The following content, provided by Circa Interactive, was approved by me. The integration of military personnel into the civilian workforce is an important matter and so I share this in recognition of the United States’ Air Force’s birthday, today, September 18th, 2017.
Today is the United States’ Air Force Birthday. This day is meant for celebrating this branch of military and the brave work they do for our country, but it is also a prime opportunity to take a look at what needs to be done to help these soldiers make a successful transition from active military to civilian life.
The need to ease that transition is as relevant as ever today — in 2015, there were approximately 1.46 million active U.S. military personnel. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, up to 27 percent of veterans experience considerable difficulties when returning to the workforce. The proportion is much higher for veterans who served in the military in the ten years following the 9/11 attacks. So what can be done to make a transition from active military to civilian life successful?
What Skills Do Veterans Bring Back into Civilian Life?
Veterans entering the workforce, return with many skills from their training and experience. These skills include:
- Leadership development
- Culturally experienced
- Global outlook
- Specialized advanced training
- Clear-headedness under pressure
- In-depth understanding of planning
- Ability to conform to rules and structure
- Ability to lead a team or work as part of one
To add to these skills, a recent study found that employers believe veterans are hard working, dependable, flexible, able to work in fast-paced environments, and experienced. With all of these attractive skills, veterans just need to know how to market themselves as well as where to look for help.
What Are the Next Steps for Veterans to Get Hired?
Continuing one’s education can help add structure to a veteran’s transition. There are various programs in existence to help veterans gain access to such opportunities like the VA GI Bill, DoD off-duty Voluntary Education Programs, and more.
Whether or not a veteran chooses to earn a degree, there are also government programs to assist with finding a job.
How Can You Help?
Organizations can create an ideal environment for veterans by adopting a culture that allows personnel to feel comfortable talking about challenges they face in the workplace. This includes discussing matters that affect performance and productivity. Former service members may contend with physical disabilities, mental health concerns and other personal issues, which have a bearing on overall performance.
Human resource professionals and business managers should play a proactive part in helping veterans cope. It is important to leverage the available resources aimed at supporting employees. These include the human resource office, financial counseling, Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and more.
Employees must be informed of these options. Providing a broader selection of resources allows individuals to find the ideal support that satisfies specific needs. The list can be given to employees during the on-boarding process or integrated into the procedures and policies manual. Alternatively, it can be posted on the company website to ensure ease of access.
To learn more about how to make a transition from active military to civilian life successful, check out the graphic created by Norwich University below.
Norwich University’s Online Masters in Military History program