Some recent conversations with veterans seeking jobs in the private sector have reminded me of the timeliness and continued relevance of this article that I posted several years ago on The White Rhino Report.
In my Executive Search practice, White Rhino Partners, I am often asked by my client companies to find leaders and managers with very specific skill sets. It turns out that in many cases, some of the best candidates I am able to present to my client companies have honed their leadership skills which serving in the military - either as junior officers or more senior field grade and flag officers. As a result of this niche area of specialization, I spend a great deal of time with very talented and gifted candidates who are in the process of transitioning from a career of military service to a new career in the business world. Some make this transition directly; others do it by way of business school or some other graduate level program.
For many of these men and women, the transition is fraught with frustration and disappointment. A short while ago, I spent time catching up with a combat veteran who has recently completed an MBA from a top-ranked business school. He is still looking for the right fit as his first post-military job. In our recent meeting, he was very transparent and honest in sharing his frustrations, and he has consented to allow me to share with readers of The White Rhino Report some of his recent experiences in his job search.
- We can educate ourselves and enter into conversation in response to the kind of honest sharing that my friend offered above.
- We can learn from and support the many veteran-led organizations that have figured out how to bridge some of these gaps.
- We can utilize current employees who have served in the military to better educate hiring managers and recruiters about how to properly evaluate candidates who are veterans.