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.

Post-military resumes: Tips for service members entering civilian workforce

LinkedIn
resume tips for military veterans transitioning into civilian life

By Cortney Moore, FOXBusiness

Veterans who are nearing their final deployment or have exited the military are likely in need of employment.

Many military ranks and jobs are transferable to civilian positions, but at times it can be hard to translate that service into terms recruiters understand. Here are six quick tips career experts recommend for veterans transitioning into the non-military workforce.

Knowing how to translate veterans’ skills and achievements into the civilian world is essential, according to Kimiko Ebata, a military transition specialist and founder of Ki Coaching, a career consulting service based in New York City.

“Service members should start this process by reviewing the civilian-friendly explanation of their Military Occupation Code (MOC) that is outlined on the website for their particular branch of service,” Ebata told FOX Business. “When reviewing this explanation, service members should pay special attention to the civilian-friendly descriptions that are used for their military occupation, as these will be the terms that will be most relevant to them with their civilian applications.”

She added that military performance reviews could help veterans when they’re first compiling their list of skills, which might include held positions or notes about secondary duties.

Whether a veteran has a specific industry in mind or would like to explore their options, having an appropriate resume with relevant experience could be the key to a callback.

Click here to read more on FOXBusiness.com

Coast Guard Admiral to Become First Female Service Chief, Shattering Another Glass Ceiling

LinkedIn
Linda L. Fagan becomes first female service chief in the coast guard.

By John Ismay, The New York Times

Adm. Linda L. Fagan will shatter one of the last glass ceilings in the military on Wednesday when she takes the oath as commandant of the Coast Guard and becomes the first female officer to lead a branch of the American armed forces.

Admiral Fagan, who was previously the service’s second in command, graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1985, in just the sixth class that included women. She steadily rose through the ranks, serving at sea on an icebreaker, and ashore as a marine safety officer.

It was not until much later in her career that she thought becoming commandant might even be possible.

“A lot of people would say, ‘Oh yeah, I knew she was going to be an admiral,’ but I didn’t think about it,” Admiral Fagan recalled. “Even when I was first selected as an admiral you don’t think about it, and then all of a sudden you look around and you go, ‘Oh yeah, all right, I guess this is possible.’ ”

When I look up in the organization, at least just a couple years ago there was not a ton of diversity,” Admiral Fagan said in an interview. “Even still we don’t have the diversity we need at the senior leadership ranks. But as I look back, it’s all there and coming — certainly for women, and we still need to increase our number of underrepresented minority males.”

She will be the 27th commandant of the service, which traces its roots back to the creation of the Revenue Cutter Service shortly after the Revolutionary War, and merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to become the Coast Guard in 1915.

At Coast Guard headquarters in Washington last week, Admiral Fagan noted the historic significance of her achievement as she walked through a hall filled with portraits of her predecessors. She paused in front of a painting of Adm. Owen W. Siler, the 15th commandant of the service, in the 1970s.

Click here to read more on the New York Times

Wells Fargo Launches Military Spouse Hiring Program, Designed to Onboard 100 New Employees Per Year for the Next Five Years

LinkedIn
wells fargo store in the city

By Yahoo! Finance

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) recently announced its Military Spouse Homefront Heroes Hiring program, offering mid- to high-level remote, hybrid, and in-office career opportunities with a focus on portability for spouses of those actively serving. The new program is designed to onboard 100 new employees each year for the next five years.

Wells Fargo’s Military Spouse Homefront Heroes Hiring (HHH) program is now accepting interested candidates into its talent community in preparation for launching 100 open positions in early June 2022. The HHH program team will help prepare candidates and hiring managers for a virtual hiring event, assisting with resume development and interview training to help applicants articulate transferrable skills and potential employment gaps. The virtual hiring event will occur in August 2022, with a program start date of Sept. 12, 2022.

The announcement came in advance of Military Spouse Appreciation Day on Friday, May 6.

“The 24% unemployment rate for military spouses far exceeds the national average; this is largely a result of permanent change of station and the inability to have a portable career,” said Sean Passmore, head of Military Talent Strategic Sourcing and Enterprise Military & Veteran Initiatives at Wells Fargo. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution to military spouse un- or underemployment. The scale and complexity of HHH demonstrate our understanding of the unique career challenges faced by military spouses, and our commitment to helping solve the problem.”

Positions will be available in Human Resources, Consumer & Small Business Banking, Technology, Wealth & Investment Management, and Consumer Lending. Each line of business will host 20 roles, and new hires will begin the inaugural program on Sept. 12, 2022.

HHH is just one of several programs Wells Fargo has implemented to serve and employ the military community. Others include:

The Veteran Employment Transition (VET) Program: A nationwide, competitively paid 8+ week Spring and Fall internship for experienced talent that converts directly to a full-time role based on performance. Interns develop an understanding of the daily responsibilities of a full-time Wells Fargo employee, while networking and participating in special training opportunities.

Military Apprenticeships: A Department of Labor structured experiential training program that results in skills certification for applicants who do not initially meet qualifications for the non-apprentice equivalent role.

Boots to Banking: A Wells Fargo one-of-a-kind program designed to attract, prepare, and hire military talent into various career opportunities through military-specific hiring events. Pre- and post-event components include candidate and hiring manager preparation along with valuable resources for a successful transition.

Corporate Fellowship Program: In partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Initiative, the program hosts military personnel within six months of separation for a 12-week fellowship experience to achieve full-time employment.

Applicants interested in joining the HHH talent community should visit the Military Spouse Homefront Heroes Hiring Program website.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Finance.

Naval Base San Diego Hybrid Career Fair!

LinkedIn
Man holding a Job Fair sign

The Naval Base San Diego Hybrid Career Fair is coming to San Diego’s Scottish Rite Event Center, May 12, 2022.

FREE ADMISSION: Open to ALL branches of service active duty, reservists, veterans, family members and DoD employees.

May 12, 2022 @ 11:00 am – 1:00pm

We love helping our veterans to find employment opportunities after transitioning from the military, as well as their spouses.

You are invited to attend our upcoming career fair, attendance is free!

This is your chance to meet directly with hiring managers looking to HIRE Vets!

REQUIRED:

1. MUST Have Base Access

2. MUST WEAR MASK and Temperature Check before the event. Safety measures will be forced.

Event highlights

• Opportunity to meet face-to-face with local and national employers

• Onsite Interviews

• Network with key community resource providers

• Learn about military family benefits and more!

• Dress for success & bring plenty of resumes!

Title Sponsor: Honeywellhttps://careers.honeywell.com/us/en

Register Now And Also Get The Hybrid Details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/naval-base-san-diego-hybrid-career-fair-sponsored-by-honeywell-tickets-180341154247

Check Out Our Job Board For Your Military Transition

LinkedIn
man wearing a military uniform on left and a suit on the right

Search for employment opportunities and connect with companies that are looking to hire veterans!

Before you start, some things to keep in mind:

Build Your Resume

The goal of a resume is to effectively summarize and highlight your qualifications in a way that will make the employer want to reach out and schedule an interview with you. These tips will help you build a resume that will stand out.

  • Collect your assets. Get a copy of your Verification of Military Experience and Training through the Department of Defense. The VMET document helps you prepare resumes and job applications quickly when you separate from service. Include essential components like contact information, job objective, summary of qualifications, employment history, education and training, and special skills.
  • Tailor your resume for the job. Translate everything into civilian terms and include volunteer experience.
  • Write a cover letter. Get the name of the person in charge of hiring, keep it to one page and always follow up.
  • Tap into resume-building tools. Check out Veterans.gov and VA.gov.

Find the Right Civilian Career

Your military experience is valuable to many employers, but it’s up to you to get out there and sell it. Start with these tips:

  • Get in touch with friends and fellow veterans. Organize your contacts and connections.
  • Tap into the services of your transition assistance offices. Get referrals for employment agencies and recruiters, job leads and career counseling.

And besides our job board, take advantage of the many job fairs, of which many are virtual:

Hiring Our Heroes career events for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses.

DAV Job Fairs

American Legion Job Fairs

Recruit Military Job Fairs

  • Look for veteran-friendly companies. Many organizations are committed to helping veterans find a good job. Look for programs such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative. Check out organizations like Soldier for Life, Marine for Life, the Military Officers Association of American, Non-Commissioned Officers Association or Enlisted Association, and United Service Organizations. Also, see the HIRE Vets Medallion Award for a list of organizations committed to veteran hiring, retention and professional development.

Get started with your job search today!

How to recruit and retain veteran employees

LinkedIn
black female soldier working on a laptop

Military veterans make outstanding employees who hold skills and assets that transfer over to any workspace. The question is, how can you not only attract veteran employees to your business but encourage them to stay in their position.

Consider these four simple yet effective steps:

Use Military Networks

Sometimes, posting a generic job post to a popular job search website isn’t enough to attract the veteran candidates that would be right for your company.

Utilize veteran networks, career fairs, and spaces to attract and educate yourself on how to best employ veteran candidates.

Employers can utilize an abundance of resources and organizations to help them get started on their journey.
 

Some helpful organizations include:

  • The American Legion
  • American Job Center
  • National Labor Exchange
  • Rallypoint.com
  • Indeed.com (special paid features)
  • Hiring our Heroes

Many of these organizations additionally include information on attending veteran career fairs where you can speak to potential employees in person and discover what their assets, needs, and skillsets are. The more veteran connections you make, the more likely you will find candidates or references that you can utilize in your workspace.

Meet their Standards

Veterans are extremely loyal to an organization. What is good for your veteran population is also good for any employee. However, if the environment does not meet veterans’ needs, they tend to leave an organization quicker than their non-veteran counterparts. Veterans are often interested in:

  • A challenging/engaging opportunity.
  • Clearly stated expectations of the position.
  • A known pathway for advancement in the current position and organization.
  • A mentor (preferably a veteran) on arrival and an onboarding program to ease integration and adjustment to the organization’s culture.
  • Clear and open verbal and written communication — veterans are accustomed to in-person communication from leadership.
  • Career professional development.
  • Impact on the organization — veterans want to know what they are doing has “meaning.”
  • Compensation and benefits.

Transitioning from the field to the workplace can be difficult for any military veteran. Remember to be patient, considerate, and empathetic to the needs and experiences of your veteran employees.

Know the Lingo

Many veterans have the experience you are looking for in an employee; however, it may translate differently when their specific skill set is written on paper. For example, if you are looking for a Marketing Manager, you’re not likely to find a military veteran who holds that exact title on their resume. However, titles such as an Enlisted Accessions Recruiter, Psychological Operations Specialist or Recruiter are all positions that a veteran could have held and learned the same experience. Utilizing the translators found on websites such as careerstop.org can help you find the military job titles that match your civilian job needs.

Provide Specialty Resources

Providing a space where veterans can have extra support in their transition is one of the most valuable things you can do not only to attract but keep your veteran employees. Providing on-site training, creating veteran affinities and ERGs, establishing veteran mentorship programs, and ensuring that your leadership team is educated to the needs of your veteran employees are all added resources that will ease the anxieties of military transition. The more comfortable and supported you can make veteran employees feel, the stronger your employees and team can become.

Every veteran will have different experiences and difficulties in the workplace, but ensuring that you provide a safe, supportive environment is one of the best things you can do to attract and retain veterans.

Source: Department of Labor, Berkshire Associate, CareerOneSt

What Makes a Résumé Great? Science, and a Résumé Expert, Has the Answer

LinkedIn
Human resource manager looking at many different cv resume and choosing perfect person to hire. HR concept on virtual screen.

By Jeff Haden

As the old saying goes, you can’t win a race in the first lap, but you can definitely lose one. The same is true with résumés: Even the greatest résumé won’t, on its own, cause you to hire someone — but a relatively poor résumé will almost always get tossed into the “no” pile.

Fair or unfair, that’s the reality.

And also, the problem, because whom you decide (and, just as important, don’t decide) to interview helps determine whom you hire — and as a result, determines the skills, talent, and expertise of the people around you.

So, if it all starts with a résumé, how do you define a “good” résumé? Or better yet, a “great” résumé?

Science can partly answer the question. In 2016, researchers at the University of Michigan conducted a study “systematically examining the impression management (IM) content of actual résumés and cover letters and empirically testing the effect on applicant evaluation.”

Or, in non-researcher-speak, tried to figure out what does and doesn’t work when it comes to crafting a résumé that lands a job interview.

In general terms, a little self-promotion (think a few superlatives like “excellent” and “outstanding”) is good; a lot is not. So is a little ingratiation (think “I would love to be a part of such an awesome team” or “I would love to contribute to such a worthwhile mission”); a lot is not. As with most things, moderation is key.

Helpful, but only to a point. While what a candidate has done is interesting, what you care about most is what the person you hire can do.

And to determine that, you also need a story.

According to Brian Brandt, a certified professional résumé writer who specializes in crafting résumés for people seeking finance, technology, logistics, biotech, and pharmaceutical positions, “A résumé should be built from the candidate’s journey but pointed to his or her future. A résumé that scrolls the past is a document that elicits the wrong kinds of questions.” (More on that in a moment.) “The best résumés show the capacity to go where the candidate wants to go.”

Which, if you craft your job postings properly, will align with what you need the employee you hire to accomplish.

According to the University of Michigan research, what you ask for in a job posting is largely what you will get. Use lots of superlatives in your job postings, and most candidates will respond with lots of superlatives. Talk a lot about mission and purpose and culture, and you’ll get plenty of ingratiation.

The better approach? Imagine you’re looking for a person who has accomplished specific things; a great résumé — and great candidate — describes what the candidate has done and tells a story that indicates their development and growth supports what you need them to actually do.

“The best résumés are never just reflections of accomplishments and achievements,” Brian says. “They’re well-curated documents that move the conversation to second- and third- interview turf.”

And that’s where the “questions” issue comes into play. Some résumés spark the wrong kinds of questions: “Does the candidate possess the right attributes?” “Does the candidate have the right experience?” “Does the candidate possess the work ethic, interpersonal skills, and cultural fit?” Those questions indicate doubt.

The right questions? “That’s amazing; how did she do that?” “That was an interesting career move; I wonder why he shifted to a different functional role?” “Most operations managers didn’t spend their college summers working on archaeology digs; I wonder how that all ties together?”

According to Brian, those are the kinds of stories a great résumé tells.

Because they answer the questions you most need answered — and will want to ask more about during job interviews. Whether the candidate’s actual accomplishments show they are capable of achieving what you need them to achieve. Whether the candidate displays values similar to those your organization embraces.

Whether the candidate displays the tangible and less tangible skills, attributes, and qualities you need most.

A great résumé provides the initial answers; job interviews provide the deeper, more substantive answers.

So, what should you look for in a résumé? According to Brian, a great résumé tells a story that doesn’t make you ask whether the candidate might be able do the job.

A great résumé leaves you wanting to know not whether, but just how well, the candidate will do the job.

If you don’t find yourself wondering that…then it’s not a great résumé.

The Benefits of Hiring Veterans

LinkedIn
black professional male smiling, giving the thumbs up sign

Numerous positive outcomes result from military service. As an employer, you can benefit from the training and experience a veteran brings to the workforce.

Military personnel and veterans have been vetted by their training. All members of the military complete basic training, which is designed to “break an individual down” and then train them back up. Basic training varies by branch but includes intense physical training, academic and skills training, and socialization into that branch’s culture. When you hire a veteran or member of the military, the training you supply is built on top of a foundation that has already been set in the military. Military service instills strong values, selfless service, and loyalty — desirable attributes in an employee.

Military service results in the acquisition of numerous skills, training, and experiences that would benefit any company or agency.

Veterans in the General Workplace:

No matter the position, veterans are equipped with an array of strengths that translate into any job space, including:

  • Working well in a team. Teamwork is considered an essential part of daily life and is the foundation on which safe military operations are built.
  • Having a sense of duty. Responsibility for job performance and accountability for completing missions are something to take pride in.
  • Experiencing self-confidence. Holding a realistic estimation of self and ability based on experiences is expected of each service member.
  • Being organized and disciplined.
  • Possessing a strong work ethic. In the military, the mission always comes first.
  • Having the ability to follow through on assignments, even under difficult or stressful circumstances.
  • Possessing a variety of cross-functional skills, such as extensive training on computer programs and systems, interacting with various people with different skills to accomplish a task, and coordinating and troubleshooting problems in novel and known conditions.
  • Being able to problem solve quickly and creatively.
  • The ability to adapt to changing situations.
  • Naturally following rules and schedules.

Veterans Make Strong Leaders

Military service teaches and cultivates leadership skills that translate smoothly into the roles of supervisor, manager, and other “high up” positions. These skills include:

  • Taking responsibility for self and actions
  • Making sound and timely decisions
  • Setting the example
  • Understanding and accomplishing assigned tasks
  • Being dependable
  • Cultivating abilities to meet a variety of challenges
  • Being disciplined

Veterans are Educated

After completing their service, veterans have easier access to educational and training resources. This means that in tandem with their hands-on experience in the military, they are typically more educated in their craft. These skillsets often manifest as:

  • Technical and tactical proficiency in a variety of skills
  • Technical education for a specific military occupational specialty

Veterans are Mature

Military service can result in personal growth and positive emotional experiences that foster a sense of respect and maturity that might not be seen otherwise. Veterans often exhibit:

  • Enhanced maturity
  • Self-improvement
  • Knowing oneself better (e.g., strengths, capabilities, areas for improvement)
  • Strengthening of resilience
  • Positive transformations following trauma or situations of extreme stress
  • Improved coping skills
  • Pride (e.g., in self, unit)

Veterans Understand the Importance of a Team

Veterans are taught the importance of interpersonal skills and relationships in professional and personal settings. They are often more knowledgeable about working productively on a team with different opinions, personalities, and behaviors than those without military experience. Veterans are especially good at:

  • Creating camaraderie and deep friendships
  • Interpersonal maturation
  • Working well in teams and understanding the importance of cooperation
  • Looking out for the welfare of the team

Hiring a veteran will not only allow you to gain employees who are dedicated, lead naturally, develop an array of job skills, but are some of the greatest assets your company can have to better your company.

Source: VA.gov

5 of the Best Traits for Improved Leadership

LinkedIn
professional man and woman working at desk smiling

If you were to ask one hundred different people what the best leadership qualities were, you are more than likely to get an abundance of different answers.

While some people think leadership thrives off of authority and determination; others might look to compassion and humility as more admirable traits. But when you’re getting ready to put yourself into the mindset of being an effective leader, you have to remember what it was like to be the employee. What was always the most helpful to you when you needed your boss, coach or mentor? What did you wish they would have done in your time of need?

Here are some traits you should always be building upon to be the best leader you can be:

Confidence

In any setting where you are working towards a goal, people want to know that their leaders are confident in their decisions and know what is best for the group. Whether it be large scale projects or implementing smaller strategies to gauge success, have confidence in every decision you make and ensure your decisions are worthy of that confidence. If you don’t think an idea will work or that you have the ability to lead your team, your employees will be even less inclined to believe in the idea. You set the tone for the ins and outs of the company’s responsibilities, so make sure you are confident in your abilities and in your team.

Adaptability

Sometimes plans don’t go in the way you hoped due to unforeseen or unpredictable circumstances. This is just a part of life whether in the field or in your personal life. Instead of acting out of fear or impulse, take a breath, open your mind and decide how you’ll take the next steps. The workplace is always changing, stay on top of the trends to make sure you’re prepared when things don’t go quite your way. Your team is looking to you for guidance in times like these and being calm and thinking fast is of the upmost importance.

Personable

Being personable doesn’t mean being your employee’s best friend, but it does mean being approachable and understanding. It can be easy to get in a power-backed mindset where you forget what it’s like to be an employee yourself. Remember that you are not just your team’s boss, but their fellow co-worker, and you should create a professional, yet personable relationship to foster trust. What does their job entail? How can you help their efficiency? What do your employees enjoy doing once they clock out? When employees are able to trust their boss, they will feel comfortable providing feedback, being honest in all aspects and informing you of accidental errors in the workplace.

Open-Minded

Culture is defined by its ever-changing nature, which means the way that “things used to be done” will be likely to change. This doesn’t mean that one way is necessarily better than the other, it’s just a different approach than what you might be used to. Keep an open-mind to change and consider other viewpoints as being alternatives to the norm rather than challenges, and even if an idea appears to be blatantly incorrect or difficult to understand, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Why do they want to go with this specific ideal? Why are they passionate about this belief? What is their point of view?

Communication

This may sound cliché, but communication is critical to the workplace in all aspects and can always be improved upon. For leaders specifically, it’s important to relay what your expectations and goals in a way that is clearly understood. Miscommunication is bound to happen at least once, but use the mistake as an opportunity to improve upon how this mistake can be avoided in the future. In the same way relaying your needs is important, it’s also important to listen attentively when your employees come to you for updates on projects or to communicate their own needs or concerns. The ability to give and receive information will decrease opportunities for misunderstandings, simple mistakes and frustration on both sides.

Becoming an effective, respected leader in the workplace can seem daunting or even overwhelming, but you are never alone and can always learn from your mistakes. No one becomes great at something overnight, so remember to stay respectful to others and the rest will fall into place.

Armed with a Legal Degree, a Veteran Continues His Mission

LinkedIn
soldier in uniform talking on phone and two other pictures of the same soldier with Army buddies

By Antoinette Balta, Esq., LLM

Andrew Alton enlisted in the United States Marine Corps upon graduating from high school. He served on an intelligence collections team after studying Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif. During his time in the Marine Corps, Alton deployed twice: first, in support of humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake, and then to a combat deployment in the Sangin region of Afghanistan. Following an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps as a Sergeant in 2012, Alton returned to Southern California to continue his studies. Alton received his B.S. in Biology from Cal State Fullerton and then his Juris Doctor from the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

While in law school, Alton longed to continue his mission of service and sought out ways to give back. Alton’s search ultimately led to Veterans Legal Institute® (VLI), a nonprofit law firm that provides free and life-changing services to low-income and homeless veterans.

Alton interned at VLI throughout his law school career and was exposed to several different areas of law including housing, complex veteran benefits appeals and discharge upgrades for survivors of military sexual trauma and other disenfranchised Veterans.

Armed with a law school degree and significant legal training, Alton was offered a variety of employment options. Alton applied to his alma mater, and was awarded a post-graduate fellowship that would allow him to work for one year at VLI. Alton’s fellowship at VLI helped numerous veterans in need of legal services in Southern California. Indeed, Alton helped over 100 veterans and their families remove barriers to housing, healthcare, education and employment.

Upon completing his fellowship, Alton was so intertwined with the veteran community and provided so much value to VLI that he was offered a full-time attorney position. Alton enjoys the different challenges and legal obstacles that he encounters daily. Here is a small sampling of the type of cases that Alton resolves in a typical month. While cases vary in terms of size and scope, Alton treats each case with the same passion and urgency, recognizing that any veteran in crisis deserves a zealous advocate.

A veteran’s landlord served a legal 60-day eviction notice to an 81-year-old Air Force veteran during COVID, who had been a tenant for 12 years. Although VLI determined that the eviction notice was lawful, this veteran desperately needed more time to find new housing and relocate his belongings — the isolation and lack of resources during the pandemic was going to render the veteran homeless. Alton was able to negotiate with the landlord to obtain an extra six weeks for the veteran to locate new housing and, most importantly, celebrate the holidays in his old home.

As a direct result of Alton’s advocacy, this veteran can alleviate his fears of homelessness, and have the time necessary to locate a new home.

In a separate case, an elderly Army veteran lived for months in deplorable conditions. The landlord did nothing to fix the conditions, despite evidence of a severe roach infestation. Worse yet, the landlord ignored the veteran’s repeated requests for extermination services. Recognizing the unsafe living conditions, Alton negotiated with the landlord for the veteran to move into a new, upgraded apartment, free from infestation, along with two months of waived rent. This resulted in a $3,740 surplus for the veteran who lives on a fixed income.

Recognizing that many veterans who fought to defend American justice cannot afford to access it, Alton committed himself to serving the greater good, and advocate for those who need a hand up. Each day presents a new opportunity for Alton to brainstorm with his team of over 15 colleagues at VLI to determine how to best uplift the veteran community.

Providing Business, DVBE. Employment & Educational Opportunities For Veterans

American Family Insurance

American Family Insurance

Leidos Video

lilly

Alight

Alight

Heroes with Hearing loss

Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. Multiple Hire GI Hiring Events During June-December!
    June 21, 2022 - December 8, 2022
  4. San Diego Unified Construction Expo 2022
    July 13, 2022
  5. Business Beyond Barriers Conference + Expo
    July 14, 2022