1. Lida Citroen’s book, Your Next Mission: A personal branding guide for the military-to-civilian transition manages a veteran’s effort to bridge re-entry to civilian employment. It describes in detail the creation, building and marketing of a private brand for the prospective employee. This 340 page paperback can be found on Amazon.com at a list price of $18.95 with other new and used sources for $5.94 and $6.00.
2. Recently, Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged veterans with PTSD to seek treatment instead of trying to ignore the problem. Secretary Gates announced a recent change to what he called the “infamous question 21 (on the application for a government security clearance). Question 21 asked: “In the last seven years have you sought mental health counseling?” This question is no longer asked per Steve Inskeep, NPR’s Morning Edition.
3. A virtual human based on software used to train FBI agents has helped vets with PTSD build and strengthen their job interviewing skills and secure significantly more job offers as reported by Northwestern University’s School of Medicine. This Job Interview Training System available for $89.95 from SIMmersionLLC (www.simmersion.com). It uses a virtual trainer named Molly Porter to prepare and hone through practice your interviewing skills. Molly also provides tools to successfully discuss an applicant’s work history gaps. One’s practice interviews are reviewed and critiqued by a “live”analyst at SIMmversion.
Another available software product, John Holland’s SDS (Self Directed Search) can help you determine which field of work is right for you.
4. IPS Supported Employment: A study that focused on the employability of veterans with PTSD who enrolled in the Individual Placement Support (IPS) Program were three times more likely to gain a competitive employment than those in more conventional vocational rehabilitation programs.
You can identify if there are any local IPS providers by asking local health service providers. Also, you can reference the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at its website, www.nami.org. You will find contact information for state and local level support.
5. Job Seeker’s Guide to Nailing Every Interview Udemy, Inc. offers an online video product that will prepare you over a 2 hour period for beginner’s level interviews. Online “lectures” cover 33 pertinent subjects that will prepare you for each and every interview.
The course costs $79. The author, J.T. O’Donnell has over 15 years experience coaching individuals on a wide variety of job search/career development topics. Go to: www.udemy.com to see a demonstration of course video and a syllabus of course content. Also, at that website check for a coupon that will sharply reduce much of the course’s cost.
6. Depressed and Unemployed: The Six Phases of your Job Search from Deborah Cray, Health Guide, April 2010.
- Phase I: Decide what you want and what you can live with. This will target (put limits on) jobs that are perfect for you and your needs and remove anxiety from whether or not to apply for specific jobs.
- Phase II: Preparing Your Resumes: You should have several resumes, each focusing on your specific skills and experience. Each resume should have a matching cover letter specific to the job you are applying for.
- Phase III: Passive vs. Active Searching: Passive searching is responding to print and online job descriptions. Active searching is reaching out to people you know to let them know you are looking and to ask their advice as to where to look or what direction to look. For Active searches create a list of your resources: people you know in the field(s) you are interested in. Reach out and ask for helpful information and advice. Don’t ask for a job. Don’t forget to happily thank everyone profusely for their time and assistance.Phase IV: The First Call: Expect that a phone call will usually precede every interview you get. It will be used to determine if, you are a good fit for the job.
- Phase V: The Interviews: Devote enough time to properly research the organization and try to anticipate how you will be able to contribute to their success. If you can, seek to identify who might be interviewing you so, that you can prepare for areas of questioning. Play close attention to the interview team’s questions. Practice answering expected questions. Don’t be forthcoming about your depression. Try and be smartly dressed and well groomed for the interview.
- Phase VI: The Offer: When the question of expected pay comes up, say that all you want is what the job is worth. If possible, try to avoid being the first to provide a number. Your first month: Be very attentive and hard working. Don’t rush into any relationships. Listen carefully to the boss. Study how they do things. If you have creative ideas for change, share them just with your boss.
7. Veteran Jobs Mission, see www.veteranjobsmission.com, a collaboration of 200 employing companies that have hired 314,805 veterans (by 12/31/15) in their long range commitment to hire 1 million U.S. veterans. You will be very impressed with the stature and reputation of these 200 organizations.
Visit the website see the Transition Field Guide for Veterans and many tips and related resources. You can join the Veteran Jobs Mission Talent Exchange (VTX) to receive job announcements from the affiliated companies as well as ways to optimize your individual job searches.
8. Mission Critical: Unlocking the Value of Veterans in the Workforce by Michael Abrams and Julia Taylor Kennedy. This 125 page paperback available from Amazon.com for $10.61 describes a disenchantment quickly felt by newly hired veterans shortly after starting a new job. This disappointment is especially felt by women and veterans of color. Quite often, business leaders don’t understand the potential of their new employees. Also, veterans don’t feel really involved with their work teams and hunger for feeling more meaning and purpose on the job. This book offers approaches that will help ensure that veteran talent will thrive in the corporate environment.