I recently participated in the second part of a Veterans Affairs Post-Military Employment Survey. As I previously mentioned, the Employment Histories Survey is designed to help the VA provide better veterans services by better understanding the employment experiences of recently separated service members.
I was happy to be able to participate in the survey, and even happier that they reward participants with $20 for taking the time to participate. I would have done it without compensation though, because I believe in what they are trying to accomplish. You see, a lot of veterans have a difficult time making the transition to civilian life. It’s not always an easy thing to accomplish, though I believe many veterans have the necessary skills to suceeed in any environment.
The problem is not always the veteran not knowing how to do certain tasks; I believe most veterans are extremely adaptable and learn quickly. I think the bigger problem is that many civilian employers do not know how to value miitary experience. There are many misconceptions about what military members do and what they are capable of doing in the civilian world.
In my opinion, military veterans are highly skilled leaders who are willing to take charge and run with projects. We learn quickly, are highly adaptable, and can handle higher stress loads than many people. Military members tend to have wide and varied expereinces working with people of different backgrounds and skill levels. All of these things make for great leaders and solid performers in the workplace.
I have been successful in my post-military career, though it did take me almost 6 months to find work after I separated. Part of the time I was traveling, and I also moved halfway across the country. But I was constantly searching for jobs via the internet. It can be difficult to find a job when you don’t have a network to tap into. Even so, I believe I have done well in my post-military career – perhaps better than I would have had I remained in the service.
I answered all the survey questions regarding my post military experience, and I hope my answers are able to help the VA come to some conclusions about how they can better provide for veterans.