Veterans and Unemployment

 

Coming home from war–while a great relief, also presents its own challenges–re-acclimating to everyday life, catching up with people you haven’t seen for a long time, and, of course, finding a job. Currently, the unemployment rate for Combat Veterans of the post-9/11 era is higher than the national average. You may think that soldiers immediately have a leg-up on the competition, and should be easily able to find a job, but this is not always the case. Being a Combat Veteran presents its own unique challenges in finding a job.

  • It is often hard for Veterans to transfer their military experience into job skills. While they may have learned a great deal about warfare and military tactics, it may be hard to translate that into many jobs in the current market.
     
  • Veterans can get pigeon-holed into certain jobs, firefighter, Police officer, etc. If can often be hard for veterans to find jobs of their choosing and so can get stuck unemployed or forced into a job they don’t want.
     
  • Many employers believe that a soldier’s mindset will be too headstrong and won’t fit in their company culture. On the contrary soldier’s typically can work in teams well and are also good leaders.
     
  • Companies often fear that veterans will have symptoms of PTSD and so will not want that to disrupt their workplace.

My experience with combat veterans shows the same results. My brother has been unemployed for long stretches since returning from Afghanistan, and many other combat veterans I know have the same story.  What's your story? What challenges have you faced trying to get employment?

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