By Dean R., U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
There are things you learn growing up, things you’re taught in school — and things that explode all this prior knowledge when you become part of the military. Beyond any on-the-job skills, the military lifestyle itself instills a wealth of knowledge in every service-member that’s hard to come by any other way. There’s a reason the military is well-known for breaking people down and then building them back up again — lessons are learned every day we serve.
These unique life experiences create the foundation of the value that I believe any employer will find in hiring, retaining, and eventually engaging Veterans to become among your strongest employees. Here’s my personal view as a Veteran of the top traits that would benefit any organization considering adding post-military employees to its team.
- Resilient: From week one in boot camp, you hang in the balance of intrinsic fear of the unknown and the anticipation of what’s coming next. Each day you survive, you get stronger and smarter than you were before. This push to overcome your own limits is a common theme throughout military service.
- Adaptable: There are day-jobs and duty stations that define our scope of work, but the military lifestyle imparts so much more wisdom than we even realize in the moment. We are constantly adapting to the situations we are thrown into, leaning into whatever resources we have on hand.
- Practical: You can’t learn how to solve problems effectively by reading a book or by listening to a lecture in class. You have to live through real-world circumstances and situations that teach you what each of these mean — and Veterans have done just that.
- Reliable: They’ve been trained to follow through — in how to drive tasks to completion and how to process-improve their way past barriers, because at one time or another, it’s likely their lives and the lives of others have depended on that ability.
- Solutions-oriented: Unique problem-solving skills combined with laser operational focus also position Veterans to be solutions-oriented leaders in the workplace.
In sum, you could say that Veterans are battle-tested and mission-approved — high-priced assets that today’s employers often prioritize when considering a job candidate. Focusing on Veterans in recruitment gets you a step ahead in the vetting process, saving you time and energy.
Your Bottom Line
But if you’re looking at the world in terms of dollars and cents, how does one quantify the value of a Veteran? The reality is, if you consider his or her education, training, real-world experience, and ability to excel in the most difficult situations, the numbers will be impossible to crunch. The true ROI of a Veteran knows no definition. But they are nonetheless untapped assets in any market or specialty.
Regardless of the department or scope, I’d want a Veteran on my team. They’ve done the hard part. They’ve been through it all. The only thing left is to watch them succeed on their next mission, whatever that may be.
Looking for more insights and tips from real Veterans who have transitioned? Visit our blog and social media pages to join the conversation. If you’re a Veteran with ideas for a story, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for ways you can better recruit, retain, and engage Veteran employees? Learn about our programs for employers here, or contact email@example.com.