any project they take on.
Veterans follow the rules, are on time, and tend to adapt to change well. Because they are organized, disciplined, and have many cross-functional skills even in stressful situations, veterans are valuable employee assets to any company. They may have better productivity, aid in lowering employee turnover costs, and provide reliable workmanship.
Hire veterans for available jobs
Companies, listen up! Are you looking for dedicated, skilled, and disciplined employees? Look no further than our nation's veterans! Hiring veterans not only benefits your company with their unique skill sets and work ethic, but it also supports those who have served our country. By hiring a veteran, you are not only providing them with a job but also an opportunity to continue serving their country in a meaningful way.
Forever Warriors serves to support veterans in their transition to civilian life by connecting them with valuable community resources. Our organization bridges the gap between veterans and the resources available to them, ensuring they are fully equipped and ready to thrive in their new civilian lives. If you require assistance with your transition to civilian life, or if you are interested in supporting our cause, please visit our website's resources and events section to discover more. We are always available to assist you in any way possible.