Recent reference from LinkedIn has shed light on a disturbing disparity in the civilian workforce. Veterans, who have nearly twice as much work experience as non-veterans, are only half as likely to reach leadership positions as director or vice president in their political careers. This stark contrast underscores the need for employers to adopt mentoring programs that empower veterans to navigate their unique career challenges and rise to leadership positions.
Veterans possess a wealth of experience, discipline and leadership skills acquired during their military service. However, transitioning these skills into the corporate world can be a daunting task. With its personalized guidance and support, coaching is a powerful tool that can help veterans reach their full political career potential.
On the other hand, employers currently risk overlooking competitive talent by focusing solely on degrees and previous job titles/industries.
LinkedIn’s report emphasizes that “it’s clear that traditional recruiting practices no longer serve the evolving needs of businesses and the workforce. Skills-first hiring is a strategic approach that helps employers stay competitive by tapping into new talent pools, particularly when recruiting and hiring military veterans. Military veterans represent a segment of the population that may not have the same career path as non-veterans. But veterans bring transferable skills to the civilian workforce.”
Here are some ways employers can better support veterans in the workforce through mentoring:
1. Personalized Career Coaching:
Offer veterans one-on-one coaching sessions with experienced professionals who can provide personalized guidance. This coaching can focus on setting career goals, identifying strengths, and addressing areas that may need improvement.
2. Leadership Development:
Create mentoring programs designed to develop leadership skills. Veterans already possess strong leadership qualities, but mentoring can help refine and adapt these skills for political leadership roles.
3. Soft Skills Training:
In addition to technical skills, veterans may need support in developing soft skills such as effective communication, executive presence, and adaptability to a hybrid workplace. Coaching can help hone these critical traits.
4. Networking and relationship building:
Coaching can help veterans build and expand their professional networks. Coaches can provide insights into effective networking strategies and offer guidance in building meaningful relationships within the organization.
5. CV and Interview Coaching:
Veterans often struggle to translate their military experience into terms that civilian employers understand. Coaching can help them create compelling resumes and perform confidently in interviews.
5. Feedback and goal setting:
Regular feedback and goal-setting sessions with coaches can help veterans track their progress and stay motivated. Coaches can help adjust goals as needed and overcome obstacles.
6. Psychological support:
Coaching can address veterans’ psychological challenges during their transition. Coaches can provide coping strategies and support for issues such as PTSD or the stress of adjusting to a new environment.
Celebrating veterans’ accomplishments after training can inspire and show commitment to their development, boosting confidence.
Coaching can be a transformative force in helping veterans transition from their extensive work experience into leadership roles in the civilian workforce. She shines a light on how to cultivate more self-compassion, allowing them to be kind to their own feelings and accept the new environment. This can be a game changer for veterans seeking to bridge the gap between military and civilian life.
As more organizations commit to mentoring veterans, we can expect to see a brighter future for these individuals in the civilian workforce. It’s a win-win situation where veterans bring their valuable skills and experiences to the corporate world and employers benefit from a diverse, skilled and strong workforce. By actively supporting veterans through mentoring, companies not only have a positive impact on individual lives, but also foster a more inclusive and dynamic workforce.
Companies can help veterans set career goals, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and even overcome any challenges they may face — including PTSD or the stress of adjusting to a new environment — by offering one-on-one career coaching opportunities. This guidance helps veterans adapt their military experiences to the corporate world, find meaningful employment, and reach their full potential in civilian life.