If you’re looking for an exceptional employee with leadership and collaboration skills, one who will have an immediate impact on the business and be a proven asset to the team, then you should hire a Veteran.
That’s the message from Veracity Solution’s Chief Solutions Architect, and US Navy veteran, Lonnie Buchanan. Lonnie credits his success to the skills he learned while stationed at Naval Training Center Orlando.
“The military prepares a lot of people that aren’t ready for the world yet,” said Lonnie.
Lonnie found himself in that very situation. Faced with an uncertain outlook upon graduation from high school, Lonnie found that the Navy might give him the best opportunity to get a leg up on life.
As a Machinists Mate, Lonnie got first-hand training on the skills and technology necessary to control power plants. Perhaps more importantly, he learned discipline, problem solving, and how to adjust, adapt and remain calm when things get chaotic.
“Keeping your head on and your wits about you are life lessons that are difficult to receive,” he said. “We had to think on our feet, but we had the right skillset to draw from."
These skills are exactly what makes America’s Veterans such an asset to the business world. The real-world experience available to military members makes even a short-term engagement worthwhile.
“We’ve put so much emphasis on strictly education, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but the military teaches you how to use that education under stress and under pressure.”
Access to the latest technology
When it comes to technology, Lonnie says the military provides hands-on opportunities that are typically hard to come by. Servicemembers typically get to work with the latest hardware and software and apply it under the watchful eye of highly trained instructors.
“When it comes to technology, some college grads are surprised to learn how behind they are when they graduate. It’s not until you get into a masters or doctorate that you get to work with current tech.”
Teamwork that tech demands
If a ‘team player’ is at the top of your desired skillset, then Veterans are often going to be your top choice. Lonnie says nearly every servicemember understands the principle of teamwork better than most.
“I remember being in bootcamp on Christmas Eve, being forced to do push-ups while singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. We didn’t like it, but we did it together.”
It’s these shared experiences, this unique brand of mental conditioning, that helps hone valuable teambuilding skills. Today’s Veterans learned teamwork by living it and experiencing it.
This plays perfectly to a recent shift in technology. Coding, design and other essential activities have slowly transitioned from an isolated practice to one that demands collaboration.
“This is reflected in what we see in modern tech now, where it takes teams to build hardware, design an app or create a game. We achieve the highest level when we work as a team."
The stigma about PTSD
Despite all this, many Veterans are still dealing with a stigma when it comes to the job market. They face concerns about post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health difficulties.
“There are Vets that have been placed in strenuous situations that will affect them their entire lives but, it’s a small percentage of people. We’re better as a country when it comes to treating veterans now.”
This is an unfound nervousness. Lonnie says an increase in understanding, resources, and treatment options is starting to erase the stigma and elevate Veterans to their deserved status among other highly qualified candidates.
It's up for some organizations to realize what we've known for a while -- that the military instills the values and skills that are sought after in today's competitive workforce and will ensure success not just in the office, but in life.
“When I look back on my life, I got to where I am now because of my training in the military. It gave me the self confidence that I could accomplish things.”