In a world where Veterans, Military Spouses, and Military Families experience unique challenges in getting hired, it’s always encouraging to hear from someone who continues to succeed!
I heard from a Veteran who shared some sage advice I’d like to share with you.
But first, I’d like to encourage you to consider 3 things:
If you’re currently unemployed or underemployed, I want you to get up each day like you’re about to make a positive impact at a company. If you don’t have a job, get up and maintain a schedule. Your job is to find work. Create some challenges in your quest for employment that make it fun. For example, set a goal of meeting 3 new people that work at 3 specific companies within 3 hours. You can do this via computer using a professional website such as LinkedInTM. If you succeed, you get to treat yourself to something you enjoy! (Maybe reward yourself with something like a movie, a coffee, or some other positive reinforcement.) If you don’t reach your goal, take some time to figure out why you didn’t meet the new people and try again for the next 3 hours. The more people you meet, the better your chances of connecting with a potential job!
Part of maintaining a regular, work-type routine involves the activity of getting out amongst the people. You can’t sit behind your computer screen connecting all day and expect to reap the benefits of person-to-person interaction. Vary your route and routine. Grab a coffee at a coffee shop located nearest your favorite prospective Employer. Keep an eye out for anyone wearing anything that associates them with a potential job – don’t forget that many current Employees consider coffee shops their “office”! People conduct lots of business in coffee shops and golf courses! Get out and get some java or get a basket of golf balls and work on your drive! But, don’t forget to do the old “Grip & Grin” and meet as many people as you can and where they work!
Next time you’re at a hiring conference, job fair, or employment office, make it a point to get connected with the people you meet there! Exchange contact information, trade résumés with people who might have a solid lead on a job you’re interested in, or even ask who knows whom.
You might also consider forming a Job Lead Network comprised of people you’ve met who wish to commit to looking out for each other’s job-hunting efforts! Meet at a pre-scheduled time and at a pre-determined location on a pre-determined date. Share job leads and create a small, manageable community of Veterans, Military Spouses, and Military Family Members who can help each other – just like you did while in Uniform!
As promised, here’s a glimpse into the experience and wisdom of a Veteran who’s enjoyed a highly successful Military-to-Civilian career transition:
Karl is a successful Pharmaceutical Industry Manager who maintains a high level of energy, professionalism, and overall leadership in everything he does. He leveraged his military experience into an outstanding career in medicine. He’s a Combat Veteran who effectively positioned his military experience into benefits for each hiring company he’s worked for. He’s been rewarded greatly for his accomplishments and remains a humble man with a fine reputation. He’s worked for Military-Friendly companies and Fortune 500® companies and worked with fellow Veterans as sales/management colleagues and he’s been fortunate enough to have hired several Veterans over the years.
• The biggest hurdle is translating how leadership experience and discipline gained in the military provides a competitive advantage in the world of sales/marketing. Using the STAR format (Situation, Task, Action, Result) is an effective approach.
• I have observed that developing patience with people/processes and learning the nuanced politics that exist in a corporate environment sometimes creates challenges for veterans.
• The advice I would give for a transitioning Veteran is to do extensive research on companies/industries of interest, network with others as most opportunities arrive through word of mouth, and work with a professional recruiter. I'm a fan of linkedin.com
So, when it comes to doing what it takes to succeed in getting hired, you’ve gotta Get Up, Get Out, and Get Connected!