Ok Warrior, time to start thinking about getting social for our next task. Some of us are great in crowds and meeting new people, some not so much. So go for a walk with someone this week in a public area, say hello to 10 people while smiling and, if you have a pet or a child, get on the floor and play with them for five minutes a day.
We all can and should pay attention to resume preparation, furthering of education and planning, but without the ability to get an interview and present ourselves in a positive manner, it is for naught. I can go to work, talk to everyone, mingle and fit in with most anyone. However, taken out of my comfort zone, I am sometimes pathetic in how withdrawn I appear. No big deal; we are all that way. Not just Veterans, but people. Yes, Veterans tend to come home and feel like a fish out of water. But everyone’s first day at school or work or even a new church is a bit odd. I was in the bread section at Walmart yesterday and it got a bit crowded for my comfort level, so I immediately was out of there. My wife found me in the tomatoes section. Knowing I hate tomatoes, we walked over to the ice cream. I generally deal with the public with humor, realizing there is a time and place. But the best way to get comfortable with networking is to just start doing it. Get off the couch and into the world, my friends. There are excellent ways to network on the Internet and I highly advise it. I have assisted several Veterans and non-Veterans from our own Facebook and Twitter pages to start a career at VA. Make sure you have created and are maintaining a reputable presence on several social network sites. Not just the fun ones, but also the business ones like LinkedIn. And for goodness sake, if you’re still wasting time playing the games, put down the controller and “Ruck up”! Just this weekend, one of my wife’s friends in California posted that he was looking to hire an employee at his business. Funny, only his network knows about it.
Now it’s time to take your well-prepared resume into the world. We will talk more about attire later, but dress to impress in business dress or casual. Look in the paper or a local community web page such as www.Nola.com and find out where the career events and job fairs are. Check with your college or the local college’s career center, the local employment office, the library, the Chamber of Commerce. Talk to your postal representative, your mayor if the town is small enough and, of course, the local Veterans Service Officer. Always look sharp, always have a copy of your resume and always be prepared for a “30-second bio” to share with anyone. We will talk more about resources next time, but keep studying and going over these steps in the meantime.
If you are good at networking and have many social circles, take a look at which ones are lifting you up, and which ones are bringing you down. Get the point? Focus on the ones that will lead you to greater things. Make sure you still have a “Battle Buddy” for this exercise also. We still need each other to stay motivated and aid each other in excelling.
Our next post will expand on resources available, as we continue to prepare for those all-important Interviews. I want to remind you, we get what we earn. It is not so much the time, but the quality of our efforts that produce desired results. Measure results, not time.
“Time is not a measurement of success”.
Return the favor when it’s your turn.
*This blog has been edited to reflect updated links and photos.