The Missing Social Network


Team, Network, Social

What’s missing in the civilian workforce that our military veterans have come to depend upon?

What Vets Miss Most Is What Most Civilians Fear
Business Insider (NY), November 26, 2013
What rescued her was a stint with AmeriCorps, the federal community service organization, which gave her a job that led to full-time employment with a national nonprofit. AmeriCorps offered my friend three crucial things: a new mission, a new purpose, and a strong, supportive social network in which people were actually invested in one another’s well-being and success.

This article from the Business Insider suggests that a significant element missing from the civilian world for transitioning military veterans is the sense of social connection in all aspects of everyday life.  Where once there was a defining team ethic; where every action of an individual impacted the welfare of the entire team, now individualism and independence are the norm.  What we think of as teamwork or collaboration on specific projects seems anti-social next to the intense interconnectedness of a military squad.

This insightful perspective gives a focus for constructing an effective transition from the military culture to the civilian workforce culture. Individual service men and women may seek opportunities for replacing the strong social network or may be unaware of this potential missing link, but as a program designed to support this transition VetsWork intentionally incorporates this attribute within its very structure.  We are an AmeriCorps program with all of the values of team and cohesion inherent in the national service model.  We train as a group from the outset and throughout the year.  We structure Pod meetings to maintain the group dynamic.  We encourage regular connection through social media and technological strategies.  We know how valuable a sense of connectedness is.  If this article accurately represents the experience of our military veterans, then we know it is even more crucial for VetsWork.  Read this article and let us know what you think.  Look at our VetsWork information in this flyer and this brochure and see for yourself how VetsWork can support this career transition.

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