Before performing a military operation, the first thing any unit does is gather as much intelligence about the objective as possible.  In fact, creating an action plan without first conducting research can have disastrous results. So why do military veterans make that mistake when transitioning out of the military?

While veteran job seekers may not have an intelligence network, they can seek the advice of people who have who have tackled the military-to-civilian experience. More than just boosting their transition, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that mentored professionals find increased success in their careers.

  • 90% of mentored professionals report being happy in their roles.
  • 34% of people say that a lack of mentorship has held them back in their careers.
  • 40% of workers need upskilling or reskilling, and 74% of job seekers believe mentorships are important in successfully doing so.

Mentorship increases personal productivity, promotion potential, and overall job satisfaction. What does that mean for you? It means seeking consistent mentorship can give you a leg up in your professional career.

What is Mentorship?

Mentorship can look different depending on the situation, but usually consists of a person of experience providing guidance to another. This can be in matters of personal or professional development. In a professional setting, mentorship can look like:

  • One-on-one mentoring programs: Mentors are matched with mentees, either through a program or on their own. Mentee-mentor pairs participate in a co-learning relationship that follows a structure and time period outlined by the organization.
  • Group mentoring programs: A single mentor is matched with a cohort of mentees as part of a program that is structured to provide each mentee with individualized guidance from the same mentor.
  • Reverse mentoring programs: In reverse mentoring, a junior team member exchanges skills, knowledge, and understanding with a senior colleague who wishes to build up their capabilities in a field where the junior peer has more experience.

Mentorship in Military Culture

The military community is a natural participant in mentoring tasks. Every veteran who’s been in a leadership role has been expected to train, mentor, and develop subordinates. One of the reasons the United States military is the best in the world is the mentorship between non-commissioned officers and junior enlisted personnel.

It’s not uncommon for older military members to go the extra mile when training subordinates. After all, better-trained and well-rounded troops mean increased mission effectiveness. This kind of training  is often circular, and wisdom is passed down as the newer troops become the experienced ones.

The same is true in the civilian world: the uniforms may be different, but productivity improves along with skills and abilities, making for a happier work environment. Most importantly, managers recognize the leadership on display, just like in the military.

Professionally mentored employees bring more confidence, industry perspective, and leadership skills than those who have not received mentorship. Recent data indicates that over 66% of American workers are willing to retrain and reskill for new jobs. Within the transitioning military community, that rate is even higher.

A common hurdle in the veteran hiring process is translating military skill sets into civilian ones. For those working with a mentor, the recruiting and hiring process may be easier. Candidates who have gone through a professional mentorship program are often better equipped to describe their military experience and skill sets in a way that makes sense for corporate recruiters. The result is stronger resumes that align well with their chosen industry.

For someone who has already transitioned out of the military, mentorship can elevate their career. Mentored individuals from the military community often have an elevated grasp of business concepts beyond their non-mentored counterparts and are more likely to secure roles that best utilize their potential.

Military Community Mentorship

If you are ready where to start your mentorship journey or are interested in becoming a military community mentor, check out organizations like:

Veterati

Veterati is a digital mentorship platform that supports the military community as they pursue the careers of their dreams at every point in their career journey. Mentees can schedule time with mentors in every industry or stage of life.

Still Serving Veterans (SSV)

SSV provides practical advice for finding meaningful post-military work. Every career counselor is a Veteran who understands the unique needs of Veterans and their families.

American Corporate Partners (ACP)

ACP’s free Mentoring Program connects post-9/11 veterans, active-duty spouses, and eligible military spouses with corporate professionals for customized mentorships. ACP assists veterans and eligible spouses on their path towards fulfilling, long-term careers, whether the veteran is job searching or newly employed.

Visit RecruitMilitary’s Partner Page for more resources to equip you for your post-military career.

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