Americans do a lot to celebrate and show appreciation to veterans after they return home from active service. However, the picture for them returning to employment after leaving the service has typically not been nearly as rosy. With the economy up, the jobless rate for all veterans declined from 4.3% to 3.7 % in 2017 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, that still leaves a lot of unemployed veterans. Many Americans outside of the military are unaware of the many skills and experiences that veterans acquire while in service. Misconceptions about what sort of skills one picks up while in military service abound, and some employers mistakenly believe that the skills that veterans have are not transferable outside of the military world. Adam G. Gonzales, a service veteran, started Silent Professionals to help connect veterans with employers as well as to educate employers on what veterans have to offer.
Here are 9 reasons for organizations to hire veterans:
Leadership and “Followership” Capabilities
From the time they enter service, veterans have been groomed to both become good followers and be ready to take on leadership responsibilities. In field situations, military people have to be ready, willing, and able to make quick decisions in the face of physical dangers and in ever-changing and uncertain situations–vital skills which easily translate into a fast-changing work environment.
Military veterans are the ultimate team players, as this is something ingrained in them from the first moment they enter service. They are accustomed to thinking in terms of what is best for their team and what they can do to strengthen and improve the teams they are part of. As most of what is accomplished in the working world is based on working as part of a team, veterans are already well ahead of the learning curve when it comes to teaching teamwork.
Ability to Perform Under Pressure
Military personnel are trained and expected to be able to perform under pressure, deadlines, and trying conditions, all while judging priorities and accomplishing goals. Staying with a goal until it is completed is all part of the military’s rigorous training. This is a quality that is highly useful in any job requiring tight deadlines, and a skill that resonates well with employers.
Experience Working Within a Diverse Group
Veterans have served alongside people of various backgrounds, races, and ethnic origins. In order to accomplish their goals and missions, they have learned to trust and rely upon one another regardless of their backgrounds. They fit in and work well within a workplace that is becoming increasingly more diverse.
Goal Focus and Orientation
Veterans are accustomed to making timely assessments of situations and coming up with plans of action. After actions are taken, they typically debrief, look at what worked and what didn’t, and come up with ways to improve in the future. This ongoing form of focused improvement is what all successful organizations strive for. Veterans already have the mind-set and ability to carry this out.
Persistence and Determination
The ability to stick with a problem or situation for a period of time when no immediate solution appears at hand is an attribute that is taught in the military. This requires the ability to endure, change direction when necessary, and stick with a course of action over the long haul until results are achieved. The ability to forego immediate gratification for long-term benefit is an attribute that veterans accept and are used to.
Attention to Detail
While learning to always be aware of the big picture, the military teaches the importance of paying attention to detail–an attribute that can be difficult to find in the general population and can pay big dividends for organizations that require people who are detail-oriented.
Conscious and Safety Orientation
Safety is a major concern for all organizations, and the military ensures that safety is constantly focused on and regulations adhered to. Following rules and regulations has become second nature to veterans, and they easily adapt to and become highly aware of any dangers inherent in their new environment.
Adaptable, Coachable, and Trainable
The military environment is one in which learning, adapting to an environment in which situations change rapidly, and the ability to improvise is a constant necessity. Members are expected to be constantly learning and prove their ability to take initiative and be accountable for their actions.