As large numbers of military veterans prepare to re-enter the workforce, there are several things employers and veteran job seekers can do to ease their transition.
For many U.S. military veterans, a job search is the most difficult part of the transition back to civilian life. But according to former Army doctor and psychiatrist, Harry Croft (author of I Always Sit With My Back to The Wall) there are several things veterans and employers can do to streamline veterans’ re-entry into the civilian workforce.
Job Tips For Veterans
- Recognize Your Skill Sets. Your military training proves you’re able to learn, work in groups, accomplish a mission, be a strong leader and be dedicated to what you do.
- Understand the Differences Between the Military Community and the Civilian Community. The military recognizes you by your rank, time-in-grade and job description. The civilian community is different: people dress alike, socialize with co-workers, and things are looser and not always by the book.
- Get a Support System. It can be on the web, a mentor, coach, or group of local veterans who are also returning to the workforce.
Job Tips For Employers of Veterans
- Know Veterans. Understand the veteran, his or her skill sets and the differences in military and civilian culture. Hire veterans in pairs or groups because they’re used to working that way.
- Learn about PTSD. If you hire a veteran dealing with PTD you know what the symptoms are. This will help you understand that the vet is not trying to be disrespectful or obstinate and will help you understand the reasons they sometimes behave the way they do.
- Ask Yourself Why You Want to Hire a Veteran. It shouldn’t be because it’s a tax break, the patriotic thing to do, good for business or because you feel sorry for them. They don’t want to be treated like charity, but given opportunities because they are the right person for the job.
Croft says 1/5 of soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq will suffer from PTSD, but if both sides understand where the other is coming from, veterans can become some of the best employees in an organization.