Better Matching Needed for Employers and Veterans
For many veterans, the transition from military to civilian life is not smooth, especially when finding jobs and careers that fulfill their personal needs. While they may find employment, research has found that about 44% of these veterans leave those new jobs within one year while 80% tender their resignations within two years.(1) Salary and benefits were not the most relevant factors in their decisions to leave. The lack or level of opportunities for personal growth, professional development, or career advancement they had access to in the military drove their decision. To a lesser extent, veterans left because they could not relate to their civilian colleagues, the company, or comprehend the job itself. For most veterans (61%), income was the biggest driver of their decision to take their first civilian jobs. They were not considering the need for personal challenges and opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Still, finding the right job that suits an individual's skillsets and professional goals can be daunting. Veterans frequently face a set of challenges that their professional colleagues do not. For instance, it can be difficult to translate skills, rank, and medals earned to achievements the civilian sector understands and finds relevant. While the military trains their personnel well in various skills, veterans may not know how to explain these skills on resumes. Furthermore, those same skills don't include the licenses, certifications, or degrees that civilian job counterparts require—and veterans may not have the time or guidance to procure them. Military responsibilities such as leading troops, handling multimillion-dollar military assets, and dealing with dangerous situations imply valuable soft skills. Employers may not recognize how such responsibilities apply in an office setting.
Even when veterans succeed in securing jobs in the civilian sector, there are still challenges. Whereas veterans are accustomed to a high degree of mutual support for the team, the corporate culture of interpersonal competitiveness and self-promoting behaviors can be shocking to an individual. Someone who has been conditioned to value self-sacrifice and fellowship may feel disillusionment. Veterans experiencing high levels of transition stress from this major cultural or situational shift. Precisely defined roles and responsibilities, hierarchical authority, and sense of the mission are often vague within civilian organizations. The lack of a clear role and purpose can be jarring, confusing, and create an additional stressor.
Not to be overlooked is the need for frequent VA appointments, which can make difficult work-life balance difficult, not only for the veteran but also for employers and coworkers—veterans may feel they are "letting the team down". The team may feel the right to be intrusive into private matters, as they may see the scheduling and making appointments alone as a burden for which they require explanation.
No two veterans are going to encounter the same challenges, setbacks, and more demonstrating the need for programs that provide well-rounded guidance and support for those who have exited military life. From assistance with resumes, transportation, and any number of needs to help ensure those we best serve those who have served our country.
Would you like to know more about Vendaval Corp.? Learn more about our programs for veterans, watch our videos, and read our media and press releases.
1. Stilwell, Blake. “Why Separating Veterans Shouldn't Just Take Any Job They Can Get.” Military.com, retrieved 11 September 2021, military.com/veteran-jobs/why-separating-veterans-shouldnt-just-take-any-job-they-can-get.html.