With approximately 400,000 people leaving the military service every year, it is important to have resources that will help them transition into civilian careers. Some veterans worry about this transition because of concerns that their skills and experience in the military may not be of any use to them or a prospective civilian employer.
Fortunately, these days, there are many more military-friendly employers, in comparison to the 1990’s. After all, Americans would like to honor and thank U.S. veterans for their dedication and loyalty in serving the country.
But what exactly is a military-friendly organization? How will you know that a prospective employer is truly military-friendly?
1. Does the management team work with transitioning employees to help leverage their skills to a corporate setting?
The estimated unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans as of March 2016 was 6.3 percent compared to the 5 percent national unemployment rate. Although the US Department of Labor has helped veterans secure civilian jobs, veterans still have some hurdles in securing work outside of the military. For this reason, several private employers have announced their commitment to hire veterans and military spouses. In addition to their commitment, many of these companies have an affinity group for veterans that mentors the new employees and participates in the military community to ensure that veterans and/or military spouses feel that they have a community at the workplace.
2. Does the company offer roles that positively incorporate the standard skill-set of military trained employees?
Military-friendly companies will make sure transitioning employees are placed in a department where they can use their specific skill set in their work. They see the value of work offered by veterans who want to transition to civilian employment. These veterans are hired because of their leadership skills and technical know-how, in addition to the field experience they earned during their military service.
3. Are there any other ex-military employees already working there?
Don’t hesitate to ask around. If a company is military-friendly, you will find military veterans or military spouses working there. There are several military-friendly companies hiring veterans these days. There is a high probability that you will find veterans or military spouses you may already know, working for these companies. When you do find someone familiar, it is best to ask that person about the company and its practices, especially where the treatment of veterans and their families are concerned.
4. Military-friendly companies give to veteran non-profits in a meaningful way.
Serious military-friendly companies do not call the media whenever they donate something to non-profits for veterans. Do some research and you will discover which non-profit organizations they are supporting. If you belong to one of the non-profit for veterans that they do support, these companies will usually match employee donations, and others even allow their workers to volunteer on company time.
5. Is the company marketed as a choice military employer?
Perhaps the easiest way to find military-friendly companies is to check the list of Top 100 Military-Friendly Employers listed on Victory Media’s site, MilitaryFriendly.com. Every year, this organization publishes the list with the ranking based on a survey comprised of 100 questions that is overseen by an independent advisory board of industry experts.
Today, veterans have more employment opportunities and support compared to decades ago, when veterans who wanted to transition to civilian employment. However, veterans need to do research on their prospective employer. Veterans should choose organizations where they can use their military skill and/or experience and seek companies that truly support veterans and their families. Additionally, just like civilian employees, veterans should choose a company where they see themselves happily working for several years to come.
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