Veterans Day may have been last week, but even though the day may have passed for the year doesn’t mean they have been forgotten, right? When it comes to jobs, it seems as though they just might be overlooked.
Pentagon data reveals that there have been over 1.6 million military personnel who have been deployed to the Middle East since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001. When they return home to us, they join the ranks of the unemployed here in the US. However, they face an extraordinarily high unemployment rate in comparison to non-military job seekers. To give you an example, for those ages 22 to 24, the unemployment rate can be as high as three times that of non-veterans in the same age group.
Why is this? Besides our jobless economy, they soon find out the job the performed in the military doesn’t translate into a civilian job. And if they do find a job? They are oftentimes underpaid, and their military training is undervalued. Think about it, the military thought is to think in terms of a team, rather than “I” as in the corporate world mind-set. There are some other differences between military and civilian work – the work culture, process and procedures, and communication such as the language/workplace jargon, and in many situations, they suddenly have the right to an opinion and the permission to respond independently. Try to unlearn a habit, it is not always easy!
Speaking of new habits, did you know that the federal government hired over 32,800 veterans during the first half of fiscal 2010? Yep! That is roughly 2,600 more veterans than were hired during the same period in 2009 OPM reports. The message I hope you take away from this blog is that veterans bring dedication and a first-class worth ethic. Isn’t that of a greater value than work experience? The “mission” is simple – hire more vets!