So exactly what is a veteran? “A veteran – whether active duty, discharged, retired or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America, for an amount of up to, and including, his/her life.” Thank you to John O’Brien, who shared this quote in a recent article in the Concord Monitor.
I am so very thankful for all the men and women who have served or are serving our country to protect our freedom. So, on Monday, November 11th, I will be giving a shout-out on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and … of course LinkedIn.
Did you know that LinkedIn gives veterans a premium subscription FREE for one year? This is to help them connect with jobs in their post-deployment and reintegration phase and can result in the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The bad and the ugly are that many vets have taken huge pay cuts in take-home pay, lose their free military healthcare, and have no more housing allowances. They take steps backward in their careers to work in low-paying, lower-status jobs where they are unable to utilize their experience and education.
George Anders wrote about a vet who stated that “People don’t know what to do with an infantry background.” This is very true that it is sometimes difficult for vets to civilianize their core competencies. It is equally difficult for corporate America to understand that vets truly lead with a mission-driven sense of purpose, thrive in teamwork, and shine with military-honed leadership skills and they should be considered to be viable candidates, sans prior corporate experience. They will adjust.
The good news is that, according to the US Department of Labor (DOL), 3.2% of veterans are currently unemployed as of September 2019. However, that is not including all six of the measures of unemployment; only the U3.
The DOL reports the U3 monthly, but the truth is that they should really take note of the U6. Shadowstats notes that the reality of unemployment with the U6 more like 21%, which is why the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) is growing in membership, as people need more resources and support while in career transition. The good news is that we welcome vets.
The PAGCG is delighted to have partnered with the Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network (GPVN) and provided a couple cohorts of vets with career education (resumes, LinkedIn, networking, elevator pitches, etc.) through some grant funding.
Both of our organizations are grateful to Penn State Great Valley along with the PSU alumni society and My Career Transitions for providing the beautiful space and extra volunteers for our last Veterans Career Information Panel and Dinner. We could not have done it without all the support and look forward to a repeat in 2020 at the Navy Yard location.
You can learn more about the status of the job market for veterans but, it should be no surprise that not all veterans want W-2 jobs, as many take the entrepreneurial route. The GPVN runs an annual Veterans Shark Tank and I got to attend the regional qualifier recently. Also, they also run a Veteran Business Referral Network (VBRN), which I have attended as a patriot and supporter of veterans.
I am also honored to have been asked to present a LinkedIn overview to three groups of the PA National Guard next month through Higher Ed Assist. They will get to hear why LinkedIn is so important for their career, whether they want to be an employee or pursue entrepreneurship.
If you want to see some LinkedIn profiles of veterans who have translated their core competencies into civilianized keywords (unless they intend to continue in the military), check these out: Andre McCoy, Patrick Montone, Peter Browne, Kenneth D’Aurizio, and Alex Pilkington (and watch his video resume too). A couple have jobs or have just landed jobs and another is seeking a new opportunity. If you want to hire a vet, reach out to me as I might have some referrals.
I will be thanking these vets and many others on Veteran’s Day on LinkedIn, so please feel free to share your gratitude also. There are a lot of regional veterans organizations who are members of the Delaware Valley Veterans Consortium (DVVC) so thank all of them too.
Originally published in vista.today