Veterans in a workplace
Veterans’ Voices is directed toward veterans and their families who have given so much to ensure our freedom in this country. This is an area where you may share your experiences, or read of other veterans’ experiences. We thank you for your service, and hope that you know how much you are loved and appreciated.
“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” By Abraham Lincoln.
When you think of a Veteran in a workplace, you think of someone you can give just about any job to, and he or she will adapt to it. When Veterans were in the military, they had to adapt to any situation. By hiring Veterans into your family, you’ll find workers who are masterful in ever-changing circumstances. When I used to hire candidates, I looked for four things. Work ethics, attitude, aptitude, and adaptability.
Veterans learn many useful skills during their time in the military, but one core emphasis of their training is learning how to adapt skills to various environments. In fact, military simulations are designed to help Veterans channel their core skills and utilize them in new situations. In that same vein, Veterans are able to evaluate easily their current circumstances and transfer their previous skills and knowledge to meet their needs.
You see, humans one trait is adaptability. When you think of animals and you try to boil them down to a single trait, humans can and will adapt and survive. Cheetahs are fast, turtles have a protective shell. Humans survive. You can tear the arm off of a cheetah, and it will die. You can tear an arm off of a Veteran, and not only will he or she survive, but they will also thrive. Veterans have been through their own personal hell, and not only did they survive, but they also adapted and survived.
Veterans are incredible at learning new skills, but they are also passionate about it. Often, Veterans love acquiring new skills, and learning how to think about challenging situations in new and exciting ways. Hiring Veterans will give you a jump in the work force, due to their trainability and willingness to learn. This is just a beginning. They also possess an innate sense of leadership, an incredible amount of resilience and an appreciation for their fellow workers.
Skills, experience, and aptitude are essential in evaluating and obtaining top talent for your organization. And what better candidates exemplify these attributes more than America’s finest. Moreover, they embody qualities that are easily translatable and valuable for your workplace culture:
• Patriotism-the devotion exhibited in serving our country, shows the capability to extend the same commitment to work.
• Passion-driven by more than monetary compensation, motivates by forces greater than themselves.
• Perseverance-steadfast amidst adversity, and a “never say die” attitude.
People with prior military experience have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they bring with them distinguishable and transferable skills, proven in real-world situations. Their service consisted of mission-focused execution, leadership in demanding situations, and complex decision making, all of which translate to crucial skills, including adaptability, quick thinking, collaboration, creative problem solving, experience working in diverse teams, and proven leadership.
Also, most military career fields require basic training in conventional technologies. Some veterans receive advanced training in niche technological areas, which can benefit your organization if you need someone on staff with specific expertise.
With all this in mind, here are more reasons to hire a Veteran:
Discipline: Military personnel adhere to rigorous schedules and standards. Whether the job is time-sensitive or flexible, veterans are poised to succeed. Additionally, discipline translates into purpose. Purpose-driven employees stick to their goals with a laser focus and see projects through to completion
Teamwork: Veterans understand how genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to colleagues. They’ve learned to work side by side with individuals regardless of race, gender, ethnic background, and economic status, developing a sensitivity to cooperate with many different people.
Work ethic: The military instills organization and discipline in its service members. The mission always comes first. Those with a strong work ethic place a high value on their professional success and the success of their team and organization.
Adaptability: Many veterans dealt with sensitive situations that changed by the second, lived in less-than-ideal conditions, and learned how to effectively cope and pivot quickly. Adaptability and flexibility are key. You want someone who can keep composure under pressure on your team.
Leadership: The military provides leadership training to most of its members and encourages people to take on leadership roles whenever possible to hone their skills. Often, veterans receive intensive leadership and professional communication training within their first couple of years of service. So, if you’re hiring a Veteran, you’re likely acquiring an employee who knows how to manage others, takes accountability for responsibilities, and motivates a team of people to accomplish common goals. Hiring Veterans is not just a good concept, it’s good business.
Entrepreneurial spirit: This doesn’t mean that every Veteran wants to start his or her own business. Instead, it means that Veterans have the ability to get things done. Everyone who has been in the military has been “hey you-ed.” As in, “Hey you! Figure this out.” And what do you do? You figure it out. This is an incredibly attractive trait to any employer, as that gives them confidence that they can give a Veteran any task and they will get it done.
They are life-long learners: Soldiers are constantly being asked to learn new tasks. In a six-month period, a soldier is asked to master something that most people will take four years to get a degree in. The fact that you can learn whatever is put in front of you is a really important skill. In today’s economy, where the average shelf life of a skill is 5 years, the ability to learn quickly is more important than ever. That gives Veterans a huge edge in the business world.
Loyalty: Someone who joins the military is a fundamentally loyal person. After all, it shows that that person is so loyal to their country, they are willing to give their life to defend it. You can’t tell me an employer doesn’t want a loyal employee. That’s something anybody in their right mind would want in an employee.
Integrity: Integrity is a core value of the military, as soldiers are taught to be honest, straightforward, and accountable. It’s also a core value for any business. It’s just one of those qualities you can’t take away.
Strong work ethic: The military doesn’t just teach hard work; it demands it. And, for any business to win, there’s no substitute for hard work. If you hire someone from the military, you are never going to be concerned if they are going to show up on time. You are never going to be concerned if they are going to give you everything that they’ve got. A hardworking, loyal, agile, resourceful person, with strong integrity? That sounds like someone worth hiring. I know I would and did. So, hire that Veteran. You won’t be sorry you did. Email me at AboutVets@yahoo.com.
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— Royal D. Goodman, U.S. Army / Vietnam,
1st Cav/9th Infantry