Veteran’s Day reminds us to remember and honor our military men and women, especially our veterans, who have worked so hard to help keep our country safe and strong. They give their time and talent to all of us and we are thankful for that. Some, unfortunately, give their lives defending the U.S. and for that we are saddened and profoundly grateful. I think we all want to find ways, big and small, that we can show our support and gratitude.
One way to say thank you is to support our veterans as they return home after serving our country. For ATR, that means using our experience and expertise to help them enter the private sector workforce. Our veterans are some of the most highly trained, intelligent, and talented people, yet it can be a struggle for many of them to find the right employment situation. Recently we worked with The Honor Foundation at two of their events helping in just this way. It was a fantastic experience for us all!
The Honor Foundation
The Honor Foundation (THC) helps Special Operations Forces personnel as they separate and reenter the civilian workforce. Founded in 2014 and originally focused on Navy Seals, they have expanded to include other Special Ops branches. THC operates an executive-education style transition program combining 120 hours of one-on-one executive coaching and industry mentoring, 15 weeks of class instruction, and access to an elite nationwide professional network. The program provides the tools that maximize the participants’ potential and prepares them to succeed in the private sector. Hundreds have attended over the past five years at its campuses in San Diego and Virginia Beach.
The program starts with a comprehensive assessment of skills and interests to help determine what kind of work they might be best suited for and would find rewarding. It includes assistance in learning how to communicate their talent and strength in a meaningful way, write resumes, use social media in their job search, prepare for successful interviews, and more. And it all happens with an understanding of the particular challenges they face transitioning from the military to the next phase of their career and life.
Resume Review Night
THC partners with many companies and people in the business community to deliver its services and create an impactful program that really helps its graduates. It was a privilege for ATR to join their ranks. The first event we participated in was a Resume Review Night held at the Honor Foundation in San Diego. The participants received about an hour of training from local HR professionals and I acted as the host resume reviewer and career coach. As they leave military service, they are not exactly sure where they want to go in their careers, or how to best get there. These are highly competent individuals, but they do not have civilian experience.
The opportunity to get advice and coaching from people working in the private sector is invaluable. The men that I worked with that night were incredibly talented and accomplished. Without exception, they were eager to learn from all of us “civilians.” I instantly could see how their military training and skills were being used in this new “mission.” They asked thoughtful questions, solicited and accepted feedback, and immediately began identifying solutions to improve. It was rewarding for me, of course, but it was also educational. I feel like I learned a lot that night and took away information that will make me better at my job. And here I was, supposed to be helping them!
Mock Interview Night
The second event we were involved with was a Mock Interview Night. I was joined by our regional director Meghan Freeman, and recruiters Denise Rock and Katie Pfankuch. I was also excited to be joined by a few of our talent acquisition industry friends from Retrophin and Fico, who were kind enough to accept my invitation to help. Working with other local members of the HR/talent acquisition community, we offered the opportunity for the program participants to answer real-life interview questions. Anticipating interview questions and preparing careful answers is a piece of advice we give to everyone, not just veterans seeking private sector employment for the first time. It’s a critical part of the job search process and the best way to get better at it is to practice, practice, practice! We were happy to provide an opportunity for them to get some of that practice and to offer real-time feedback on what they were doing right and where they could improve.
I want to thank my ATR colleagues for again demonstrating what a great team we are. I am always thankful for their willingness to go the extra mile to help others. I want to especially thank our friends from Retrophin and Fico for joining us. I appreciate their incredible heart and generosity of time! They brought a valuable perspective to the event and were thus able to provide unique feedback and advice to the attendees. The event included dinner and networking which means people left the office early and stayed late on their own time to help our soon-to-be veterans. Thank you, everyone!
Saying Thank You to Our Military
I would guess that we all feel the same way; while helping them, we learned a lot too. Working with the Seals and other special ops, we were all reminded of and impressed by the dedication, intelligence, and commitment of our military. We saw up close how they apply those same qualities to any mission or task at hand. It was obvious that they will be wonderful additions to any organization that hires them and will likely be equally successful in their civilian career endeavors. We’ve got our eye on a couple that we’d love to see at ATR, and of course are always looking to the veteran community for candidates who can help our clients meet their workforce needs.
It was personally inspiring and rewarding to help out The Honor Foundation. It’s one small way that we can say thank you and a part of ATR’s overall commitment to help the men and women of our military as they return to their communities and civilian life. We’re looking forward to working with The Honor Foundation at future events.
If you’re a veteran looking for your next career opportunity, contact us. We can help!