Disclosure: Travel expenses to and from the taping of Take Part Live were comped by Pivot and Monster. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced.
According to a recent Washington Post Veterans Day article, the unemployment rate for Post 9/11 Veterans is at an all time high at a staggering 10 percent. Why is that you ask? You would think with all the resources available at their finger tips, that most Veteran’s would have job offers being thrown at them left and right! But, it’s not quite as simple as one may think.
What’s going on, and why is this even happening? I have a few ideas. First, as someone who is married to a Veteran who recently transitioned from Active Duty to Guard and who also has a plethora of family and friends who are veterans, I’ve been able to glean a few common reasons why the process of transition, attaining a job post service, is much harder than what it appears.
- This may surprise many, but I find that the biggest issue is just anxiety, and well…intimidation. Think about it: The military is a very black and white environment. You receive a direct order, and execute said order. Tasks are regimented, as well as office hierarchy. In the civilian sector, we tend to deal with a lot of gray. Even the basic way we communicate, our lexicon is completely different than military jargon. Figuring out how to even begin to translate “proficient with an M-16 rifle” into something a bit more civilian world friendly can be quite the task for many service members.
From the outside in, the civilian world can sometimes appear to be a maze of epic proportions. Another observation I’ve made is that majority of service members began their careers either post high school, or between the ages of 18-23. During this time, many civilians are either already out in the workforce, or in academia. So by the time they are say, mid-20’s and beyond, they are quite familiar with the, (sometimes bumpy) process of job hunting, and have honed in on exactly what potential employers are looking for. Whereas someone who has been in a strictly military environment, may struggle with even the basic idea of creating and uploading a resume.
1.Another issue is of course PTSD. It is incredibly hard, to not only transition from a warzone, getting used to your role at home again, (for instance learning how to drive without looking for IEDS on the highway, having a full night of sleep without waking up, or just getting back into the routine in your household. Now you have the added stress of how you are going to provide for you and your family. That is a ton of pressure, and I’m not at all surprised that many veterans simply just become exhausted, and just opt out of the whole job process altogether. Now I’m not saying that’s the way to go, but I do think it’s important to understand that what may seem simple to us, can be difficult, and we should not make veterans feel like that there is something wrong with them for this.
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