You’ve probably seen the commercials, the newspapers, online posts, and a million other things stating that companies want to hire veterans. You might ask why these companies want to hire you? You’ve probably heard because veterans are responsible, leaders, and have integrity. You might have also heard that companies want to hire veterans because “it’s the right thing to do”.
A pity party is a party that I never want to attend.
Companies will even set up online seminars, have booths at military and veterans job fairs, and will even establish their own nicely titled veterans employment initiatives.
All of this is being done, not because you, or I, or any other veteran hold some secret key to business success that all of these companies are trying to leverage us for, but because veterans and those in the military have become a pillar upon which companies can obtain great PR.
Don’t take this the wrong way, but we all need to get over ourselves at some point.
Look I’m not going to say that our time in the military doesn’t matter. I’m not going to tell you that your experience in war is barely translatable to a corporate recruiter. I’m not even going to try to impress upon you the fact that the majority of the corporate world in America looks down upon those of us who enlisted.
I’ll let the world do that. Work smarter, not harder.
But wait, you’re probably thinking, “we’ve read the Inveterate Veteran's previous posts before, how can you be making these statements?”
Easy, I’ve heard the schpiel too many times and I’ve seen the results. Look, I’m not saying that a company isn’t going to want to hire you because you’re a veteran. What I’m telling you is that companies are made up of people, most of whom have never worn a uniform and can’t understand the value that veterans can bring to a position because they don’t understand what you have done in the military. But most importantly, for many of us who have only served our country, the military neither taught us things nor gave us opportunities that the private sector values. And that my friends, in a nutshell, is why these veteran hiring initiatives are a hoax. Not because companies have any ill intent,
Good PR is nothing to be ashamed of.
but rather because they are promising you hope when there is only a sliver of it to be had. Are there some companies out there that have programs that actively recruit veterans? Sure. Are there some recruiters out there who are willing to give veterans a pass on some of the experience requirements? Absolutely. Are either in the majority? Not really. Are recruiters and companies willing to hire someone without the relevant skill-sets or experience of their civilian peers? Probably not.
Companies are here to make money and want you to be able to start making money for them the minute you join their organization.
Now look, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t any hope. This also doesn’t mean that with time, education, training, and experience in the civilian sector that you wont be able to leverage the veteran community to find a job. This is just a wake up call. If you think that you are going to get out of the military and then hop into a position of similar authority or similar pay, without having gained the similar experiences of your civilian peers, I’m here to tell you, that you are living in a pipe dream.
A dream that is fueled by those newspapers, blog posts, military career programs, and all of those companies with “veteran initiatives”.
So what can we as veterans do about it? Well that’s an article for another time.