For most of our nation's heroes, there comes a moment when the uniform must be taken off for the final time, when one mission is complete and a new mission awaits.
For many, that can mean a transition to the private sector, where everything from the organizational structure to the language may seem foreign and uncertain.
At NJVC, we pride ourselves on a staff that is more than a quarter veterans, and which offers the opportunity to continue serving the same mission for defense and intelligence as our veterans did while on duty.
To find out how we help make the transition go as smoothly as possible and what transitioning military should look for when the time comes to leave the service, we sat down with Jonas Patterson, a 21-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a recruiter both while in the military and with NJVC. Find out what you need to know and why NJVC works so hard to make our company a place worthy and welcoming of those who served us so well.
To learn more about NJVC careers or view open positions, visit njvc.com/careers.
Q: What's the biggest difference between recruitment into the military and recruitment in the commercial sector?
A: In the commercial world, things are a lot more tangible. You can see the workplace, you can see exactly what it is that you will be doing and if at any time you feel it is not a good fit you have the option to walk away. In the military, the benefits are much more intangible. The recruiter can explain using photos and stories of what basic training and technical training will be, but you really cannot see them until you get there. In essence, in the military, you are buying into hopes, wishes and dreams. You will be moving away from your family, friends, everything you know to step out and devote your time to defending your country. You cannot wake up on Monday morning, decide that you are done and quit; you have made a commitment and taken an oath that you honor to its fullest.
Q: NJVC has hundreds of veterans on its staff. More than a quarter of our workforce served in the United States military. Why is NJVC a good fit for transitioning military?
A: At NJVC, our organization and mission closely resemble a chain of command like you would find in the military. Because such a large number of our employees and managers have military experience, this translates to being able to understand and communicate with former vets and have a better understanding of their needs. Many of our recruiters and members of our human resources team have military experience; this enables us to tailor the on-boarding process to suit their unique needs.
Q: For those who are transitioning out of the military, what should they look for in an employer?
A: A person who is transitioning from the military is coming from a longer commitment and is often anxious to move into a civilian career. What I always recommend to them is to understand their worth. Their knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) have value. It is important that they find a company that understands and respects them and will compensate them accordingly. It is also important to understand the total value of the benefits package they are presented. Some things that military members tend to take for granted are things like medical, dental and life insurance because it had always been taken care of for us. Once we transition it is important to understand our needs and selected a plan that best fits them.
Q: What was the best advice you received about transitioning during your time in service?
A: The best advice I received about transitioning was when I was about three years in. I was rent-a-crowd in attendance of a retirement for a highly respected member of our unit at the end of their 25-year career. I happened to be one of the few who lingered to clean up. I congratulated him and asked what he was going to do next. He looked at me with tears beginning to well up in his eyes and said he had no idea. He had gotten so focused on the job he never took care of himself. Things like pursuing formal education, ensuring his bills were paid off, and looking for his next job had fallen by the wayside. He advised me to plan ahead and learn from his mistakes. That message resonated with me. When I hit 15 years, I started to prep myself and family for the transition. When my time came I was as ready as I could be. Now it is my personal mission to help others do the same.