Vets in the Workplace- a Win-Win for Employers and Those Who Have Served
The unemployment rate for veterans is at an all-time low, according to recent Wall Street Journal reports. This statistic (4.6% in 2015) is attributed in part to corporations’ commitments to hiring our heroes. With 200,000 men and women in service returning to civilian life each year, employing a vet can spell success for a company’s bottom line.
Distinguished is committed to hiring qualified veterans in all areas of its operations. “We don’t have a policy, but we definitely have a point of view,” says Michele Hamill, Vice President of Talent Development. Distinguished Programs boasts veterans across the business—from sales leaders like Gabe Garcia to senior leadership associates like James Flynn.
Hiring veterans at Distinguished isn’t just about increasing diversity, it’s about recognizing the skills these men and women bring to the workplace every day: from high-tech know-how to hard-won discipline. Not to mention great organizational and supervisory skills, hustle, accountability, integrity, and more.
A great example of this is featured in the following spotlight of Greg Somers, a sales executive with Distinguished Express since 2015. Here, he shares his perspective on how being a veteran is beneficial in the workplace for both the company and its employee.
How do you think your experience in the military influences the way you work?
My military experience allowed for a pretty seamless transition to my current sales executive position. Military officers are given unique, important responsibilities at a very junior rank – and the expectation is you will hit the ground running. Normally, you switch jobs every two or three years in the military, and it’s highly likely you will be assigned to a position that encompasses knowledge and qualifications that you may not have used in the past.
Similar to selling insurance, much of this knowledge is learned by on-the-job training, and there is an expectation that you take initiative and develop the needed competencies very quickly. My military experience has made setting and conducting meetings and appointments — and meeting deadlines – the easiest part of the job with Distinguished.
Why did you choose Distinguished?
Easy: core values and employees. After twenty-two-plus years in the Coast Guard, I certainly did not plan on a career in Insurance. From day one, I felt Distinguished’s core values and employee relationships were exactly in line with what I experienced in the military and would allow for a smooth transition.
What would you tell others who are transitioning and considering Distinguished?
I have told others that they will find Distinguished to be a very good fit and it will be an easy transition. High expectations, personal responsibility, demonstrated initiative, and strong ethical standards & values are very similar to what you experience in the military. As is the case in any organization, there will be struggles and frustration, but likely nothing nearly as hard as front-line operations in the military.
Here at Distinguished, we will continue to seek the special skills sets that veterans bring to the table and facilitate job opportunities for those who have served our country.