So, I guess the big question is: How will this turn out? When I read the press release from the Transition to Veterans Program Office announcing changes to the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program, I was left shaking my head. My initial reaction was negative - very negative. They just don't get it. I saw several posts on LinkedIn from veterans and veteran advocates asking for thoughts and opinions about the forthcoming changes, and a part of me felt the urge to regress into angry email mode. I thought better of it. Because I didn't want my emotions to bias the argument, I stepped away from the keyboard. I took some time to craft a more thoughtful response to the changes, and well, here goes . . .Read More
Thank you for your service. You've had an impressive career . . . but you're not what we're looking for.
Sound familiar? I've heard that before, and if you're a senior leader, perhaps you've heard it too. Interestingly enough, I didn't hear it when I left the army as a junior captain. I remember attending only one hiring conference about three months before my separation date. From that one event, I had eleven follow-up interviews that landed six job offers! Three of the six offers had compensation packages that exceeded what I was making in the army. Finding a job as a junior officer was easy. But this was not the case when I left the army for a second time after more than 20 years of service. So why does this happen?Read More
Given the relatively low unemployment rate, veterans don't seem to have a hard time finding a job. Given the high turnover and underemployment, they do have a hard time finding that sense of fulfillment and connection in life beyond the military. Perhaps we think that when we start a new job, we can just stop being the soldier. Changing your external reality in order to change your internal state of being doesn't work. Maybe we should invert that process. Successful reintegration from the inside-out is how we discover our sense of purpose, meaning, and connection in the right job for a better story about life beyond the military.Read More
One of the things we love about the military is our sense of belonging. We've grown accustomed to the trust and relationships within the ranks of our formations. Being in a close knit unit feels like … family. Once we hang up that uniform, we are disconnected from that family. Who would've thought that I would actually miss waking up at 0300 for the division run that started at 0630? The impact of departing the trusted, social network in the military has significant repercussions on the body and mind of a new veteran.Read More