There is a lot of chatter about this transition from the military culture to a civilian culture. There are a number of research studies on the matter (see this from Pew Research among many more). Books have been written like “The Military to Civilian Transition Guide” by Savino and Krannich. There are also numerous resources for support on the internet (Real Warriors). Without intentional planning, though, this transition remains largely unsupported.
There are many factors that will determine success for our returning heroes, but one of the largest indicators seems to be tied to a community of supports. Religion was identified in the Pew Research study as a key indicator of success. This highlights the need for a community that is available as a system of supports for a wide range of transitional barriers. One of those barriers is adjusting to civilian workplace culture and expectations. This can be a barrier from both sides of the fence. Veterans may struggle to adjust to the civilian workplace environment. Employers may not understand the military ethic and highly trained strategies. In either case, it is a matter of understanding and communication that makes the difference.[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IosfihzcvzA[/youtube]
Additionally, that community of supports is essential in supporting specific needs as they arise. Being able to identify when help is needed is the first step. Helping to locate resources is essential. Whether it is post-traumatic stress, medical benefits, childcare, or military benefits a strong support system is essential to successful transition. We know that our returning veterans have developed a strong reliance on a team. That’s been their life in the military. The civilian environment is very different. It becomes very isolating.
At the Mt. Adams Institute, we have designed VetsWork to be that system of supports. We intentionally structure training for veterans and supervisors to create common understanding of this transition. We build in team structures that include other veterans to connect with on a regular basis. We connect with state and federal support agencies to ensure veterans are getting the services and benefits they need. We work with specialists in the field of military to civilian transitions to better understand the issues and make sure we’re prepared to be there for our members. VetsWork is that community of supports that the research says is so important. Our mission is to make the transition a seamless and effective process. We want to be more than just a job opportunity. We want to be a powerful resource in transitioning to a new and exciting career after the military.
Log on to our website at www.mtadamsinstitute.com/programs to see how VetsWork has been designed to support veterans and natural resource agencies looking to hire them. Also, visit the jobs page at www.mtadamsinstitute.com/jobs to see what internships are available. Get started on your new career with VetsWork. We’re here for you.