The long-term unemployed get airtime and programs to help them retrain and find new career paths. Millennials looking for the first big job, and a way to pay school loans, draw lots of attention. But we could probably spend much more time, as a society, talking about military veterans and the challenges they face reentering the civilian workforce.
Vets have tremendously strong skill sets. Depending upon their service, they may have skills such as people management, logistics, mechanical engineering, IT, aircraft repair, med tech, civil engineering/construction, language arts and more. Most importantly, they understand teamwork and the practical, rather than theoretical, value of collaboration. So why is it so hard for them to come home to civilian jobs?
The country faces huge cuts in its defense budget. The government is trying hard to wind down one war, and equally hard to avoid formal engagement on other fronts. Caught in the middle are tens of thousands of servicemen and women — and their families — who may need a slot in a shaky civilian economy. What can we do to help them? How can we best manage them? What skills do we, as leaders and HR people, need to refresh or acquire to accommodate our veterans in today’s world of work?
These are tough questions, practical and pressing concerns. And we’re going to take them on this week on #TChat. Here are a few questions to guide our discussion:
Q1: US legislation is creating skill certifications for military experience. What else could be done?
Q2: What management styles work best when leading an employee with military experience?
Q3: What’s the biggest challenge for veterans in the civilian world of work?
Q4: Does long-term loyalty help or hinder the career of a veteran in today’s workplace?
Q5: How can HR/recruiting tech help internally assess and translate veteran assets to employers?
You may not know anyone who served in a war, and you may not know much about the Korean conflict or the Vietnam War. That’s OK. Just do some research — i.e., talk to your parents, uncles, aunts and friends. Then, join us for a very special #TChat this Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 7-8pm ET (6-7pm CT, 5-6pm MT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are).
We’re not afraid to take on difficult topics, and we know you aren’t either. Our guest moderator this week is Brenden “Bo” Wright (@BrendenMWright), director of information technology recruiting at Laureate Education and, as a veteran marine, a former nuclear, biological and chemical defense specialist. Yours truly (@MeghanMBiro) and the rest of the #TChat gang will be there, too. We look forward to Brenden’s thoughts and yours. Tweet with us!
Image Credit: Pixabay