Lead, Follow, and Get Out of Your Own Way! (It’s Time!)



More and more, I’m amazed at the amount of time some people have endured unemployment. It saddens me that many Veterans cannot find work or find work that plays to their strengths. It’s one thing to find a job, but another thing to find a career!


The United States Government defines Long Term Unemployment as: the share of veterans unemployed for over six months (the definition of long-term unemployed). LTU was 3.1% in 2012, up from 0.8% before the recession in 2007 but down from a peak of 4.1% in 2010 and 2011.9 The long-term unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans fell from 4.6% in 2011 to 3.5% in 2012.


While we all want long-term EMPLOYMENT along with engaging work and a chance to learn and grow as we contribute to the company’s success, there comes a time for some that makes the road to “New Hire Boulevard” seem like a dead end street.


When you reach this point in your job journey, you might need a strong reminder of the importance of revisiting the idea of “Lead, Follow, and Get Out of Your Own Way”!


Does this describe you?


  • You submitted hundreds of résumés and online applications and all you hear back is in the form of radio silence or crickets.
  • You get called back for an interview, but the job is something you’re definitely overqualified for.
  • You’re at the point where you’ll take almost any job, as long as it pays and is legal.
  • You sit at home all day and maintain a random schedule.
  • You find yourself complaining about the job market.
  • Your Friends & Family have noticed a change in your attitude and it’s not a positive one.
  • You’re wondering when will I get a job.


If you can relate to any of those above, I’d like to challenge you!


I call this Lead, Follow, or Get Out of Your Own Way!




No matter how bad things seem, you need to take charge of your job-hunting efforts. You need to lead! You’re now appointed the person in charge of anything and anyone involved in your Military-to-Civilian career transition! You’re now responsible for what happens or what fails to happen!


Don’t worry, you have what it takes to succeed!




You need to find somebody who can help you along the way. This person might be a trusted Friend, a Family Member who truly understands who you are and what you need, or a Mentor that can guide you.


I can’t stress the importance of connecting with like-minded people – that is, people who went before you on the journey toward getting hired after serving in the military! Start looking for people who can help you connect with companies. Find people willing to help you establish professional relationships in the career fields that interest you.


Most of all, remain teachable and open to learning from those willing to share their experiences and expertise with you.


Get Out Of Your Own Way


Is the greatest obstacle in getting hired looking right at you in the mirror? Sometimes we get so overly involved in our own situation, we hold ourselves back.


Of the many ways you can arrive at a solution to this issue, I think one of the best ways is to find an “Accountability Partner”. This person can be anyone who can hold you accountable for meeting your goals, refining your résumé, improving your interviewing skills, and providing an open ear when things get tough.


Remember those days in uniform? You always had a Buddy, right? That person looked out for you, kept you out of trouble, and made sure you thought twice before making a bad decision. Find someone like that who won’t judge you, someone who will build you up and not tear you down, ultimately someone who will encourage you and bring out the best in you!


Please feel free to share your experiences in dealing with Long-Term Unemployment.


1 Comment
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank You for reading and sharing!