But those companies aren’t hiring a charity case (because that’s a pretty crappy business model) – instead, they hire vets because vets know how to kick a$* and help a business grow. For folks that have never hired or worked with a prior military person before, here are the top 7 reasons vets can help your business grow.
1. Vets are used to figuring out a lot when given a little. The last time you heard about budget cuts, what area were they in? That’s right, the defense budget. By the time the money gets down to your individual soldier, sailor, airman, or marine, there isn’t a ton of it. We grew up learning how to get everything done on a very tight budget. Ingenuity and thriftiness are requirements.
2. Max flexibility. We switch jobs every 2-3 years, adjust to the enemy even more frequently, and shift in the direction our seniors tell us to every day. We embrace flexibility and know how to recognize both good and needless change.
3. Innate understanding of leadership and management. When I graduated college, I arrived at my first ship and was given 15 people to lead and a budget of almost $1 million to manage. At 22, I had a lot of leadership to learn very quickly.
4. How to be a team player. One man will never win the war. Vets understand this and have experience working on teams of all sizes. Even if the vet isn’t the best technical expert, they know how to help a team deliver needed results on time.
5. Fun to have around. We are hilarious! Just ask us. Because of #4, we know that positive team dynamics require us to be able to engage and get maximum output from all different personality types.
6. Can learn a TON in a short time. Every time we switched jobs, we had to learn brand new skills and responsibilities. We like to learn and we know how to do it quickly so we can take on the job we’re assigned. We’ve learned over the years that you can teach specific skills, but you can’t teach leadership, drive, and initiative (skills vets have in spades). So consider changing your hiring model so you hire the person you need and then teach them the skills they need to execute. It’s definitely an investment, but it’s worth it.
7. Action driven. We are ordered to do something. We figure it out. We want to do something. We figure it out. For example, the founder of Veteran Tech Trek, Mike Slagh, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer, knew he wanted to learn about Silicon Valley and how the companies succeeding within it ticked. So rather than google and watch videos, he took action. He created an opportunity to meet technology industry leaders and then shared that opportunity with his fellow veterans. If that’s not an epic example of initiative, I don’t know what is!
In short, veterans are like power up cards for your business. Point us in the right direction and watch us grow your business.
About Kathy: Kathy served as a Navy Diver and Bomb Technician on active duty. When she joined the civilian world, she worked for a company that hired vets as a very large part of their business model because of the results vets consistently produced.