Making “Thank you for your service” Mean More

Veterans were everywhere at DreamForce, and as a veteran myself it felt almost like a bit of a homecoming.

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Me in my Miss-spent Youth

At the end of 2012, I retired from the Navy after 20 years of service.  I went to college on my GI Bill and finally earned my degree, and freshly credentialed up I bounced into the job market all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

 

Only about 7% of the population today are veterans, and most estimates put those of us who served in Iraq or Afghanistan at less than 1% of the population… So it’s easy to feel isolated and misunderstood.  Making the transition to the nonprofit sphere felt like a natural choice; after all, it’s swapping one form of service for another, right?  It turned out to be so much more difficult than I had ever anticipated.  Because so few people serve, myths and misconceptions abound about military culture and skills.

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Graduation Day, 2015

Yet again, Trailhead to the rescue!  In collaboration with Vetforce, Trailhead has released the Military Veteran Recruitment Strategy module, and after completing it today, I can absolutely recommend hiring managers check it out.  It’s a great primer to military life, challenges vets have in finding their second careers, the values they bring to those careers, and how you can help.

Most experts estimate that around 200,000 veterans are leaving the service each year, and the represent an amazing untapped resource.  I challenge the leaders out there to get educated and reach out to these highly skilled, focused, and service-oriented potential employees.  We have a lot to offer!