As Veterans Day approaches, we remember those who have served our country and lost their lives, but we also honor all those who have served and are still alive today.
Sadly, in all of the remembrance most Americans don’t know that in 2016 there were 453,000 unemployed veterans (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans also reported that in 2016 there were 39,471 homeless Veterans. Why do those that have risked their lives struggle to find work and a home when their active service is over?
According to a study by Lisa Nagorny and Dan Pick, former members of the U.S. Navy and now specialist in helping veterans transition into civilian life, employers are not hiring Veterans due to 5 different reasons: Skills translation, skill mismatch, negative stereotypes, concern about future deployment and acclimation. Employers have raised concerns that just because Veterans have a strong work ethic and dedication to a task, this does not make them qualified for every job or the right fit for the corporate world.
As true as those two statements might be, they can apply to anyone, not only Veterans. I would argue that the culture the military creates would produce the exact type of person an employer is looking for. According to Forbes, the top 5 personality traits employers are looking for are professionalism, high-energy, confidence, self-monitoring, and intellectual curiosity. These are all characteristics a Veteran would possess. There is risk in hiring anyone, because you won’t truly know what kind of employee someone is until they are working. If you are wondering if you should hire a Veteran, contemplate these 5 reasons why you should.
- They are adaptable: A skill that most people don’t have is the ability to adapt to new situations quickly without being flustered. One thing that is instilled in the military is mental strength. When a new situation presents itself, they are trained to stay calm, assess the situation and adapt. In the work world this an excellent quality to have regardless of the field you are working in.
- They will understand time requirements: If you are not early, you’re late. “Soldiers should be minutemen. Punctuality is one of the most valuable habits a soldier can possess.” -Christopher Columbus Andrews.
- They will follow orders: Order is what the military is built on. There is a hierarchy and it must be followed. Soldiers understand that when their commanding officer gives them an order it is to be followed exactly as instructed. This characteristic will carry over into a Veteran’s civilian job.
- They have a strong work ethic: If you don’t have a strong ethic you will not make it in the military. Veterans can be some of the hardest workers because they are used to environments with long hours and tough tasks.
- They will be a team player: There is no “I” in the military. Teamwork and having each others back is how they make it out alive. Veterans will understand the bigger picture that in order for the workplace to successful everyone has to help each other.
Celebrate this Veterans Day by not only remembering those who have lost their lives, but my helping those who have served and are still with us today!
By: Christa Vandenburgh