Have you kept up with your old Vet Buddies? You might have a Facebook page dedicated to a former military unit or maybe you get together for a reunion from time to time. Social Media makes memories readily available and allows you to instantly connect with your Brothers and Sisters in Uniform.
Connecting with old Friends via social media helps make a virtual walk down memory lane, but what else can it do?
What about connecting with people you served with in order to learn more about a particular industry, business, or skill? If you’re uncomfortable with approaching complete strangers to ask about career opportunities, why not approach someone you already know?
You can “go with whom you know” much easier in many cases. Since you already have a relationship with people you served with, reconnecting can help you pick up the Friendship where it may have left off, and you can inquire about the kind of work they do whenever the timing’s right to ask.
Now, I’m not suggesting you call up all your old Friends and try to recruit them for your next business venture – there’s a right time and a place for that and you’ll determine when. But, I think you should try to find people from your old units for many reasons – camaraderie, maintaining strong connections, shared life experiences, humorous pictures you forgot about, etc. As I write this, I’ve received a new message from one of my former Army supervisors, found a Facebook page dedicated to one of my old units, and found a Soldier who kept me out of trouble when I was a green, butter-bar. All this after just a few click of the mouse!
Just the other day, I was able to connect a few Veterans to some potential employment opportunities. I pointed them in the direction of several opportunities I’d heard about. After talking to them, I wondered if they had reached out to people they served with, in order to get connected with some possibilities. It might look something like this:
So below is a random sample of the careers of some of my old Army Buddies I’ve been able to reconnect with via social media:
- Owns an Entertainment company.
- Leveraged IT experience after getting a Master’s and Doctorate.
- Works closely with Military leaders.
- Works for Defense Contractor.
- Works closely with military promotions.
- Reservist who works in the Travel Industry
- Works for a government agency
- Works in Retail
- Works in the National Guard
- Entrepreneur who works in the Food Service industry.
- Works in IT
- On Active Duty
- Works in Mailing Service
- Works in Education
- Works for the Government
- Active Duty
- Active Duty
- DoD Civilian and Football Coach
The point is this: People who serve together need to stay connected. If I ever wanted to enter one of the fields above, or maybe even send them more business, now I know who to go to. You can do the same!
Staying connected with your Friends from the military helps maintain the strong support system we have grown to know and trust. In good times and in bad, it’s always good to have a good Friend available to support you, let you vent a bit, encourage you, help you, or otherwise keep the strong bond alive!
And, you can lean on your Friends a bit if you ever need to know something about a particular career field. Your Buddies will look out for you!
Do you know where they are now?
Feel free to share any examples of how someone you served with helped you make the Military-to-Civilian career transition.