Is remote work the new normal and can you do it?  We are in unprecedented times right now with hundreds of thousands of employees now working from home.  The pandemic has accelerated what some in corporate/private sector have been predicting for years.  Many companies have used various excuses over the years stop this from happening.

Think about the expensive office spaces companies own or rent.  What happens when they no longer need all that space?  I’m sure the commercial real estate market is going to suffer significantly.  What about the travel accounts, the fine dining, and all the other employee perks that come with in-person work and travel?  What about the social aspect of very little face to face or none at all?

There seems to be more questions than answers at this point but one thing is for certain, people are far more productive than anticipated.  Now that employees have been forced to work from home many employers are struggling with a real reason to bring them back.  You can find a ton of research that shows lower attrition rate, less time off work, lower stress levels, and an increase in productivity. There are even environmental benefits due to decreased travel and tax breaks for having a home office.

The ugly side of this research also shows knowledge based and executive employees seem to be moving ahead and making the same or more money in the new economy while skilled employees are lagging behind.  As manufacturing jobs continue to come back to the United States and the pandemic slows, this gap will close.  As technology continues to dominate all aspects of our lives, employees who can not navigate smart phones, computers, and electronics will be left behind no matter their job.


Will the Military adapt?

Think about all the money we waste in government on facilities and travel.  What if our service men and women could work from home?  I know what many will say:

What about good order and discipline? 

What about team work? 

How can they maintain their professionalism and military bearing? 


All great questions but if you look around at the current environment many service members are working from home and having less problems than when they were at their work space.  This only happens with strong work from the Senior Enlisted community.  


I’m not talking about the military taking teams who are training for missions or on ships and allowing them to work from home.  The military has a ton of jobs that do not require someone to put on a uniform and report to work. I’ve even seen a few articles about the Pentagon looking to make many of the employees work from home.  Before the pandemic they argued that the security risks could not be overcome.  Turns out, not only did they figure out the security issues but it may be more of a threat for all of our top leadership to be in the same place for obvious reasons.


There are some major areas we need to study.  I have talked to several people and they state some of the biggest worries are suicide rates, day drinking, and more domestic issues. 


These are not military issues alone.  Any person who works from home must have self-discipline, a stable environment, and good mental health.  We have many civilian employees who work with our military to support the mission and we need to consider all of our team members when making the decision to shift to more at home work.


In my opinion there is no turning back the clock. Working from home is here to stay so we need to embrace it and learn from our mistakes as we move forward. Myself and my wife work from home and it has been amazing. She is watching me type...........somebody help me.............Ha.


Veterans and Spouses: Please visit www.skillmil.com today and fill out your profile if your looking for employment.

Veteran Friendly Employers: If you are looking to hire Veterans and thier spouses visit us today and schedule a demo.



Serving our Veterans here at SkillMil I have noticed a few things about Veteran resumés.  They are usually too long, full of military jargoon civilians DO NOT understand, and poorly written. 

With the resumé being such an important part of the transition piece, I ask myself why have the military has not done a better job helping our Veterans understand them. I know I had a long checkout sheet at every command and especially at my last one. Most of these people had zero value.  Not as human beings but no value to my transition.  We all know check out sheets are just an administrative burden and not designed to help any of us. 

My question:  How are we letting service members transfer to the civilian life without a good working resumé?

There are tons of great resources out there that do help our Veterans. Hire our Heroes is one of the best I have seen so far and we work with them often.  Has the DoD really kicked the ball to the civilian sector to get this done?  Part of your graduation from TGPS/TAP/whatever they are calling it these days should a great general resumé and an understanding on how to customize this to each specific job.  They are making strides at the VA, the Transition Centers, and partnerships with the Department of Labor but we are just not there yet.  Either hire the resources to be part of the transition process or bring in the resources that exist in the civilian sector as part of transition. 

No resumé, No transfer package?  I know this is not feasible but I also know the military needs to do a better job.  I will say that some of the fault indeed belongs to the service member.  Even if the command fails to help, there are numerous free resources.

The bottom line is if you decide to transition out and have not gotten the help you need then ultimately it is your fault. 

Example of typical military evaluation

- Lead team of thirty Sailors in the execution of all maritime flight operations for an average of forty sorties a day in the Middle East supporting operations OND and OEF.  Flight deck watchbill coordinator during deployment.  Squadron received a coveted safety award post-deployment.

Example of typical military resumé

-Supervised thirty subordinates in the day to day operations of aircraft carrier operations while at sea.  No casualties experienced during deployment. (Bad resume)

Examples of what “could be”

- Front line supervisor for thirty personnel in a high stress and complex environment.  Planned, supervised, and executed aircraft recovery and launch with minimal rest hours and maximum efficiency for 3 shifts covering 24 hours a day over a 7 month period.

TIPS:

Words Matter-Some management examples are General Manager, Manager, Supervisor, Senior Manager, and Project Manager.  Additionally, each industry has its own language and job titles.  Know your role and write your resumé to fit the responsibilities of that role.

With the above you could include budget constraints, actual costs of parts, fly times, safety records, and a list of other things that you actually did.  Remember, most civilian employers do not understand our military jobs so be specific and relate it to the civilian world.  It is important to highlight your personal involvement and the outcome produced.

There is no secret to making your resumé perfect but you should make it easy to understand and relatable to the job you are applying for.



The following email was written by a friend to me who wishes to remain anonymous but could have come from so many of my fellow Veterans.

A year out from transition and I realize I have overestimated the job opportunities in my area. I joined the local transition center distribution email list in hopes of finding plenty of opportunities in the area. I was very disappointed to find out 95% of the jobs were kicking boxes, driving forklifts, or working in the service industry. Nothing wrong with any of those jobs but not what I was expecting. Most of the jobs were for $15 or less. Is that really what I have to look forward to after 30 years in the service? I completed college in between deployments and while on shore tours so I could compete when I finally retired and am going to get paid less than $15 an hour?

How have the transition centers not figured out how to get better job boards and listings for transitioning service members? Have we not learned low Veteran unemployment hurts recruiting efforts at the front door to the services? How hard is it to partner with the local community and help them harvest the talent that is in the fence line? Is it not free to advertise at the transition center? Mike, PLEASE HELP!!

I thought I would share the above because I really believe a lot of us have felt or currently feel like the jobs we “qualify” for are just not the jobs we want. Let’s be honest, we think we deserve more. I will say that if you limit yourself geographically then you do limit yourself for career opportunities. Even if you lock yourself in on an area, do not sell yourself short. There are a ton of Veteran organizations that will help you with you on your job-hunting journey. I assure you that if you served 30 years then you can disregard those $15 an hour jobs.

One of our goals at SkillMil is to educated employers on the value of our Veterans. We want to add more quality/good paying jobs with businesses nationwide. More and more companies are realizing the value of the Senior Enlisted. Please visit our website at www.SkillMil.com and fill out your profile. We specialize in our Enlisted Service Men and Women and their spouses.


You can also visit some of the websites listed below. Unlike normal corporate America, Veteran organizations help each other. In the end, as long as the Veteran finds a career and continues to prove what our Enlisted community is capable of, we all win.

I have personally used the two organizations below and they are great resources.

www.hirehereosusa.org

www.uso.org/programs/uso-pathfinder

If your looking for a federal job then I’m sure you know to visit www.usajobs.gov.

There are many more so please do your research. Enjoy the hunt and remember to treat job hunting like any other mission. The kind of job you ultimately decide to take will depend not only on your desires but also on YOUR effort.

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