When members of the military retire from active duty, it can be difficult for them to return to a civilian lifestyle. An online community platform can help them make an easier transition and enable Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) to provide better service and attract more sponsorship funding from corporations.
Creating a New Identity
One of the biggest challenges facing the 200,000+ Veterans who transition to civilian life every year is forging an identity that’s separate from their previous roles in the military. Depending on the duration of their enlistment, they could have dedicated 20 years or more to serving their country.
“I was in the 4th Infantry Division for eight years and put on a uniform with the Stars and Stripes on the arm and ‘U.S. Army’ over my heart every day, so it became a big part of who I was,” said Jeremy Byram, Senior Account Executive at Teamworks. “Making the switch to civilian life was harder than I thought because being in the military was my identity for so long, and it was difficult to figure out what I should do with my life outside of the Army.”
“We indoctrinate young men and women into the norms of military culture, but we currently lack a commensurate program to help them reconnect with their deeper identity when they leave,” psychologist Dr. Shauna Springer and retired Lieutenant Colonel Jason Roncoroni wrote in an article for Military Times. “Service members who have transitioned from the military over the past several decades have not had an integrative road map to address the psychological, cultural and relational challenges that transition from the military brings.” They went on to state that this can lead to anxiety, relationship issues, and poor career choices.
Streamlining the Transition to Civilian Life
A great way for Veterans to make a smoother transition is to connect with other retired military personnel who have gone on to successful civilian careers after retiring from active duty.
Using a platform like Teamworks Communities, former service members can link up with such individuals for in-person mentoring and benefit from videos that answer common questions, give advice, and troubleshoot problems. The platform offers human connection, professional opportunities for post-separation employment, and exclusive educational resources.
Being an active part of a group with others who’ve shared similar experiences can also help Veterans create a sense of belonging and purpose that has been missing since they left the military.
"The Honor Foundation is excited to work with Teamworks to employ the Communities app as an important part of our program. It enables our Mentors to easily connect and share industry knowledge and career opportunities with our fellows and alumni from the Special Operations Community who are preparing for their next adventure after their military service."
Phil Gant, Director of Programs, Fort Bragg Campus, The Honor Foundation
Extending the Reach of VSOs
VSOs provide retired military personnel with a wide range of services, including understanding Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, accessing mental and physical health solutions, and upskilling for new career opportunities. An online platform like Teamworks Communities makes it easier for VSOs to bring Veterans together, mentor at scale, and create a culture of camaraderie, support, and development. It also allows them to extend the benefits of in-person programs to more people through a targeted virtual community.
Attracting Corporate Sponsorships
Teamworks Communities can help VSOs further their mission financially. While individual donations are essential, corporate sponsorships provide even greater funding. VSOs can offer several tiers – such as gold, silver, and bronze – that provide companies with various levels of access to their Veteran groups. This can include posting jobs, opening up internships and training programs, and sharing educational content.
Hiring and Developing Veterans
For sponsor organizations, the main benefit of teaming up with VSOs is tapping into a labor pool of highly qualified Veterans whose military service has equipped them with exemplary leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills that are valuable in every workforce. This kind of partnership also empowers companies to demonstrate their commitment to hiring, developing, and supporting Veterans.
Learn More About Teamworks Communities
Want to learn more about how Teamworks Communities can help your organization better serve Veterans and attract corporate sponsorships? Get in touch with us today.