02 Oct Creating a “Web of Veterans United” from Bridging the Gap from Soldier to Civilian: A Road Map to Success for Veterans
(Excerpt from Phase 2: Personal and Professional Growth as a Civilian, Chapter 6, Step 4: Creating Connections Through Networking)
By Michael Bluemling Jr.
“This is one of the most fun steps in the book, because you get to connect with soldiers you have met in a different way than ever before. Your battle buddies to your left and right over the years probably know you better than anyone on Earth, except your mother in most cases. We create relationships that are as thick as blood in the service and these bonds are easier than ever before to stay connected with.
Prior to the Information Age soldiers did not have LinkedIn or Facebook to connect with each other. Now you can, in real time, connect on the spot with someone and have access to their entire professional work history and connections to use for your benefit. Guess what the best part is about this? Your colleagues want to help you succeed. Your fellow veterans cannot wait to help you get a job. You were their bunk mate in basic and how would they have gotten by without your mom’s chocolate chip cookies that you got to eat at graduation. People remember what you do for them and hopefully you left a good impression, because your reputation is all you have in this world.
It goes beyond your endeavor to seek a quality employment opportunity. The connections you establish may or may not help you today, but in the future they can and most likely will greatly impact another veteran who you may not even know at this point. This “Web of Veterans United” is how we can all give back to those who have served our country, like someone who most likely will be assisting you right now. It is a simply concept and one that begins with you reaching your goals that are aligned with the goals of countless veterans around the country.
Once you have reached out to those people in the military community who “have your back”, it is time to get down to business. It is time to set up meetings that are either in person or virtually to come up with a “game plan” on how you are going to separate yourself from the thousands and thousands of non-veteran applicants. You have skills that are transferable and figuring out how to use those skills like a 50 Caliber for the greatest center mass hits possible in order to reach your time on target goals 100% of the time is essential to your efforts.
The application and hiring process is a war of finding the best way to get your name in front of the hiring manager without being screened out, because you are a veteran or your status as a protected veteran. Knowing how to fill out the application online as a veteran is another aspect that other veterans who are your friends can help you navigate from success stories of what has worked for them. You are in great hands and before you know it you will be owing your military friends a big thank you for them helping you move forward either in an interview or connecting you with someone who can help you in the same manner.”