3 Reasons Veterans Are Valuable to Employers
In her keynote presentation in the Military Speaker Series, Lida Citroën led a discussion titled “Amplifying the Value of Veterans.” Her experience quickly became clear, and we’re sharing some of the highlights with you. Lida is an international branding specialist with expertise in veteran reintegration and the military-to-civilian transition with employers, educators, and administrators interested in engaging with veteran talent.
In this informative and inspiring keynote presentation, Lida shared insights into military culture, including the common veteran character traits and skills that make you a great employee. She also provided perspective on the challenges you may face as you transition into civilian life, the implicit biases civilians bring to interactions with veterans, and numerous opportunities to engage with—and build relationships with—other military service members. Explore the amazing assets that you offer, even after you no longer wear the uniform.
Who Is Lida Citroën?
Lida Citroën, a branding expert based in Denver, has made a career of helping people and companies create new or enhanced identities. Lida is passionate about helping veterans learn how to compete for careers in the civilian sector. A TEDx Speaker, Lida presents her unique personal branding training programs across the US, at military installations and events, serves on the Board of Directors of NAVSO, volunteers with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and has produced numerous programs and materials to help military veterans successfully transition after service. If you have a transition question Lida can help answer, email her at [email protected]. She is also the author of the best-selling book, "Your Next Mission: A personal branding guide for the military-to-civilian transition," available at www.YourNextMissionBook.com and on Amazon.
Read on for Lida’s tips on gaining employment as a veteran, and visit Ashford’s Military Community newsletter for more resources.
1. You’re Trainable
When it comes to training and education, Lida explained that this area is one where veterans excel, because they’ve done it their entire military career.
“We, as a country, have spent more than $160 billion dollars on training them [military members], so when we think of higher education, the value of that, it makes perfect sense,” she said. “These are also some of the most trainable people you will ever meet in your life.” She encourages you to use that to your advantage when applying for jobs. Demonstrate that your career has been one of lifelong learning and growth.
2. Responsibility & Growth Happen Fast
Upon entering the military, Lida notes that you are immediately entrusted with millions of dollars’ worth of equipment, materials, and training. Early on, you learn responsibility, and as a result, “grow up quickly.” Lida encourages you to highlight this quality with potential employers.
“I know my own two sons, when they were 18-19 years old, I barely gave them responsibility with a $3,000 car,” she said. “These [military members] are young people coming into service who are quickly trained how to take responsibility, how to own their actions, and how to take care of other people.”
3. Service Before Self
With accountability and responsibility comes leadership, which you learn from day one in the military. Lida noted the selflessness of the leadership is different than what others in a typical organization might learn.
“Someone coming out of college may not have the same internal set of values,” she explained. “They take care of each other. They nurture each other. Family support is unbelievable in the military. The military teaches that it’s not about you. It’s about all of your brothers and sisters.”
The unique experience of the military prepares you for a number of things—from transferring into college to transitioning into civilian life. Use the impressive military career you have built as a foundation for other great things to come.
Written by Kelsey Bober, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education