A Strategic Partnership Gets Veterans in Film Production

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Tyler Perry, winner of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, poses in the press room during the Oscars

Since relocating to the former Fort McPherson Army base in Atlanta in 2015, Tyler Perry Studios has become an even-greater force in the entertainment and commercial production industry, promising enormous employment potential for military veterans in Georgia.

“Cooperation with this powerful studio at the center of Atlanta’s burgeoning place in motion picture, television and commercial production is huge for Vets2Set and provokes us to launch a major recruiting effort in the South,” reports David Cohen, president and co-founder of Vets2Set. “When employers enrolled in our organization search our database to staff a production, we want them to find production assistants matching their every need from Covid Compliance Officers to disciplined and well-trained veterans familiar with electronics, flying drones, driving trucks, security and construction, among other skills. The majority of our veterans live in New York and California, but the opportunities in the South are tremendous now thanks to Tyler Perry.”

Cohen hopes to recruit new candidates in the Atlanta area in part through cooperation with Vetlanta, an organization providing veterans with business networking services.

Chief Operating Officer of Tyler Perry Studios, Robert Boyd II and President of Original Programming, Angi Bones, spoke with Cohen to discuss how Vets2Set operates and within a few days, the studio was signed up and ready to hire.

Tyler Perry Studios occupies 330 acres in the city of Atlanta, offering 12 state-of-the-art sound studios and a large backlot with prepared sets for a baseball field, farmhouse, prison yard, bank and the White House, among others. Creative options are endless, and the opportunity for career development for veterans is extensive. Cooperation with Vets2Set is a logical extension of Tyler Perry’s commitments and successes as a writer, actor, producer, director and philanthropist. Tyler Perry Studios joins more than 200 other employers working with Vets2Set to launch military veterans in civilian careers in production. Other cooperating producers include Walt Disney Television, Warner Brothers, MLB Network, NBCUniversal, RSA Films, Shutterstock Studios and advertising agencies, including BBDO Atlanta.

When staffing a shoot, cooperating producers have access to the contact details and skills profiles of hundreds of military veterans around the country. The Vets2Set database can be searched by zip code, state, city and skills. Producers then hire military veterans to fill already budgeted positions the same way they would hire any other production assistants. The contact between employer and veteran is direct. As a not-for-profit organization, Vets2Set takes no fees for developing and promoting use of its database but rather runs entirely on volunteer labor and donations from corporate sponsors and private donors.

Military veterans and media employers can enroll in this veteran employment program at vets2set.org. For further information contact pbernabeo@vets2set.org.

Source: Vets2Set

It’s Time to Serve Our Veterans

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James Banks of SHRM standing behind chair

By Kimberly Gladden-Eversley

It takes unprecedented bravery to serve in the U.S. military. It also takes courage to walk away from the commitment to sacrifice, service and the only life you may have ever known. Transitioning into the civilian world means removing the camouflage uniform to enter the uncertainties of the civilian workforce. Fighting for freedom, with the opportunity to finally experience freedom, makes this transition sound like a moment of a lifetime. Instead, for many of our active-duty members, this transition is quite daunting.

As countless programs surface in support of veteran transitions, vets continue to face exasperating fear. According to military-transition.org, 48% of veterans found their transition from the military community into the civilian workforce more difficult than expected, 52% found their transition confusing, and 76% found it extremely stressful. Thankfully, veterans who have successfully transitioned have not ended their commitment to serve their country.

James L. Banks, (pictured) a veteran who serves as SHRM’s (Society for Human Resource Management) General Counsel, key lawyer and legal advisor, continues to offer his unwavering dedication to serve without a uniform. During SHRM’s Diversity and Inclusion conference, Banks shared his expertise on transitioning vets and accessibility. “When you want to get out of the military, you’re back in your home, but you feel like you’re not…because so many people around you don’t quite get it,” said James L. Banks. “What you’ve been through and what your perspective is, and what you can bring to the table in this new civilian environment,” he continued.

Military members are not walking away empty-handed; they walk away with valuable skills that can enhance the civilian workplace. “When I was on active duty, it was only afterward that I began to understand the analytical abilities and skills that I picked up,” said Banks. “I can tell you from having both been in the military and lots of different jobs in the civilian sector, how much we would pay to have an employee go through leadership, training, management and develop those skills,” he continued. “Like almost everybody coming out of the military already has… you’ve been practicing every single day…we would spend good money, in the civilian world to put somebody through that.

SHRM has created a military job translator that will interpret veteran service skills for job opportunities nationwide. Active-duty members can translate the skills they’ve gathered during their mission-based commitment to the armed forces easier now than ever before. This tool also provides a candidate database for employers who are looking for qualified veterans actively searching for jobs. “We’ve got lots of excellent toolboxes that will help employers in that regard; the SHRM foundation is sort of leading the effort in that,” said Banks. “One of which is as simple as…a translator for military specialties… it will also help to identify some of the soft skills that that person has,” he continued.

Internships and various informal job opportunities are also available to military personnel as they complete their final years of service. Providing opportunities for active-duty and civilian employers to collaborate, bridge the gap, increase familiarity and ease the transition. Although entering the unknown is part of the challenge, Banks suggests changing the focus and lens through which employers and military members see themselves as the greater obstacle to overcome.

The military community has received continuous praise for their hard skills, but it’s time to recognize their exceptional soft skills too. “They look at a military infantry officer; what can he do here at this company?” said Banks. “What he can do is lead your workforce and manage your workforce in a way that you’ve been spending thousands of dollars to send frontline leaders to courses and classes about how to lead,” he continued.

Removing barriers to improve accessibility takes recognizing the skills and values only a veteran who has carried the country on their shoulders can possess. “I think of the…barrier to access as sort of a thin curtain in front of all of these great abilities and talents…so our job is to understand that thin curtain is there and find a way to move it to the side,” said Banks. “When you’ve gone through training that is required for any length of any tour of duty…you can do almost anything, there’s nothing that’s beyond you, there’s no limit.”

Photo Credit: KIMBERLY GLADDEN-EVERSLEY

Leveraging Honor and Respect to Improve Recruitment and Retention

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Larry Broughton in business suit arms folded and smiling

By Larry Broughton

Leaders struggle with securing, maintaining and exporting one product more than any other: respect. This is due in no small part to our current cultural mindset, which is counter industrious.

Our media declares the “little guy,” the marginalized majority, to be the constant victim of tyrannical bosses, teachers, owners and basically anyone else in a leadership role. The modern American distrusts leadership, at best, and resents leadership, at worst. So, how does a leader actually recruit, retain and lead people who consider themselves victims? The answer is found in the core values of honor and respect. Leaders, not employees, are responsible for setting the standard and the pace of the values.

In setting the standard, leaders must recognize and respect the time, energy and effort of those around them. This requires listening, thinking and approaching people as if they are just that — people. Most bad leadership comes from a soured mindset toward followership. Many in management positions have had enough of trying to be kind, supportive and considerate; eventually, they just want results: productivity, plain and simple. The problem with that mindset is evident: people are not cogs in the machines of a leader’s choosing. They are individuals with strengths and weaknesses, good days and bad, dreams and limitations. They cannot be demoted to the level of a cog — that logic is just as faulty as the aforementioned “little guy syndrome.”

Those in management and leadership positions must look at their followers and realize their own job is to optimize their employees’ potential to succeed, not simply fume as they seem to maximize their ability to fail. Many resistant followers have never shared respect with a leader in their lifetime and are not properly equipped to start any time soon. This is the first challenge of leadership: see “employees” as “team members” and draw the potential out of them. Do this by taking the first step. Establishing a standard of respect will not only enable your followers to fulfill their potential, but it will also cause the majority of them to respond in kind.

Regarding pace, leaders have to acknowledge that the process of gaining, sustaining and expanding respect and converting that into a productive and tenured team member is usually lengthy and arduous. To unwrap a pessimistic employee from their cynical cocoon is no small feat. Again, the antidote is simple, free and readily available: respect. It begins at the top and works its way down, not the other way around.

Leadership requires us to control the flow of respect and to drive it into every hour and corner of our organization. Once it does, it breeds a culture of honor, and anyone who enters it will either rise due to its effects or leave quickly. Many leaders will see this step as futile and counterintuitive. “Employees respect me because I am the boss. If they earn my respect, then so be it.” That mindset may have worked well enough in generations past; however, modern followers do not subscribe to this logic, so it simply won’t work today. Respect them first and farthest; then coach them up or coach them out if they do not meet the standard. By taking the first and farthest step, a good leader will completely eliminate excuses and tolerable failures — followers, will either meet the pace of respect set by the leader or find another placement.

Many view leadership as passionless and visionless. They see managers as the ultimate cogs in an even larger machine. To reverse this mindset, leaders must seek to see the value of every team member and offer honor, respect and understanding even before it’s deserved or earned. Some followers will buck this treatment and run — their presence is undesirable anyway. Some will respond almost instantly with loyalty and trust — these people were most likely conditioned for work by whoever reared them and will make excellent team members. Most will come around slowly but treat their leaders more fairly because they recognize the goodwill the leader has extended them first. This style of leadership does require considerable effort at first; nevertheless, working smarter and accomplishing more is certainly preferable to leading a group of maligned, untrusting misfits to merely adequate performance.

Now, take rapid action and go do something significant today.

Larry Broughton is a former U.S. Army Green Beret, best-selling author, award-winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker and leadership mentor. TheLarryBroughton.com

Photo credit: Westover Photography

The “Stable Job” Myth

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veteran standing outside convention center wearing a suit carrying a briefcase

By Paul Peng

We all want predictability and stability in our lives; who doesn’t? The sad truth is that we are not living in the post-boom period of World War II, where individuals can work in the same job for 40 years and then retire with a company-sponsored pension and a Rolex.

In our modern-day environment, we live in a fast-paced society where corporate job security is a thing of the past. There is no such thing as a “stable job” in corporate America; here’s why.

Placing Your Faith in Your Employer

Let’s get something straight right out of the gate. Businesses are just that, businesses. They are run by people that must juggle all the complexities of the entrepreneurial machine and the mistakes (sometimes massive ones) that the owners and C-suite executives can make. You may have done nothing wrong but may be laid off out of necessity due to poor decision(s) made by your employer. Remember that the number one goal is the survival of the company, not the people that work for them.

Tenure Doesn’t Mean What It Used To

Tenure in corporate America is essentially dead. Why? Tenured employees are usually the highest paid, and during recessions, employers start asking if the salary they are paying these tenured employees is worth it. Are these employees still providing good value for the money they are being paid? Or can I bring in a younger, higher-energy but perhaps an inexperienced person with half the salary and train them up? According to an article published by Indeed in February of 2021, one of the most common tenure traps is performance complacency, meaning you do just enough to get by, and the quality of your work diminishes. So, reinventing yourself or being consistently engaged with the company’s goals will help you get away from the chopping block.

Job Insecurity

We have all been there. If your company is acquired by another, depending on your position, your role (especially in mid to upper management) may be eliminated as new companies generally like to bring on their own people. Or perhaps your boss with whom you have a good working relationship leaves, thus taking away any protection you had, leaving you vulnerable to a new boss. Don’t you just love office politics?

Adapt or Die

In the era of employment fluidity, our natural ability to respond to our changing environment allows us to succeed. You must be aware of making the necessary adjustments. Start with the mindset that you are a free agent. By promoting yourself and making yourself more valuable to your employer and potential future opportunities, you may find yourself in a better position with a higher salary. Another tip is to become an expert in the next wave of technology. As we continue to evolve as a civilization, staying current with the latest technology trends can only help you.

So, get after it!

Tips for Transitioning to a Fulfilling Civilian Career

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Todd Stiles talking with soldiers next to semi truck

By Todd Skiles

My service in the military was rewarding and invaluable to my development not only as a professional but as a man and an American. It gave me life lessons, a support system and an inner strength that few experiences could replicate.

Returning from active duty can feel a bit like starting back at square one. But if you understand how your time in the military sets you ahead of the pack, you can go from strength to strength in your transition to civilian life. In the corporate world, veterans have the skills that are needed across different fields and industries.

When I first stepped into a management trainee role with Ryder System, Inc., I never expected it would evolve into a successful career in logistics and transportation solutions spanning decades at the company. Over the years, I’ve learned tips and strategies that I believe each transitioning serviceman or -woman can use to set them on the path to success.

Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable

No plan survives first contact with the enemy. But in civilian life, no plan survives the opportunities and challenges of finding a job, a house, a car or obtaining further education. That’s why preparation — learning about your options and taking stock of your military career — can position you to handle whatever life throws at you.

Before you even begin to think about signing your discharge papers, you should familiarize yourself with the vast array of resources for transitioning servicemen and -women. One example is the Transition Assistance Program the Department of Veterans Affairs offers. Your post-military support system is extensive. From the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program to the hundreds of private sector initiatives that recruit and train veterans to the totality of your VA education and training benefits, understanding your unique opportunities is the first step toward success.

Ryder’s Pathway Home program is another great example: The 12-week technician training course gives participating soldiers hands-on diesel technician training during their final days of service. Service members who complete the program are offered employment.

Next, you should take the time to lay out everything you’ve accomplished in your service career — basic training, any courses and certificates, your awards or recognition, plus any deployments or missions you’ve been a part of. It may be helpful to put each experience on its own notecard. On the back, write the names of commanders or teammates you worked alongside, their contact information and a list of the skills or qualities you demonstrated in that experience.

Taking stock of your service career can help you determine your strengths, weaknesses, interests and skills. It may also help you understand where you can provide unique value in the civilian workforce. Most importantly, it may help you tell your story to prospective employers. Watch how quickly your cover letters write themselves!

Know your worth and your values

As you begin your job search, do not underestimate the qualities you convey through your military service. Even values as fundamental as honor and trustworthiness can be worth their weight in gold to prospective employers. In my role in sales and solutions, for instance, my military service translated to confidence in my ability to engage with people honestly, in good faith and with my full commitment to their success.

With sought-after attributes like loyalty, dependability, leadership, teamwork, attention to deadlines and detail, and the ability to make critical decisions under pressure, employers recognize that veterans are an immense asset to their teams. And for veterans, I also think it’s essential to search for and find the right culture that values the same things we value.

My military training served as a springboard in my development as a leader, enabling me to rise through sales and sales leadership positions within Ryder over the past 34 years. Today, I report directly to the president of our division and our chief sales officer with sales goals of just under half a billion dollars and a team of 100 sales professionals and support staff in three countries.

The key is understanding your unique value and the tangible and intangible skills you can leverage in the next phase of your life. That’s why I always urge veterans to think outside the borders of their military occupational specialty (MOS) beyond their direct experience and help their prospective employer understand their immeasurable worth as part of their team.

The only easy day was yesterday

Taking that first job, that first class, that first mentorship opportunity after your service can be daunting. Will the opportunity meet your expectations? Will people relate to you?

The unity and camaraderie of military service do not have to end when you step into civilian life: I encourage you to seek out opportunities where you can have a shared sense of purpose with your team and your employer. Many companies have veterans-only resource groups, trainee classes, as well as group chats and Slack channels where you can ask questions and get advice. Ryder, for instance, has a Veteran Buddy program that pairs veterans already employed at the company with new veteran hires. This adds a layer of support that can help ease the onboarding process and transition to civilian life.

When I was 26 and serving in Desert Storm as a company commander in a war zone, I was ordered to pull together resources from all five units in my battalion and lead a convoy of over 200 transportation assets through Iraq. Although I look more like a PowerPoint Ranger these days, traveling between warehouses, customer locations and Ryder logistics centers, my fundamental mission to serve people hasn’t wavered. You may find that you, too, can carry that purpose into civilian life.

Todd Skiles is the Senior Vice President of Sales for Supply Chain Solutions (SCS) and Dedicated Transportation Solutions (DTS) at Ryder System, Inc., focused on matching Ryder’s solutions with the real and vital needs of customers. Todd is responsible for overseeing the sales and solutions team for SCS and DTS. Under his leadership, sales revenue has grown by more than 130% and sales productivity has doubled.

Former NFL Seahawk, Dave DesRochers’ The 1st & Goal Project Screens Movie: MVP

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panel of five onstage discussing the movie promo behind them

By Danielle Jackola

“On the streets of Hollywood, a recently retired NFL player is saved from scandal by a homeless veteran suffering from PTSD. With their ‘glory days’ behind them both, the two men bond in search of real purpose and identity. Inspired by actual events, MVP dramatizes the formation of Merging Vets & Players and features both military veterans and former professional athletes in front of and behind the camera” (@MVPtheMovie).

PHOTO: Christina Ochoa, Mo McRae, Margarita Reyes, MJ Acosta-Ruiz and Nate Boyer attend FilmRise’s MVP Red Carpet Premiere at AMC The Grove 14 in Los Angeles. The film, inspired by true events, is a raw portrayal of navigating the transition to life outside the uniform. Co-written by Nate Boyer, a Green Beret, former Seattle Seahawk and producer, MVP takes viewers on a journey into the intersecting lives of former NFL player Will Phillips portrayed by Mo McRae and Zephyr, portrayed by Boyer, and introduces viewers to the organization, Merging Vets & Players.

Merging Vets & Players

Boyer and Fox Sports insider Jay Glazer founded Merging Vets & Players in 2015. As a veteran and former NFL player, Boyer understands the unique experiences of veterans and professional athletes and how they can support each other. Glazer, a long-time television personality and sports reporter, has trained numerous athletes and co-owns The Unbreakable Performance Center in West Hollywood, California with former Chicago Bears’ linebacker, Brian Urlacher and U.S. Women’s Volleyball Captain, Lindsey Berg.

The organization shares that, “MVP empowers combat veterans and former professional athletes by connecting them after the uniform comes off; providing them with a new team to assist with transition, promote personal development, and show them they are never alone.” The nonprofit offers programs in eight cities plus virtually and boasts 2,000+ participants and over 9,965 program hours offered. There are many ways to get involved as a member, donor and partner. Find more information at vetsandplayers.org.

Screening

The 1st & Goal Project and Merging Vets & Players invited U.S. Veterans Magazine to a recent benefit screening of MVP (the movie) in Laguna Niguel, California. This fantastic film is not to be missed! Prior to the screening, attendees mingled, shared stories and enjoyed the photo opps. We are grateful for Dave DesRochers, Nate Boyer and everyone who organized the event, and the veterans, former NFL players and supporters who attended in support of this thought provoking and inspiring movie.

After the screening, several of the actors and the founder of 1st & Goal Project, DesRochers, spoke with the audience and explained their connection to the story and the nonprofit MVP. Viewers had an opportunity to ask questions and several veterans in attendance were moved to tears and shared how the film resonated with them.

The 1st & Goal Project

two men and a woman hold U.S. Veterans Magazines, smiling
(L-R) Nate Boyer, star of MVP, Danielle Jackola, senior editor of U.S. Veterans Magazine and Dave DesRochers, founder of The 1st & Goal Project, attend the MVP screening in Laguna Niguel, California.
DesRochers, former offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks, is deeply committed to philanthropy including veteran-related causes. He is the vice president of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) in Orange County, California and the founder of The 1st & Goal Project.

The 1st & Goal Project is hosting its inaugural Celebrity & Veteran Golf Invitational on Monday, March 20th at the beautiful Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club in Coto de Caza, California in support of veterans and veteran support groups: CarePossible, Veteran Legal Institute, Patriots & Paws, MVP and The 1st & Goal Project. Nestled in Orange County, the private, 36-hole country club is the perfect venue for the event. Join DesRochers and club sponsors, Pat and Kathy Aitro for a memorable day of golf, the chance to meet numerous celebrities and to impact the veteran-focused organizations benefitting from the event. To get involved, email dave@the1standgoalproject.com.

Photos courtesy of Olivia Sullivan @oliviasullivanphoto

OPERATION H.I.T.–Heroes in Transition

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operation hit logo with eagle and flag

There are thousands of people leaving active duty every month, and those people are looking for a new career that allows them to fulfill their own purpose.

The Data Center industry is projecting a shortage of over 250,000 professionals by 2025.

The MISSION of Operation HIT is to bring the transitioning veterans that are looking for a new purpose together with the data center companies that have demands for selfless leaders to contribute to culture and execution.

When we can align talented veterans with businesses that see their value, we can solve the threat of labor shortages in the data center industry while simultaneously reducing the suicide rate among veterans by giving them meaningful careers that have significance and purpose.

 

 

West Coast Tour
Golf Tournament & Hiring Conference
March 28th & 29th, 2023
San Diego, CA

EAST Coast Tour
Norfolk, Virginia, Date: TBD
South Tour – Austin, TX, Date: TBD

For more information visit, https://operationhit.com/

Top Questions to Expect in a Job Interview

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hiring manager shaking hands with a newly hired veteran

Job interviews consist of two types of questions — questions about you and questions about what you know. The latter type, knowledge questions, are usually related to the particular requirements of the job you’re applying for and are very specific. Here are the top questions to expect:

Tell me about yourself.

This may be your best opportunity to highlight what you believe are your most important characteristics related to the job. Maybe you have a passion for a particular part of the position. For example, “In my previous role as a customer service representative, I enjoyed helping people solve their problems.” Or maybe you were recognized for a special talent. For example, “I won several awards for training new employees at my last job.”

You may also consider explaining large resume gaps when responding to this question. If you’ve decided to disclose your disability during the interview, you can explain medical leave. You can also use this as a chance to talk about any hobbies or volunteer work you pursued during the employment gap that helped you build your skills and gain experience.

Why are you interested in this position?

Before your interview, learning more about the company or the job is prudent. Is there something about the job requirements that you think is a good fit for your strengths? Maybe your skill set aligns well with the job tasks or company goals. Perhaps it’s their reputation for how well they treat their employees. Answering this question with facts about the company or the job tells the interviewer that you care enough to have done your homework.

What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?

Talking about your assets can be tricky. Make sure you’ve thought about how your strengths will relate to the job requirements and come up with an example of how you’ve used your skills.

If the interviewer asks about a weakness, indicate that you’ve thought about that question and identify a particular trait that will not affect the job position. For example, if you’re applying for a programming position, acknowledging that you aren’t a skilled public speaker may not hurt your chances if the job doesn’t require public speaking. It is also good to mention what you are doing to address your weakness or provide an example of how you learned from it.

Why are you the best person for this position?

As you prepare for the interview, reread the job description to see how your skills match the job requirements and responsibilities. During the interview, discuss how you’ve used the same skills in previous jobs or had similar duties during training, volunteer work or internships. As you detail why your background is a good match for the position, explain what excites you about the job and how you think you can make a difference for the company.

Can you tell me about a time when you faced a challenge and how you handled it?

Many employers use this question to seek concrete examples of skills and experiences that relate directly to the position. This type of question is based on the idea that your success in the past is a good gauge of your success in the future.

It may be hard to answer a question like this “on the spot,” so take some time before your interview to prepare. Think of an actual situation you faced that had a successful outcome. Describe the situation and give details on what you did and why. Then describe how it turned out. You may even want to add what you learned from the experience and how you might apply that to future challenges.

Do you have any questions for me?

It’s always a good idea to have a few questions prepared to ask the interviewer. It allows you to learn more about the position and responsibilities, the person interviewing you and the company. It also shows the interviewer that you’re enthusiastic about the job. However, this is not the time to ask about salary or benefits. Instead, ask questions about the company or position to demonstrate your interest.

Keep in mind that an interview helps hiring managers determine that your skills and experience match well with the responsibilities of the job, but also that your personality would fit well with the other employees on the team. Preparing to answer questions about yourself and your professional experience may help you feel confident and leave a lasting impression during your next interview.

Consider practicing your responses with family members and friends. Going over your answers with someone else may help you find a more conversational tone and cadence, which can help you relax when answering questions during an interview.

Source: Ticket to Work

Job Hunting Strategies as a Seasoned Veteran

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Does it sometimes seem like your age or experience is working against you in your job search? Some employers may have reservations, but many see that hiring and retaining older workers will be vital to staying competitive, especially if you’re a veteran. Whether you’re considering a new job in the same field or looking to make a career switch, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Don’t Let the Bias Stop You

Many older workers perceive that they are passed up for jobs, promotions or pay raises because of their age. This practice is not only illegal but simply untrue. As a veteran, you are a hot commodity on the job market. Often, veterans are considered valuable employees in the workplace as they tend to hold advanced skills in management, organization, task fulfillment, punctuality, adaptability, commitment and team-building.

You likely have plenty of skills, knowledge and work experience that employers seek. You also may have a mature sense of what you value — and don’t value — in your career. Remember that you have an essential skillset and are entitled to help from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if you face such discrimination. Take advantage of free in-person assistance.

Update Your Resume

It is imperative for experienced workers to custom-fit their resumes for each job opening. Two decades or more of professional skills is a lot to draw from. When your resume is filled with extensive experience and military service, it can be hard to know what to work on. However, employers won’t sift through it to find the gems. Instead, analyze your skills and emphasize those related to the job you are applying for. Minimize or even drop off minimally related work history. Tips you may want to include in your updated resume include:

  • Write a combination resume to emphasize skills and accomplishments and downplay the length of your career. Cluster your skills under three or four categories relevant to the open position: leadership, teamwork, innovation, computer skills, communication skills, supervisory skills and so on. Briefly list your employment history for the past 1-15 years, citing two to three significant accomplishments for each job.
  • List where you went to college or completed job training and any degrees you’ve earned, but not the years you received them.
  • Leave out irrelevant jobs you’ve held, particularly those from more than 15 years ago.
  • Include your social media accounts (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.) in the contact information on your resume. Potential employers and networking contacts increasingly use these to identify and learn about job seekers.

Utilize Veterans Job Search Networks

As a veteran, you have access to the Veterans Employment Center (VEC), the federal government’s single authoritative internet source for connecting transitioning service members, veterans and their families to meaningful career opportunities. The VEC is the first government-wide product that brings together a reputable cadre of public and private employers with real job opportunities. It provides transitioning service members, veterans and their families with the tools to translate their military skills into plain language and build a profile that can be shared — in real-time — with employers who have made a public commitment to hire veterans.

Through the VA, you can access job search tools and career opportunities that may not be available to the rest of the public. Websites you can utilize to help you with your employment search:

  • The VEC lists upcoming veteran career fairs: va.gov/careers-employment
  • USAJOBS houses all federal employment listings: usajobs.gov
  • S. Department of Treasury offers job opportunities and non-paid internship opportunities to wounded warriors and veterans: treasury.gov/careers/Pages/veterans.aspx
  • VAforVets includes job listings at the Department of Veterans Affairs: vaforvets.va.gov

Remember, you can visit your local VA for more information about job opportunities and career help.

Take Advantage of Free In-Person Assistance

Along with the assistance you can receive through veteran-specific programs, you can get in-person support through programs sponsored by the Department of Labor. You can also access free job search assistance at your local American Job Center.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) serves low-income, unemployed seniors. It helps subsidize part-time employment and training in community service positions that can lead to unsubsidized, private-sector jobs. There are several locations across the country. Find your closest location at careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/EmploymentAndTraining/find-older-worker-programs.aspx.

 

Utilize Job Banks for Older Workers

Job banks are websites where job seekers can search and apply for job openings online. They are sometimes called job boards. Some trustworthy job boards available to older job seekers include:

  • AARP.org
  • com
  • com
  • com
  • org

Remember, a legitimate job board will never ask for payment to search their database and won’t ask for your social security or national ID number online. Finding work can be difficult, but it is never impossible. Utilize your resources, and good luck!

Sources: CareerOneStop, Department of Veterans Affairs, Military.com

The Navy SEAL Approach to Persistence, Resilience and Success

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man at desk giving thumbs up towards computer screen

By Jeff Haden

Success never comes down to just one thing. Intelligence, talent, experience, education and even luck all play their part. But often, what separates success from failure is perseverance. Keep going, and you still have a chance to succeed; quit, and all hope of success is lost.

Even so, when things get difficult, and the odds of success seem bleak, doubt naturally sets in and slowly — although sometimes very quickly — drains away your willpower, determination and motivation.

And then you quit. Which means you failed. (At least in this instance.)

That’s why most people try to push away self-doubt. They know that confidence is key. So, they put their blinders on, stay positive, stay focused…until that moment when a challenge straw breaks the confidence camel’s back, and doubt, as it inevitably does when you try to accomplish something difficult, creeps in.

So how do you avoid self-doubt? You don’t.

Doubt is normal. Doubt is part of the process. We all question whether we will actually accomplish something difficult while we’re doing it.

As retired Navy SEAL Sean Haggerty told me, there’s a big difference between doubt and failure:

“Don’t confuse doubting yourself with accepting failure. The best thing I did was to decide that I was going to go to the absolute extreme, even if I doubted myself. I basically told myself that no matter what, I wouldn’t quit. I doubted myself a number of times, but then I put [it] away and thought, ‘If I fail, I fail…but what I will never do is quit.’”

That attitude pushes you past a limit you think you have…but you really don’t.

Instead, doubt is just a sign of difficulty. Doubt doesn’t mean you can’t do something or won’t do something. Doubt just means you need to figure out a way to keep going.

One way, especially when you feel overwhelmed, is to keep your world small. According to Andy Stumpf, a retired Navy SEAL and SEAL instructor, there are two ways to approach the BUD/S (SEAL training) program:

  • One is to see it as a 180-day program and, by extension, to see Hell Week — the defining event of the program — as a five-day ordeal. (Hell Week typically starts Sunday evening and ends on Friday afternoon; candidates get about two hours of sleep on Wednesday.)
  • The other is to just think about your next meal.

As Stumpf says:

“They have to feed you every six hours. So, if I can stack six hours on six hours on six hours and just focus on getting to the next meal, it doesn’t matter how much I’m in pain, doesn’t matter how cold I am. If I can just get to the next meal, get a mental reprieve and mental reset, then I can go on. If you can apply that resilience to setting and approaching your goals from digestible perspectives, you can accomplish an insane amount.”

When you’re in the middle of Hell Week, and you’re cold, exhausted and sleep-deprived, making it through the next few days seems impossible. It’s too long. Too daunting. Too overwhelming. No amount of self-talk can overcome that level of doubt.

Stumpf knew that. He knew he couldn’t imagine making it through five days.

But he could imagine making it to his next meal, which turned a major doubt into a small doubt.

Doubt was just a sign he needed to figure out a way to keep going. And he did.

See self-doubt not as a sign that you should quit but as a natural part of the process. See self-doubt as a sign that you need to adapt, innovate or optimize. Not as a sign that you should consider quitting but as an early warning sign indicating it’s time to figure out a way to keep going before those doubts grow so large that you do quit.

Doubting yourself? That just means you’re trying to accomplish something difficult.

So, see doubt as a good thing because doubt is a natural step on the road to success.

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

Best Tech Majors for High Paying Jobs

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Your military service has prepared you for a lot. You have a desirable skillset that can be used in any work environment, you’re entitled to generous financial aid, and you have a perspective that can positively contribute to the workforce.

What’s the best career for you to apply your skills?

If you’re one of the many veterans looking to return to school but unsure about what major to pick, consider majoring in a tech field. Tech jobs are not only high-paying, diverse, secure and consistently growing, but these fields have experience in veteran hiring and recruiting practices.

Here are some of the most popular tech majors for veterans:

Computer and Information Technology:
Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to create, process, store, retrieve and exchange all kinds of data and information. Employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

Popular Information Technology Careers:
■ IT Analyst
■ IT Technician
■ Data Scientist
■ Systems Analyst
Those in the information technology field make an average salary of about $97,430, which is higher than the median annual wage for all occupations by about $52,000.

Web Development:
Web developers create and maintain websites. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. Web developers may also create content for the site. Jobs in this field are expected to grow by 13 percent, about double the average rate for all other occupations.

Popular Web Development Careers:
■ Digital Design
■ Application Developer
■ Computer Programming
■ Front-End and Back-End Development
■ Webmaster
Web designers make an average of about $77,200 per year.

Database Management:
Database administrators and architects create or organize systems to store and secure a variety of data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They also make sure that the data is available to authorized users. Most big-name companies utilize database administration, offering employment at companies of all backgrounds and environments. Jobs in this field are growing at a steady rate of about eight percent.

Popular Database Management Careers:
■ Database Engineer
■ Database Manager
■ Cybersecurity
■ Security Engineer
The average salary for database management is about $98,860 per year.

Software Development:
Software developers create computer applications that allow users to do specific tasks and the underlying systems that run devices or control networks. They create, maintain and upgrade software to meet the needs of their clients. Jobs in this field are growing extremely fast at about 22 percent.

Popular Software Development Careers:
■ Software Engineer
■ Full-stack Developer
■ Quality Assurance Analyst
■ App Developer
■ System Software Developer
The average salary for software development is about $110,140 per year.

Sources: Indeed.com, BLS,

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