5 Most Important Actions for a Successful Transition.

Verizon was named the #1 Best for Vets: Employer 2016 by Military Times. Some of you may like Verizon, while others may have had horrible customer service experiences. No matter where you stand, let’s not let any biases prevent us from getting good advice. The veteran recruiting guru at Verizon has never been in the military; however, based on a podcast I listened to, he certainly knows the lingo and has some good advice.

The podcast I am referring to is on the website successvets.com and is titled Verizon and Military-Transition.org: On Hiring and Retaining Veterans. The website’s mission is “To provide the most helpful content, strategy, and actionable guidance for veterans in their transitions after the military.” It was started by a former Marine Corps Captain, Byron Chen. The website contains multiple podcasts and articles about transitioning from the military. This podcast intrigued me because I am always interested in getting career and interview advice. Additionally, Verizon is always ranked high for military friendliness, and I am familiar with military-transition.org.

My previous post about military-transition.org is here. To summarize this group: They collect survey data from veterans on the transition experience. A founder, Brain Niswander, participated in the podcast. The other participant in the podcast is the Head of Military Programs and Veterans Affairs for Verizon, Evan Guzman. The discussion is moderated by Byron.

Both veterans and companies can find good knowledge in the discussion. Here are some of my takeaways.

At the 21 minute mark, Brian lists out the 5 most important actions that the data suggest lead to a successful transition.

  • Networking
  • Start the process early
  • Be patient
  • Have a transition plan
  • Translate military skills for a civilian resume

Later in the podcast, the conversation turns to the interview. Evan says that every veteran needs to be able to answer the question “What makes you uniquely qualified for this position?” I think this is great advice. My takeaway is that I am going to have an answer for this question before every interview and will have that answer in mind when responding to other interview questions.

One area of the interview that I have always struggled with is asking the interviewer questions. Evan suggests a question that I think is really good and will use in future interviews.

He suggests this question: “If I was selected for this opportunity, what could my first 3 years look like?”

This question demonstrates many qualities that interviewers are looking for. It demonstrates long term commitment to the position and a desire for growth. It demonstrates that you are attempting to determine if the company is a good fit for you. Finally, it allows the interviewer to explain the company’s philosophy on promotions and job mobility.

These are some of my takeaways from the podcast. I encourage everyone to listen and create a list of takeaways that will help during the job search.

Aaron Hartfield served in the Army from August 2005 to August 2011. He deployed with the 19th Engineer Battalion out of Fort Knox to Iraq from 2006 to 2007, and then to Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010. He graduated in May 2015 from Baruch College, which is located in New York City. He currently lives and works in Houston, Texas.

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