Academy of United States Veterans Awards tiag® Steve Vincent with 2018 Honorary VETTY

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January, 2018 – At the Third Annual VETTYS Awards on January 20, 2018, Steven (“Steve”) D. Vincent was awarded an Honorary VETTY by The Academy of United States Veterans (AUSV).

Celebrating the remarkable work of individuals and organizations who demonstrate consistent, extraordinary quality of public service, exemplary advocacy efforts and exceptional service to the veteran community, the VETTY Awards is an annual event celebrating awards conferred by the Academy’s voting members.

At this star-studded event emceed by CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C., Vincent — who serves as senior business development manager at tiag® (The Informatics Applications Group, Inc.) — was recognized for his selfless service and relentless dedication to veterans.

Introduced by AUSV VETTYS award presenters actress Anne Heche and mixed martial artist Colton T. Smith, Vincent was celebrated as a stalwart advocate of veterans and lauded for his ongoing efforts to help active-duty military, veterans and employers overcome obstacles intrinsic in military-to-civilian workforce transitions.

Inspired by his prior 25-year U.S. Navy career and a personal sense of duty to empower the successful integration of veterans into the civilian workforce, Vincent reflected in his acceptance speech that, “Like any of my successes on active duty, this award is the result of a team rather than individual effort. I am privileged to work for an employer that values and supports veterans. And I would not be successful were it not for a great team of fellow veterans at a wide range of companies and government agencies working together to help those in transition.”

In his endeavors to help active-duty military, veterans and Steve Vincent militaryemployers overcome obstacles intrinsic in military-to-civilian workforce transitions, Vincent mentors veterans, teaching them effective, successful ways to articulate their value proposition to potential civilian employers. Likewise, Vincent educates employers and organizations on effective ways to improve their approach and ability to attract, hire and retain veterans.
“Ever since Steve joined us directly from his own military transition in 2012, we have wholeheartedly supported his tireless efforts to improve the lives of veterans,” says tiag President and Chief Operating Officer Neil Lampton, noting that one in every four employees is a veteran at tiag. “We applaud Steve’s immense contributions to veterans, evidenced by this prestigious award.”

About tiag®
Headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area and on the West Coast, tiag (The Informatics Applications Group, Inc.), is an innovative management consulting and technology services firm esteemed for providing superior technology solutions that transform business and advance critical missions. tiag takes pride in its people, achievements, processes and successes in leading initiatives to support our government and commercial clients. tiag’s extensive services portfolio delivers focused expertise and support ranging from complex, enterprise-wide solutions to stand-alone custom projects. Please explore our service offerings at tiag.net and connect with us to discover how we provide tremendous value beyond the scope of work.

Charles Payne Hosts a FOX Business Network Special: Proud American from the Military to Marketplace

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Fox Business news commentators pictured together in four video shots with ticker tape running across the bottom highlighting military transition

Today on FOX Business Network, Air Force veteran Charles Payne hosted a special on military members rejoining the workforce following their service.

Making Money with Charles Payne: Proud American from Military to Marketplace highlighted the stories of the below veterans and answered viewer submitted questions on how veterans can transition back into the workforce.

In addition, Payne, along with his panelists, discussed the best ways for vets to improve their resumes, investment strategies and jobs to target.

Charles Payne on the goal of the special:
“Today we salute try to give back to those who served our nation volunteering potentially to make the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of our freedom. There are many reasons people join the military. To serve and protect for some, to expand their horizons. Others see greater purpose beyond their own individuality. And then there is tradition, no matter the reason it is honor that brings out the best. These warriors through hard grit and determination are tapping into unlocking intellectual curiosity and capacity, finding and testing emotional limits. I knew I would join the military, I spent half my life growing up on army bases, including escaping a dangerous environment to help my family. At 17 years old I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. After my training in Lakeland Air Force Base in Texas, I was assigned to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. I took college courses and I began to read everything. I went to Guam, got married had my first child. Going back to civilian life was exciting and frightening as well. I was prepared to fight for my country, now I would have to fight a different battle. This is the battle all vets understand especially those who have seen combat … My goal on today’s show to up lift and place those vets on a pedestal where they belong, as well as sharing them the ways to reach their potential outside of the military.”

Charles Payne’s thank you to veterans:
“As a veteran I want to salute all of the men and women that have served that are serving now , and have served this nation’s military, especially my own father. A special thank you to those that support our vets, and I want everyone to remember, we’re all in this fight together we are all brothers and sisters, and at the end of the day, we’re all Americans. Let’s stop all of the nonsense, let’s remember how we got here and how we’re going to stay here , because we’re the greatest country in the world for one reason. Remember, freedom isn’t free. God bless.”

Former Staff Sgt. and FOX Nation Host Joey Jones on his transition from military to the marketplace:
“When you take bombs apart, your job is to figure out a puzzle. You look at a puzzle, you take it apart. For me when I got injured that was the problem at hand how would I go from someone with no legs to someone could provide for his family. I looked at college, I went to school, that was the opportunity in front of me. They brought me to Walter Reed, That is where I went. I had no clue where I went after that. After I went to school, I volunteered for non-profits, they said how did you get on Fox News, speaking for crowds? I did it for free as long as I could until someone paid me for it. You lay the groundwork, find your passion, invest everything you have into it. It became a career. You can orient yourself toward that. The big thing for veterans to understand, look simply for something that has a mission you can believe in.”

Former combat helicopter pilot Amber Smith on her transition from military to the marketplace:
“I served in the army as a helicopter pilot in the 101st airborne division, Screaming Eagles. Very proud to do that. I serve combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. When I came home I decided to transition out once my service commitment was up. Like some other veterans who wonder what am I going to do when I get out? What do I want to be when I go up as so many people say? I really didn’t know. I assumed I wanted to stay within the aviation track. So that is the path I went. I applied for a couple helicopter jobs, made it all the way through it. … And so I would say to veterans, get out of your comfort zone. If you want to transition from something that you did in the military, maybe you want to start a different track, find a way to do that. Using your G.I. Bill is an excellent way to do that.”

Congressional Candidate Wendell Hunt on his transition from the military to the private sector:
“There are three West Point graduates in my immediate family. Service is something near and dear in our hearts. We had to deal with the transition not only as individuals, but as a family. Upon completion of my time in the military, I went on the to fly the Apache helicopter, did two tours in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. … From there, I went on to the private sector, in the mortgage business. Then the home building business and then now I’m running for United States congress again. This is the story of the American soldier. We always find a way. As was just stated we have to find ways to ourselves, that have meaning to you, that marry your sacrifice in the military.”

Joey Jones responding to a viewer question on stereotypes when hiring veterans:
“Most veterans are the best followers you have that lead by example. A lot of times, when I hear Amazon hiring 100,000 vets I retract a little bit, what I don’t want to see someone hired just because they’re a veteran. Put someone in a job they either are qualified for or can be qualified for. The stereotypes are a part of that. If you believe soldiers you don’t understand veterans, the stereotype goes both ways. Employers need to educate themselves as to who these people are, what their experience is and what they’re good at.”

Charles Payne on investment strategies for veterans:
“Listen, we’re living longer. I think people can be aggressive longer. With that in mind, in terms of personal things, You may have responsibilities that curb your risk. Your health condition may curb your risk. The time you have allocated to do it the right way. I want everyone to invest in the market.”

Watch the videos at:

https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6264617010001

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6264618166001

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6264621280001

If Your Elevator Pitch Doesn’t Pack a Punch, You’re Doing it Wrong

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five job interviewees seated in chairs wating for job interview

By Amanda Huffman

No matter if you are an entrepreneur, looking for a job, or networking with others in your sphere of influence, you need to have a go-to elevator pitch that you can modify easily based on who you are talking to or what you hope to gain from the conversation.

The truth is, your moment to make a first impression needs to be short and sweet but have an impact. Your elevator pitch should be an open door to a conversation, not your one shot to get all the information out.

4 KEY PARTS OF A GREAT ELEVATOR PITCH

We will talk about the four things your intro needs to get the information to your audience in four to five short sentences. The best part is these tools are easy to customize based on where you are and who you are talking to. The problem with so many elevator pitches is they are not customizable. They are a one size fits all. It’s better to create a system that you can easily customize and change as you meet different people.

  1. What’s in a name?

It begins with the most important thing people need to know, your name.

You might want to blow right past your name. I mean you only have one name, right? But actually, you might have multiple names, and depending on where you are and who you are talking to will help you determine how to introduce yourself. If you are in a professional setting, you always want to use your full name and not a nickname. Depending on if you are meeting with others in your field and if you have specialized qualifications, you may want to add that too (ie Dr, military rank, etc.).

Deciding on how to introduce yourself is very important. It is the first impression of your intro, so pay attention to the clues around you. And when in doubt, just use your formal first and last name.

  1. Credentials

Depending on who you are talking to will help you determine what credentials you will list. But remember, you can only list up to three, and one may be all you need. For example, if you are meeting with a future employer, you will want to include the three qualifications that you have that make you the right candidate for the job. If you are networking at an event, you will want to use three qualifications relevant to the event you are attending.

The three things you mention are always based on the person or group of people you are talking to. They give you the credibility to talk about whatever you are going to talk about. And if you add in credentials that are not relevant to the topic of conversation, it may confuse the person you are talking to and be less likely to lead to a conversation.

  1. Your if…then statement

It is more an I help…to. But sometimes thinking about who or what you help isn’t easy. So instead, let’s think about it as if I do this then this will happen. You want the people to know who you are helping and what service you can provide to that group. Maybe it is a future employer and you are able to describe how you can help the company by using your technical skills from your experience. Or maybe you are an entrepreneur and your product or service has a direct impact on those in your target market. This statement is customizable based on where you are introducing yourself and the topic of conversation.

  1. Mic drop moment at the end.

This is the point where in the first minute of meeting someone or introducing yourself at an event that you want people to be blown away and ready to hear more or at a minimum to ask more about you. Don’t overthink it.

SAME PERSON BUT 3 ELEVATOR PITCHES

These four tools can help you as you move forward in the next step of your career. It is an easy way to have an elevator pitch that is customizable to your audience instead of focusing on you. It is focused on who you are talking to – because isn’t that who you are trying to impress anyways? Let’s walk through three examples.

  1. When I’m introduced to someone looking for a new career, with a technical degree…

Hi, I’m Amanda Huffman. I am an engineer turned freelance writer and podcaster. I help people realize that they can dream bigger in their future career than they ever thought possible. Because I did with my own life. I walked away from a career in engineering and the military to follow my passion, and I want others to feel fulfillment the way I do.

  1. When talking about my business to female veterans…

Hi, I’m Amanda Huffman. I am an Air Force combat veteran and the creator of the Women of the Military Podcast. I help empower veterans to share their stories, and I want veterans to know that their story matters.

  1. When I’m looking for a career in engineering…

Hi, I’m Amanda Huffman. I am a licensed Civil Engineer with experience in project management. I worked as a Civil Engineer in the Air Force on a number of different construction projects in both the US and overseas. My time in the military taught me to be innovative and work to get the job done. I would love to showcase how my skills can help XYZ business.

Amanda is a military spouse and veteran who served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer including a deployment to Afghanistan. She traded in her combat boots for a diaper bag to stay home with her two boys and follow her husband’s military career. She published her first book in 2019 titled Women of the Military, sharing the stories of 28 military women. In 2019 she also launched her podcast also titled Women of the Military. In 2020, she was published as a collaborative author in Brave Women Strong Faith. And in 2021, she launched a YouTube channel to help young women answer their questions about military life, Girl’s Guide to the Military. You can learn more about Amanda at her blog Airman to Mom.

Source: Clearance Jobs

Tech Skills To Keep Your Resume Relevant

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Business man pointing finger towards computer screen with a flash of light surrounding screen and his hands on the keyboard

We know companies want to hire the most qualified candidate, but we often don’t take action to give ourselves the skills to make our resume stand out. Companies are incorporating more technology to streamline services and help workers accomplish more. To keep your resume relevant, you need to keep adding skills to your resume and demonstrate your understanding of computer programs.

The Internet is our number one source of information and has been for some time. We often forget how much we rely on the Internet, but it’s woven into the fabric of our lives. We check Google Maps for the fastest route to places we have been a hundred times and use digital coupons at the grocery store. Tech in the workplace is just as prevalent. Nearly every job requires proficiency in Google Workplace to be considered for a role, and that’s not before data analyst programs, customer management tools, or learning management systems.

Adding tech skills to your resume is the quickest way to upskill and gain favor with hiring managers.

Web Design: Because Every Company Has a Website

The information you depend on comes from the Internet. Internal sites at work and your child’s soccer team all have websites with relevant data that you need to make decisions. Some of these websites aren’t the most polished and could use some improvement. Learning web design isn’t always about making beautiful websites; its core function is to make them usable.

While WordPress and GoogleSite seem easy enough, you can really enhance your ability to make the website stand out if you have a solid grasp of web design. Without the proper knowledge, creating a site can take hours of frustrating work.

Data Analysis Is a Universal Skill

Another tech skill that spans across professions and hobbies is the ability to analyze data. Data analysis can help you impress your bosses at work and help your home brewed beer yield better results. Computer systems are constantly collecting data points, but the data isn’t useful in its original form; it has to be organized first.

Learning basic data science can help you earn more clients, improve efficiency, and determine customer trends. Nearly every company is looking for a data guru to improve data collection and analysis. Ironhack has a great data science program that can teach you all the skills you need to add data science to your resume.

Cybersecurity Will Always Be in Demand

Maintaining security online has never been more important. With the amount of data that companies have about their users, it’s vital that companies keep that information away from prying eyes. Since cybercriminals will always keep trying to hack websites, cybersecurity engineers won’t have to worry about job security.

Cybersecurity engineers do a variety of jobs to ensure there aren’t any weak points in a company’s computer systems. Ethical hackers try to break into the system to find any vulnerabilities. If they find any, engineers will fix the issues. This process will happen a lot as companies are frequently updating apps, sites, and algorithms. Cybersecurity engineers will have plenty of work keeping up with the new editions.

Working as a cybersecurity engineer doesn’t mean you are siloed into working exclusively for tech companies. The video games, banking, and business sectors need cybersecurity experts to help companies keep their clients safe. Cybersecurity can be a great way to gain access to an industry you have always wanted to work for but haven’t found an entry point.

Make the Time to Learn a Tech Skill

You don’t have to attend a coding bootcamp or return to school for another degree to learn tech skills. There are thousands of free ways to learn in-demand tech skills that will boost your resume and help you go further in the application process.

The excuse “I don’t have enough time” seems reasonable, but it’s inhibiting our self-improvement. The number of hours in a day doesn’t change, so in order to learn new tech skills, you need to make the time. It doesn’t have to be every day or two hour-long sessions. You merely need to schedule the time to learn the skill.

The world is only getting more technological, and every job is increasingly becoming a tech role. Even professions you wouldn’t associate with tech roles are starting to include more and more tech responsibilities. Teachers, administrators, and writers are beginning to incorporate coding, web design, and data analysis into their everyday work.

Amazon Pledges to Hire 100,000 U.S. Veterans and Military Spouses by 2024

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female warehouse worker with helmet and safety vest.

Amazon recently announced plans to hire over 100,000 U.S. veterans and military spouses by 2024. Amazon currently employs over 40,000 veterans and military spouses across multiple businesses—from Operations to Alexa to Sustainability to Amazon Web Services (AWS)—and they all receive a starting wage of at least $15 per hour and have access to comprehensive benefits.

“Amazon is focused on recruiting and developing military talent with training programs specifically designed to help veterans transition into roles in the private sector,” said John Quintas, Amazon’s director of global military affairs. “We value the unique skills and experience that the military community brings—and our new hiring commitment will expand the impact that military members currently have on every single business across the company.”

The company expects that through this pledge, it will hire over 16,000 military spouses.

Eric Eversole, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, praised Amazon’s goal. Eversole leads Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation focused on helping veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment in communities across America.

“Amazon recognizes the diverse backgrounds and experiences veterans and military spouses bring and how they strengthen the workforce,” said Eversole. “Through their commitment to provide upskilling and employment opportunities in high demand careers, Amazon is equalizing opportunity for veterans and military spouses.”

Upskilling opportunities

Amazon offers a variety of programs to assist transitioning service members and military spouses in finding rewarding careers. This includes access to company-funded skills training in high-demand areas, such as cloud computing, through initiatives like the Amazon Technical Apprenticeship Program and AWS re/Start.

Military members working at Amazon can also take advantage of the company’s free upskilling opportunities so they can gain new technical skills and move into in-demand, higher-paying jobs. These programs include Career Choice, Amazon’s pre-paid tuition program for fulfillment center employees looking to move into high-demand occupations, and Amazon Technical Academy, a paid nine-month training that equips non-technical Amazon employees with the essential skills to transition into—and thrive in—software engineering careers.

In addition to skills training, veterans and military spouses working at Amazon have access to fellowships, mentorships, military spouse support, and deployment benefits. They also have the Warriors@Amazon affinity group, a community with more than 10,000 former service members, spouses, and allies across the company.

All Amazon jobs pay a starting wage of at least $15 an hour—more than twice the federal minimum wage—and all regular full-time employees enjoy health insurance from an employee’s first day of the job, a 401(k) plan with a company match, up to 20 weeks of paid leave for birthing parents, access to subsidized skills training opportunities, and more.

Amazon currently has more than 35,000 positions open in the U.S. To learn more about career opportunities for veterans and military spouses at Amazon, please visit here.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

Navy Federal Credit Union Report Reveals New Financial Habits for Military Families During the Pandemic

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Military Spouse, husband in fatigues and daughter pose casually in frontyard

Navy Federal Credit Union recently released a new report on the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on military families.

The survey of more than 1,100 active duty servicemembers, veterans and military spouses illustrates the new financial habits military families picked up, their financial plans for the coming months, differences in saving and spending across generations, and the disparate impact of the pandemic on military spouses.

Household Expenses and New Financial Habits

As a result of the pandemic, Navy Federal found that the majority of military households cut expenses and adopted new financial habits in 2020, with 89 percent of respondents indicating that they spent less on an expense in 2020. The most common expenses cut include:

  • Vacation travel (63 percent)
  • Eating out (58 percent
  • Entertainment (57 percent)
  • Self-care (41 percent)
  • Clothing (40 percent)
  •  
    Military families did more than just cut back on their spending though, with 77 percent indicating that the upheaval of 2020 caused them to embrace at least one new financial habit. The most common new financial habits reported were:

  • 43 percent cut back on daily spending
  • 36 percent kept track of finances more closely
  • 27 percent established or added to an emergency savings fund
  • 26 percent paid off credit card bill monthly
  • 25 percent used digital/contactless payment
  • 23 percent maintained a monthly budget
  • 20 percent set up autopay for bills or recurring payments
  •  
    “The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted every facet of our lives, and our members have taken this turmoil in stride and adapted their financial habits to face this new challenge,” said Clay Stackhouse, a retired Marine Corps colonel and regional outreach manager at Navy Federal. “At Navy Federal, we’re passionate about supporting military communities and dedicating resources to ensure they have financial tools and knowledge needed to meet their financial goals. Our proactive approach and ongoing dedication to our members allowed us to support military families during this challenging time.”

    Military Families Re-emerge: Summer Spending and Travel

    As more Americans are vaccinated and it becomes safe to travel; dine out at restaurants, shop or visit entertainment venues; and see family and friends, most military families plan to re-emerge this summer and start spending again. Overall, 69 percent of military families report they plan to do more or just as much in summer 2021 as they did in past summers. Similarly, 64 percent report they will spend either more money or just as much money as usual this summer. Still, a significant portion of military households plan to maintain their pandemic spending habits, with 35 percent indicating they will spend less than in past summers. Other key findings regarding summer include:

  • Military families report they plan to travel more frequently (43 percent), go out to restaurants and bars (31 percent) and shop in-person at stores (25 percent).
  • More active duty servicemembers (34 percent) plan to go out and do more things this summer than in the past than veterans (21 percent) and military spouses (23 percent).
  • Most military families plan to bring back vacation travel (60 percent).
  •  
    Differences Across Generations and the Impact on Spouses

    When looking at different age groups of servicemembers, veterans and spouses, differences begin to emerge across generations when it comes to pandemic spending, new financial habits and post-pandemic outlook. Navy Federal found that:

  • The younger you are, the more likely you were to pick up a new financial habit
    1. 18-34 (86 percent)
      35-54 (76 percent)
      55+ (66 percent)
  • Younger people in the military community are more likely to have increased the amount of food they have ordered for delivery or pickup
    1. 18-34 (46 percent)
      35-54 (33 percent)
      55+ (36 percent)
  • Younger people report feeling high levels of uncertainty or feeling stuck more so than older generations
    1. 18-34 (26 percent)
      35-54 (21 percent)
      55+ (12 percent)

    Additionally, the research study showed that military spouses experienced a greater impact from the pandemic, and its effects will likely last, even as the pandemic wanes:

  • Of households who reported they cut childcare expenses in 2020, 55 percent indicate they plan on delaying or not bringing back this expense.
  • 46 percent of active duty spouses report cutting back on self-care during COVID compared to just 31 percent of servicemembers.
  • 81 percent of active duty spouses reported a higher level of uncertainty about post-pandemic life.
  • Navy Federal uses the data and insights it gleans from this research to provide timely and relevant financial tools in support of its members’ financial journeys. Navy Federal has been continually recognized for its dedication in delivering exceptional service for its members, ensuring members are educated and can achieve their financial goals though all life stages.

    About Navy Federal Credit Union: Established in 1933 with only seven members, Navy Federal now has the distinct honor of serving over 10.5 million members globally and is the world’s largest credit union. As a member-owned and not-for-profit organization, Navy Federal always puts the financial needs of its members first. Membership is open to all branches of the armed forces and their families. Dedicated to its mission of service, Navy Federal employs a workforce of over 23,000 and has a global network of 345 branches. For more information about Navy Federal Credit Union, visit navyfederal.org.

    Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Opportunity Employer.

    Methodology: These are the results of a survey of more than 1,100 active duty servicemembers (n=255), veterans (n=543) and military spouses (n=334). Current and former military household interviews were conducted online among Navy Federal Members as well as a general population component through Maru/Blue. Data were aggregated and weighted on age and military affiliation status. The survey was fielded March 24 – April 6, 2021.

    For the Recruiter: How to Reduce High Employee Turnover—The Ultimate Guide

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    woman in military uniform seated at computer desk looking at screen smiling with flags in the background

    By Nina Stankova of Score.org

    Attracting top talent to your company and then keeping that talent once you’ve got it, is crucial to your business’s growth and reputation.

    Employee retention and motivation are interdependent and directly correlated. This means a good employee retention rate will reduce operational costs, allow you to outperform your direct competitors, build morale, and improve your customer service levels.

    Hiring and firing is expensive. Very expensive. 

    If someone leaves your company, you need to consider the opportunity cost and the impact of not having someone in that role for an extended period. It could wipe out a particular client. It could backlog a team, project, or experience. You might now have to pay someone else overtime to compensate for the missing person. This may cause a snowball effect that can cycle into higher workloads, more stress, and sluggish morale.

    An active employee retention strategy is perhaps as important as your human resource manager. Why? Two reasons.

    1. Customers have more options. When customer service levels are low, your service becomes expendable. We live in an age where anything you may need is four taps away. Unclean sheets at an Airbnb? Booking.com gives you other accommodation options. Are traditional taxis becoming too expensive? Grab an Uber. You get the idea.
    2. There are more job boards available. These include new and improved niche job boards tailored to the digital nomad or remote worker. Your workforce won’t stick around if they are miserable, like workers did to 50 years ago. There are many options ripe for exploring.

    That’s why employee retention is more critical than ever before, especially during a worldwide pandemic. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled an ultimate guide on reducing high employee turnover, and it starts with hiring the right people.

    Hire the Right People

    It’s about positional fit. It’s about culture fit. It’s about team fit. Is this employee a seamless puzzle piece connector that will allow your project to move forward? If the answer is no, move on to a different candidate.

    Hire employees who align with all aspects of the business, from its mission to its working arrangement. Ask employees specific behavioral questions throughout the hiring process to see how they react to certain situations. Candidates will often rule themselves out if they don’t fit in with the team professionally, personally, or socially.

    Make Your Workplace Creative

    Not all employees are made equally. Some people like silence, some like a social environment. Some employees like adjustable standup desks, some like a super comfortable wheely chair.

    Allow your employees to pick and choose how and where they would like to work while in the office. Craft different working stations throughout the office, including group tables with projection monitors for collaboration; social areas for snacking and chatting; silent rooms with shut doors and drawable blinds; and customizable individual workstations.

    This will allow your employees no excuse for productivity and give them comfort in choice.

    Pay Well

    You and your business need to make sure you offer compensation that takes care of everyday expenses like food, housing, utilities, and fun. Most people want all of this compensation doubled. At the end of the day, if your salary package is less than your competitors, you’re already a leg down. You’ll have constant turnover, ticked off employees, and record-low morale.

    Do market research on wages within your country. Find the median salary for various titles throughout the company and determine what a competitive wage would be.

    Give Competitive Benefits

    Research some competitive benefits packages. Gone are the days when a good salary and a desk are good enough to attract top talent from the professional realm and the new era of university graduates.

    Employees want good benefits, and the benefits you offer should be competitive. What are your closest competitors doing? Do it better. Health, retirement, transportation, and education benefits are some of the most common perks of accepting a new job. Want to take it a step further? Introduce personalized benefits. Here the new employee can choose a handful of available perks that make the most sense to them.

    Reward Employees

    Human beings like being praised and rewarded for a job well done. They like to feel like their work is valuable, and making a difference in the company. Employees need encouragement and recognition to continue working their hardest.

    When an employee does something right or makes a measurable difference in its favor, show appreciation and happiness. When they finish a gigantic and time-consuming project, and the results are as planned or better, give them a pat on the back or a small reward. It will show your employees that you appreciate them. The overall goal is to create a positive, challenging, and encouraging work environment that bolsters hard work, creativity, competitiveness, and happiness.

    Exit Interview

    People leave companies. No matter how well you do, which processes you put in place, or how high you hike salaries, companies that foster great work will mold their employees to new heights.

    If your newly-groomed and model employee has found a better job elsewhere, fight for them. If you can’t win, wish them luck.

    Then use your secret weapon — the exit interview. Craft your exit interview to include questions of happiness, pain points, frustrations, things your employee will miss, people they enjoyed, and recommendations for improvement. Take them to heart and continue to improve your employee culture.

    Source: Score.org

    Moving? Make Sure Your Personal Property is Insured

    LinkedIn
    Close up of male hand packing property in cardboard box with spouse in the background

    Military life is not without its moves, and you want to be sure your personal property is correctly insured. Standard homeowners and renter’s insurance policies provide coverage for a policyholder’s personal property while their belongings are at their residence, in transit or housed at a storage facility, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).

    At the same time, standard homeowners and renter’s insurance policies will not pay for damage done to a policyholder’s personal property (e.g., furniture, beds and kitchen appliances) while the property is being handled by movers.

    Before moving, the Triple-I advises homeowners and renters to ask themselves three questions:

    Do My Current Insurance Policies Cover the Move?
    Contact your insurance professional to make sure your current insurance policies offer the financial protection needed for your move and understand your other options.

    What Types of Additional Insurance Coverages Are Available for A Move?
    Trip transit insurance covers your personal property for perils including theft, disappearance or fire while the property is either in transit or storage. This type of insurance covers neither property breakage nor flood-caused damage. Special perils contents coverage will cover breakage for all but the most fragile items. A floater will fully protect valuables such as jewelry, collectibles and fine art. Moreover, if your personal property is going to be kept at a self-storage facility, you may want to explore purchasing separate storage coverage.

    What Coverages Are Available Through Moving Companies?
    Full value protection is a warranty plan under which your mover is liable for the replacement value of the personal property being moved. If any personal property is lost, destroyed or damaged while in the mover’s custody, the mover under the terms of the warranty will either repair or replace the item, or make a cash settlement for the cost of the repairs at the personal property’s current market value. Released value protection provides minimal coverage if your mover either loses or damages your personal property but separate liability coverage may be offered by your mover to supplement released value protection. Movers should provide to the owner written documentation of whatever coverage is purchased through them.

    Source: III: Insurance Information Institute

    6 Things Interviewers Want Us to Know About Remote Interviews

    LinkedIn
    hand on keyboard and screen with a young black man interviewee

    by Eileen Hoenigman Meyer

    In some ways, a remote job interview can seem like a welcome relief from the traditional format. You don’t have to worry about directions or getting stuck in traffic; plus, you only have to agonize over half an outfit.

    But a remote meeting doesn’t earn you full access to the body language and social cues that your interviewers exhibit.

    The social awareness and mores around remote interviews are still emerging for those on both sides of the interaction.

    As you prepare for your next remote job interview, consider this inside scoop from several interviewers-their insights about what matters and what may be less important.

    Small talk helps.

    Chit chat breaks the ice and can help make a remote conversation feel comfortable. Come prepared with a couple of easy talking points to kick things off (a funny story, a sports reference, etc.).

    Jonas Bordo, CEO, and co-founder of Dwellsy, explains: “I need to get to know you via zoom, which is hard. In the old days, we would have made small talk while we walked to the interview room, but we don’t get to do that anymore. All of that preliminary small talk is important – it’s in those conversations that you get to learn about me and me about you. Invest in that time, and don’t rush into interview questions.” Researching the company and your interviewer can help you generate material.

    Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    Remote interactions have their own unique brand of uncomfortable moments-glitches, freezes, etc. Please do your due diligence when it comes to tech and interview prep so that you’re prepared and practiced for your meeting. Know, however, that even when you’re well-prepared, meeting technology can be unreliable, which can leave you navigating some complexities off the cuff. “I know that remote interviews are awkward and a poor substitute for in-person interviews, but it’s best just to accept the awkwardness,” explains Calloway Cook, President of Illuminate Labs. “If you worry about an awkward pause or an accidental moment where you spoke over the interviewer due to a connection delay, it’s easy to get frazzled and have your actual interview responses become negatively impacted.”

    Cook recommends, “Stay mission-focused, and make light of remote awkwardness whenever possible. Acing remote interviews requires more focus than acing in-person interviews, in my opinion, because there are so many external factors like connectivity that affect the dialogue.”

    Adopt remote-friendly mores.

    Another dimension that makes a remote interview challenging is that the social mores around these interactions don’t feel totally natural. Kevin Lee, CEO of JourneyPure, recommends:

    “If there’s an awkward silence during the interview, don’t panic. It’s natural to have silences because you can’t rely on visual body language cues like you can in an in-person interview. If you’re done speaking, pause and let the interviewer pick up the conversation. Rushing to fill the silence may lead you to say something that you might not normally say or fill it up with chatter, which would let the interviewer know you are nervous about the interview. You may want to practice with a friend to learn how to manage awkward silences and find appropriate times for small talk during an online interview.”

    Recognize it during other remote meetings when you’re involved, when you notice participants handling pauses well. Then mirror their approach. It’s a good way to stay controlled and calm during your interview.

    Be authentic.

    There’s often a feeling of obligation to overprepare when it comes to job interviews, leaving interviewees flustered if anything unexpected happens. When it comes to remote interviews, though, the unexpected happens often, even when prepared. Being anxious and rigid makes it more painful to weather these inevitable occurrences.

    Erik Rivera, CEO of ThriveTalk, explains: “The best advice I can give anyone going into an online interview is to make the interview as candid and relaxed as possible. If you have a child who is likely to interrupt, tell your interviewer this at the beginning of the meeting! Similarly, if you’re expecting someone to come by, full disclosure is best.”

    Rivera emphasizes the importance of the human touch. He explains: “Finally, treat your interviewer like a PERSON, as they are also in this COVID nightmare. Discuss what has been hard, what has been good, how crazy everything is. Humanity needs humanity now more than ever.”

    Soft skills are a selling point.

    Flexibility, adaptability, emotional intelligence, innovation, problem-solving, work ethic, and other soft skills are valuable. It’s not just that the process for interviewing has changed; the reality of work has changed post-COVID. Soft skills can help finesse a changing workplace. Showcase them.
    Bordo, for example, emphasizes the importance of flexibility: “I interviewed a candidate recently who was working hard to keep a pacifier in a baby’s mouth, and it was awesome. I’ve seen kids, husbands, wives, and roommates walk through backgrounds. . . I even interviewed someone with a parrot on her shoulder for the entire interview. All of that is wonderful. But, if you can’t create an environment with enough peace that you can have an interview conversation, then I worry you can’t create that kind of environment for your work.”

    A culture that fits your life.

    Just as you would with a face-to-face interview, do your interview prep before your meeting. Learn about the organization and the professional culture as you think about presenting yourself for your interview.

    Good luck!

    Click here to read the original article posted on Glassdoor.

    How to Successfully Readjust to Civilian Life with a Career in Tech

    LinkedIn
    several bubble images representing tech images on a blue background of a city landscape

    You volunteered, you served, and now you’re mustering out. What happens next? Returning to civilian life sounds easy on paper, but the reality of leaving the highly-structured, highly-disciplined military environment for one that’s completely open can be frustrating, discouraging and disorienting. Worse is the discovery that all of your practiced military tactics for addressing adversity may not get you anywhere.

    In fact, your attention to detail, commitment to teamwork and willingness to go all-in may be received as off-putting, aggressive and overwhelming. What the heck? Add to this the age-old challenge that is finding a job. Or better yet, starting a career. The military promised career skills, and you built many good ones. But how do you apply them to the boggling ecosystem that is the civilian workforce? Where do you start? How do you get your foot in the door?

    Funny how that info isn’t readily available.

    HOLISTIC HELP FOR TRANSITIONING VETERANS
    This is a dilemma that over 200,000 Veterans face every year. It adds enormous stress to their transition process and compounds traumas like PTSD, depression and anxiety. There are myriad U.S.-based organizations dedicated to helping Veterans through this process, but that creates another anxiety-inducing question: Which one to use?

    Maurice Wilson, Navy Master Chief Officer (retired), identified this critical conundrum and, in 2010, created a solution: The REBOOT Workshop offered by NVTSI. REBOOT fills a gap that the military’s Transition Assistance Program isn’t designed to address: how to fully prepare exiting military personnel to find meaningful employment and a satisfactory lifestyle in the civilian workforce.

    Best known for its three-week REBOOT workshop, NVTSI delivers an insightful and personalized program that equips Veterans with the emotional, psychological, social and professional skills they need to restructure and redefine their lives. The program includes three focus areas: Personal Identity, Lifestyle Transition and Career Transition. It addresses the personal and social aspects of transitioning to civilian life via research-based, outcome-driven methods drawn from career planning best practices and cognitive behavior techniques. NVTSI has a cadre of alumna who have used the REBOOT tools and techniques to craft successful civilian lives for themselves and their families.

    A VETERAN-FOCUSED PARTNERSHIP
    Even with the soft skills help that NVTSI provides, there’s still the question of getting hired. How do you overcome that hurdle? Every Veteran-focused organization (including NVTSI) has a list of Vet-friendly employers on their website. It’s also easy to find help creating resumes, tips on the interview process and a plethora of Vet-specific job fairs. All this information is helpful, but again, how does it get you in the door?

    This problem found a perfect solution in the partnership between NVTSI and CCS Global Tech. NVTSI and CCS Global Tech give Veterans a solid path into the work world: NVTSI focuses on helping Veterans create a holistic vision for their future, while CCS Global Tech offers job placement in the tech sector for Veterans at varying experience levels.

    Maybe you don’t know anything about technology or what you need to get into it. Or, maybe you’ve been in the tech industry for several years already and want to move up. How do you make that happen?

    PUTTING VETERANS IN TECH JOBS
    The ultimate goal of both NVTSI and CCS Global Tech is to help Veterans transition successfully out of the military and into civilian life. For all Veterans, securing a good job is a critical piece of the puzzle.

    CCS Global Tech is a staffing company that makes the path to a new technology career more direct via their Veteran placement services. Their dedicated team connects qualified Veterans to positions that CCS Global Tech’s clients – companies like Microsoft, Facebook, the City of San Francisco, and others – need filled.

    In other words, CCS Global Tech has the work, and they need people to fill the positions. It’s a matter of matching the right Veteran candidate to the right role.

    The strong leadership skills, self-motivation and dedication to teamwork that helped Veterans succeed in the military also make them prime candidates for filling many tech roles, such as system administrators, network technicians and data conversion experts.

    Veterans with security clearances are particularly well-positioned for cybersecurity roles, which are in high demand in today’s business environment.

    HELPING VETERANS SUCCEED
    But what if you don’t know anything about the tech sector? How do you get started? Or, what if you’re in an IT job and want to move up? CCS Global Tech has those contingencies covered. Its affiliate company, CCS Learning Academy (CCSLA), offers hands-on IT training that leverages military experience to equip individuals with a knowledge base and skillset that today’s top employers are looking for.

    CCSLA was born out of what CCS Global Tech professionals were seeing in the marketplace, i.e., the growing need for well-trained, fully prepared technology professionals in the current workforce. Created by tech professionals for tech professionals, CCSLA carefully curates its course catalog to reflect current technology trends, in-demand applications and cornerstone IT know-how. The CCSLA team offers Veterans career advice and real-world information on how to map out successful career paths, what employers are looking for and how to position themselves for vibrant, lucrative, forward-focused employment.

    The CCSLA team also keeps abreast of DoD Directives as well as other learning trends that help Veterans leverage their military backgrounds. They know how to help you leverage your military-specific experience to transition into today’s most in-demand tech careers. From cybersecurity and system administration to business intelligence and cloud computing, CCSLA’s focus is developing hire-worthy IT experts.

    Both CCS Global Tech and CCSLA recognize the wealth of talent that transitioning Veterans can bring to the table. Many Vets hold security clearances and classifications required by city, state and federal entities, as well as big tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and others. CCS Global Tech and CCSLA connect you to them.

    CONTACT US!
    After serving your country, taking off the uniform and returning to civilian life shouldn’t be a harrowing experience. NVTSI, CCS Global Tech, and CCSLA recognize the difficulties associated with this life change and its unique challenges. All three organizations are committed to helping Veterans maximize the skills, training and knowledge to create a forward-focused career that will carry them into the future. We want to see you succeed. We want to see you thrive.

    CBS GLOBAL
    If you’re looking for work in the technology sector, contact CCS Global Tech’s Veteran Placement team at veterans@ccsglobaltech.com. We’ll get to work finding your perfect position! If you need help mapping out your learning pathway in tech, email us or check out ccslearningacademy.com to get started.

    1 Brilliant Leadership Lesson Every Boss — and Every Employee — Can Learn from Tom Brady

    LinkedIn
    Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady (12) of the Buccaneers hoists the Lombardi Trophy after the Super Bowl LV game

    By Jeff Haden

    A year after he retired from the NFL, Hall-of-Fame-in-waiting tight end Rob Gronkowski answered his phone. “[Tom Brady] hit me up and was like, ‘Would you come down?’ And I was like, ‘I’ve been waiting for you. I’ve been waiting for you to make a move.'”

    Three years after the Jacksonville Jaguars made him the fourth pick in the NFL draft, running back Leonard Fournette found himself without a job. “The first guy that hit me when it happened was Tom,” Fournette says. “I’ve [known] Tom and Tom hit me like, ‘Man, I would love for you to come help us out.'”

    Photo Caption: Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady (12) of the Buccaneers hoists the Lombardi Trophy after the Super Bowl LV game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on February 7, 2021 in Tampa, FL. Photo Credit: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.

    After a tumultuous (to put it mildly) 2019 season that left him out of a job, wide receiver Antonio Brown joined Tampa Bay in mid-season after serving an eight-game suspension. Why take a chance on a perceived “me first” instead of “team first” player? Brady wanted him. (So much so that Brown moved into Brady’s Tampa home.)

    Fast-forward a few months to the Super Bowl. Gronkowski caught six passes, two for touchdowns. Fournette ran for 89 yards on 16 carries, including a 27-yard touchdown run. Antonio Brown caught five passes for 22 yards and a touchdown.

    None of them played for the Buccaneers a year ago.

    All were recruited by Brady after he joined the team.

    Be a Leader Who Recruits

    The average leader only thinks about recruiting and hiring great people when they have an opening.

    The vast majority of their time is spent developing the people they have. Building a great culture. Building stronger teams. Improving individual performance. Achieving results.

    All of which makes sense.

    Great leaders go a step further. Great leaders aren’t satisfied with what they “have.” Great leaders also work to identify and recruit talented people.

    Brady knew Gronkowski had more in the tank. Brady knew Fournette was a punishing, physical runner who would add a different aspect to the Bucs’ ground game as well as much-needed depth. Brady knew that his on-field connection with Brown could flourish, especially if he spent time building their off-field relationship.

    That doesn’t mean Brady thought poorly of his existing Tampa Bay teammates; after all, he chose to join that organization because he felt it gave him the best chance to return to a Super Bowl.

    But he also knew that attrition is a fact of life in the NFL.

    Just like it is in business: While employees may not get injured, they do often leave. (The average person changes jobs between 10 and 15 times over their career.)

    No matter how great your current team, someday, someone will leave. Several someones will leave.

    Instead of waiting until that happens, think ahead. Spend a little time each week looking for great people to add to your team. Make connections. Take notes. Stay in touch with people you may want to hire down the road.

    Instead of putting together a list of potential candidates to replace Alicia when she gets promoted or moves on, have a list of your own ready.

    Start looking now — before you have a need.

    Then, spend the rest of your time developing the people you currently lead. Best case, you’ll never have to pull out your list.

    But if you do need it…you’ll be ready.

    And Hire Leaders Who Recruit

    A friend who owns a 4,000-employee manufacturing business applies an unusual filter to job candidates.

    “By the time you’re on your third or fourth job,” he says, “if a person you worked for hasn’t recruited you to work with them at their new job, that’s a bit of a red flag.”

    To him, that means the candidate hasn’t built solid professional relationships. It means the candidate hasn’t developed a level of reliability and trust that causes someone to say, “If I want to succeed at my new job, I need to bring her with me.”

    On the flip side, that means the individual doing the recruiting needs to be the kind of leader, and the kind of person, that people want to team up with.

    Gronk, Fournette and Brown were clearly the kind of players Brady wanted to play alongside. Brady is clearly the kind of athlete — and leader — they wanted to play alongside.

    Success attracts success. Great people want to work with great people.

    You may not be Tom Brady. (I’m certainly not.)

    But you can start identifying great talent now — before you have a need. And you can make sure they’re the kind of people that others would want to follow. Even if you don’t need them to bring talented people along, the fact that great people would speaks volumes.

    Then make sure you’re the kind of leader, and person, that great people want to work with.

    Because it all starts with you.

    Jeff Haden is a keynote speaker, ghostwriter, LinkedIn Influencer, contributing editor to Inc. and the author of “The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win.”

    @jeff_haden

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