The Morning Formation Podcast

Military Veteran, Military Spouse, and HireMilitary Recruiter Kate Wood

January 19, 2022 KP Season 2 Episode 3
The Morning Formation Podcast
Military Veteran, Military Spouse, and HireMilitary Recruiter Kate Wood
Show Notes Transcript

Today on the show, we’re going to be speaking with Kate Wood, who currently works as a Recruiter for an organization called “HireMilitary.” Our guest is NOT only a military spouse, but she was also a West Point Graduate, and former Medical Service Corps Commissioned Officer in the United States Army.

Kate Wood's LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-wood/

Kate Wood's Email Address:
kate.wood@tenovallc.com

HireMilitary Website:
https://www.hiremilitary.us

KP:

This episode is powered by Aktau education, go to www dot ACC now education.com For free comprehensive educational resources and opportunities for active duty veterans, military spouses, and children.

Kate Wood:

advice that we give to candidates or you know how we interact with people through different networking, whether it's LinkedIn or informational interviews is really helping to, you know, give service members transitioning service members the confidence to frame their work and their experiences in a way that is seen, you know, in a good light in the civilian corporate sector, right. So I'm having that humbleness and understanding that maybe what I do isn't directly transferable. A lot of my Soft Skills or some of the technical things that I have learned are transferable, and it's just reshaping and like you mentioned, marketing yourself in that way, that that can be easily seen by outside organizations.

KP:

Warriors fall in, it's time for formation. Today on the show, we're going to be speaking with Kate Wood, who currently works as a recruiter for an organization called hire military. We also have our future military leader, Avi over here, who is helping me co host and taking care of the technical side of the house. Avi, how're you doing today? Man, you want to share any small victories that you had take place this week?

Avi Dhanraj:

Yeah, well, Katie, you're putting me on the spot here. I just got accepted into ASU. And it's a stepping stone for me to get into the Air Force. So pretty excited for that.

KP:

No, it's great that all our listeners and even including myself that we're part of your journey, I'm looking forward to see where you're going to be in the next five to 10 years is going to be extremely exciting. So our guest today is not only a military spouse, but she was also a West Point graduate, a former Medical Service Corps commissioned officer in the United States Army, like to thank you, Kate, for joining us today on the morning formation.

Kate Wood:

Thank you KP. It's so great to be here. Really excited to just have a chance to talk to you and yeah, spend the next hour with you guys.

KP:

Honors all ours. And so Kate, would you mind starting out by telling us a little bit about your military background and just your experiences while you're in service?

Kate Wood:

Sure, absolutely. So as you alluded, I entered the military through West Point, went to West Point for College actually met my husband there. We both commissioned straight out of West Point. And my first duty station was Fort Stewart. Like mentioned I was a medical service corps officer went straight into Charlie med as a platoon leader treatment platoon leader deployed with them to Iraq. And then I came back and I actually applied for the Army's physical therapy program. And so that was my next step. After my time doing some work in the Charlie meant I went to the Baylor army, Baylor physical therapy school in Fort Sam. And due to some personal things, I actually ended up transitioning right out of the military halfway through that school. So that was kind of I know, we were going to talk transition here later. But it was a very interesting transition for me, coming out of the military coming out of a kind of a specialized school and then transitioning right away. So but yeah, that was that was my time in the military. My husband is still on active duty. He's stationed with seventh Special Forces Group here in Northwest Florida. I cannot complain at all about this duty station. It is a hidden gem in the army that is for sure. So I've been really navigating my professional career for the last seven years while he's been on active duty. And I've worked in recruiting that was the first job I did actually post military. And then I transitioned into some marketing and communications roles with a nonprofit, and actually helped start a nonprofit organization as well. And then I found and landed at higher military, which is what I do currently, I'm a recruiter for a company called hire military and I absolutely love it. I feel like I finally transitioned, I guess you could say, seven years after leaving the military, I finally found something that I really love and feel like it fits me both personally and professionally.

KP:

I can certainly relate to the transition that you're talking about my first job after resigning my commission, I was there for only one year and then I decided to move on to something else. It wasn't a very good fit. And also to hear that you found a hidden gem for per duty station is surprising in the United States Army anyways, because we don't have the best of the best we're not the air force or the Navy so we don't have the best of the best locations out there. So that's refreshing to hear. Would you mind you know as a as a recruiter for hire military, can you tell us about your position? You know, the term recruiter is such a general term, but I know that your job has so many more tasks that play into being successful in that position. Would you mind talking about what you do and about the organization itself.

Kate Wood:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely KP. So let me just touch on higher military, if you aren't familiar higher military was founded in 2017. Basically out of our CEO Michael Quinn's struggle with his own transition. He was a sergeant major in the army thought that he was just going to slide right into a really ideal career post military. And it was a struggle, he struggled. And one of the biggest things that he found through his transition is that building your network is really the foundation of a successful transition. And so he created hire military at first to facilitate the DoD skill bridge program. So that's one of our main business lanes is placing transitioning service members into DoD skill bridges. But then he also realized that there's a real need for kind of education around LinkedIn, how to use LinkedIn and digital networking. So that's something else we offer. It's called the digital networking professional program. And that's something that active duty members can do for free, they can receive that training for free and receive a certification as a digital networking professional. But then the the area of higher military that I work in is kind of our direct hire lane. And that's where I work as a recruiter, we partner with multitude of organizations, anywhere from small veteran owned businesses to large companies, one of our main clients is one of the big four consulting firms. So these organizations have all partnered with us to specifically find military talent, whether that's transitioning Servicemembers, Veterans, or military spouses. And as a recruiter, I meet with those companies. And they share on their open positions that they would like us to recruit. And part of what I do as a recruiter is really getting into the minds of the hiring managers at these organizations and finding out who their ideal candidates are, if they have experience with the military, what kind of MLS, his or his military experience, do they feel like would be really beneficial for these roles. And then we share the roles with our community and actively source from there. So what does that look like other than just posting a job on our careers page and sharing it on LinkedIn, you know, the different networks that I'm a part of whether it's my West Point network, or my military spouse networks, I share our open roles throughout those communities, as well as directly, you know, searching and looking for people on LinkedIn, or, you know, connecting with others in my network to find people that I feel are ideal for these roles. And then from there, you begin the real work, right, the screening of candidates. And something that I feel is really great about what higher military offers and how we work as recruiters is that we kind of walk through the entire process with candidates. So if you applied for one of our roles, KP and I screen you and I say yes, you're an ideal candidate, I pass you forward to our to our company. And if you are asked to interview with them, we do interview preparation, and everything all the way up until contract negotiation as well I walk through and help you negotiate your offer. So I'm kind of with you through that entire process. So I think that's something that we kind of offer that, you know, it's really beneficial for our transitioning service members, veterans and spouses is that you have kind of a confidant in me as a recruiter, helping you walk through the entire process when you apply for one of our roles that we're recruiting for on behalf of our companies. So, you know, I thought that was a long answer. But there's a lot that goes into it. And I think it really sets our military apart.

Avi Dhanraj:

Yeah, definitely. That hand in hand partnership type methodology is very, very helpful, especially for those people who can find this process a bit more daunting than normal. Now, Kate, I know that especially during transitioning, marketing, the military skills and responsibilities that you acquire, and doing them service can be pretty difficult to market to private sector companies, especially if they're uninitiated or just don't really understand the ins and outs of military life. What do you do or what does hire military do to make that process a bit easier?

Kate Wood:

That's a really good question, Avi. And I think that it's kind of one of the scariest parts about transition, is how will I be perceived? Does anyone understand what I what I have done outside of the military? Right? And so it's kind of a two fold answer. So one of the things that we do at hire military is that it's why we have recruiters sitting as a as kind of an in between phase between handing people off to these companies. If we partner with an organization that doesn't have anyone in the military in their organization or has no understanding, we really help translate that military experience to the hiring managers of why we feel like this is a great candidate. We're not translating resumes, we're not going to do Your resume for you. But we can, we can suggest edits. And we can, you know, really frame you in an in a light that showcases what experiences do fit for these open roles and for these companies. And it's also kind of part of, you know, advice that we give to candidates or you know how we interact with people through different networking, whether it's LinkedIn or informational interviews is really helping to, you know, give servicemembers transitioning service members the confidence to frame their work and their experiences in a way that is seen in a in a good light in the civilian corporate sector. Right. So I'm having that humbleness and understanding that maybe what I do isn't directly transferable. A lot of my Soft Skills or some of the technical things that I have learned are transferable, and it's just reshaping and like you mentioned, marketing yourself in that way, that that can be easily seen by outside organizations.

Avi Dhanraj:

Right. Right. Definitely an important aspect of higher military right there. And I know something a lot of veterans will appreciate. Now, going back to the transitioning side of things, does higher military accept anyone who's transitioning at any point during their transition? Or do you have to prepare some resources? Or at least a minimum viable marketability portfolio before you can get real help? Or effective help, I should say from higher military?

Kate Wood:

That's a great question. So two separate answers. We welcome you to connect with us, anyone throughout the organization, no matter where you are, if you've got five years left in active service, or if you're, you've already transitioned, you're a veteran, that's been out for 15 years, we help the full breadth, right, so if you're one of those people that still on active duty, we will funnel you towards the skill Bridge Program, seeing if you can find a skill bridge internship that is viable for you. And our website, when you go to well register on hire military.us, there's an option there that that asks for your ETS date, right. So everything's kind of based off of your ETS date, if you still haven't transitioned yet, or you don't even have an ETS date to put on there. You're going to be funneled towards the people that do the skill bridge internships, and they can provide you more information on how you can apply to a skill bridge and the different options that we have available. I think we have 250 skill bridge internships available on our website right now. Or if you're that veteran that is less than 180 days on active duty service, or you've already transitioned or your military spouse, when you go to register on our website, you'll be funneled towards the recruiter side the direct hire full time position site. And that's where I come in, and really finding if there's any of our open roles that are a fit for you. And if there aren't currently which we have about 60 roles, open roles right now, if we don't have any that fit for you, you can register your interest with us. And all you need there is a resume and filling out the application of you know who you are your LinkedIn profile if you have one contact information. But a resume is really even if it's not perfect, it doesn't have to be perfect, but a resume that we can kind of say, Hey, here's what you've done. That's all we need to have, you know, into our system. And then we just go from there.

KP:

So okay, I want to ask you, you mentioned earlier about the resumes that you don't write the resumes for folks that that you serve, and having been a former officer myself, and over the years having reviewed so many resumes, you see all walks of life, when you when you see these things when you get them in your hands. So yes, you literally have everything written in Crayola Kranz to elegant feather pens. How do you when you work with folks? How do you get a baseline at least have a decent resume? Do you recommend beforehand for them to coordinate and speak to organization or folks to help get that baseline resume? So you're not getting something that's these complete work? Or how does that work?

Kate Wood:

Yes. Yes. And I will be the first to say that the first resume I ever created when I was transitioning was was not great. It was horrible, actually, and it is very hard. Resumes are hard. It's something that really kind of it keeps people from applying right. They're not confident in themselves. They're not confident in the way they're portraying themselves on a piece of paper and it really kind of inhibits servicemembers sometimes or even veterans from wanting to even apply for roles. So we have some really great contacts. And there's so many organizations out there that are in this space, the veteran surrogate service organization space in doing resumes, but one that we partner with specifically at hire military is vet jobs and vet jobs. If you're not familiar, if the listeners aren't familiar, they work with veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses. They will connect you one on one to a career counselor, and that career counselor can give you resume advice they do interview prep, they do career coaching They help you in job search, the full breadth, right, and this is someone that is specifically, you know, matched with you I had one, I had one she helped me in this last process of before I applied for my higher military job. And she was amazing. And we met almost every couple of weeks to just go over things like that. So that's a really great order to organization, vet jobs is great. There's, there's tons more out there as well. And I think another really great thing, aside from actual organizations that do resume writing, or do assistance with job searching, is veterans, transitioning service members and spouses, finding mentors, and some really great mentor organizations are veteran ATI, and American corporate partners. Those are my two favorite, I've utilized both of them extensively in my own personal, you know, professional journey. So those are really great organizations, finding mentors. And then I think another thing that plays into building an ideal resume is conducting informational interviews. And that's basically just scheduling calls with, you know, people that you think would be interesting to talk to and finding out what do you do you know, as a program manager, what are you actually doing? What is what is this role? Like? What types of certifications or skills or experience are people looking for when they're looking to hire people in these roles? And that's how you really build out your resume and understanding of roles and industries is by having those conversations. But that was a long answer to your question, which was about resumes, but vet jobs is the one that I can really, I can mention today as being a really great resource for resumes.

KP:

Oh, resumes is a start. I mean, that's, you know, that's the baseline of everything. So that's some great advice. And, you know, Kate, what caught my attention with you, is the engagement that you have on your social media posts, specifically LinkedIn, can you talk with us more about how you're using such platforms to better connect with the military community?

Kate Wood:

Yes, I feel like I spend all day on LinkedIn, which is a great thing, because it is such an amazing tool. And I think if you just get on there and get familiar with it, you you are really, you just become so aware of how powerful it actually is. And the question you had about, you know, how to utilize it as a veteran service member, or, you know, transitioning service member or spouse is really, you know, you have to build out a profile, right, you got to get out there, you have to build your profile, you have to put enough information on there for people to have, you know, some interest, right, don't use a picture that is of you and your uniform, right. That's the military side of you. People want to see other sides of you, you know, so don't use a picture of you in military uniform, use a picture of you in anything else, basically, a professional one, though, and give some life to your profile. Right, make it interesting. Tell Tell us some things that you're interested in outside of, you know, professional endeavors. You know, have you volunteered anywhere? Do you have, you know, other organizations you're a part of, so building out the profiles, the first part because I search recruiters, I, other recruiters can search people on LinkedIn based off of that information, right? So if you're looking for a data engineer role, that has to be somewhere within your LinkedIn profile, so if when I search for you, it pops up, right, so you have to optimize your profile. And that's what the digital networking professional program that hire military offers. It does exactly you come out of that program with a fully built LinkedIn profile that's optimized, as well as a resume. So that was something I should have mentioned that earlier, when you talked about resumes. If you attend the digital networking, professional certification, you will come away from that certification with a resume that's professionally written and built. But back to LinkedIn, you have to optimize your profile. That's the place you have to start. And then you have to start engaging, connect with people in roles and interests that you're interested in. Connect with them offer, you know, a personalized connection request. I'm transitioning from the military. I'm very interested in becoming a Salesforce administrator, can you offer more insight, I'd love to connect. You know, you have to put yourself out there and especially if you are attempting to connect within the military ecosystem, veterans are so eager to help the veteran, community, military spouse, community, everyone is so eager to help you just have to ask, ask in a SMART Specific way so that they can give you a specific answer. And then the last thing is engage, engage on people's posts, comment on people's posts, things that you find interesting and insightful. Create your own posts, you know, offering little glimpses into, you know, some challenges you had in the military or successes you had in the military or your transition process. Any of those little pieces, helps people to just see other sides of you. And the more you network on LinkedIn by engaging on people's posts, creating your own posts, connecting with more people, the more visibility you have, it's a social media platform. The more you like the more you comment the more you tagged, the more you post, the more visibility that people have on you as a as a person and as on your profile. So that's really what it is. And to be quite honest with you, up until about, maybe seven or eight months ago, I wasn't that active on LinkedIn. And I don't I, I'm so humble and how things have grown. It's been crazy. I mean, I went from, like, 600 connections to, I think close to maybe like 3000 in six months, not to say that anything, you know, specifically that I've done other than just trying to engage and be present, putting in a little bit of time every day to just have a presence on the platform and put yourself out there,

Avi Dhanraj:

Kate, I know, I can speak for both KPN di when I say nobody overestimates the power of social media, the abilities and the opportunities you have access to, or even the engagement that people can see you integrating yourself into different communities and providing your personal experiences putting yourself out there, nobody can underestimate the the value that you can get out of social media. And a lot of people are reluctant to participate on things like LinkedIn, or niche Facebook groups, because they think, Well, I don't really belong here, or I don't have much to add, or I just don't want to use social media in general. But the reality is, when you're transitioning, or trying to make a name for yourself, or even develop your professional career as you are, it's very, very important. And whether it be stumbling upon clubhouse rooms, or different veteran organizations, or very helpful, very open Facebook groups that have very, very involved and active members that can help you mentor you teach you lessons, it's just the possibilities are endless. And that is a main reason why we started this podcast to help people realize that there are opportunities and resources out there, even if it's a LinkedIn hashtag or a Facebook group. It's very, very important there. Now, Kate, when you separated from the military, was everything, as you anticipated it to be? Or were there things that you experienced that weren't very ideal or kind of caught you off? Guard?

Kate Wood:

Oh, wow. Um, yeah, that's a great question. And I think that no, things did not go exactly like I thought they would if you if you would have told me that I would be doing recruiting for an organization that specializes in the military demographic, I don't know, I would, I probably wouldn't have believed you. Even though I took a recruiting role as my first job out of the military. I did not like that role. My first job was not ideal. I stayed there for about a year, like you'd mentioned before KP I was in my role for maybe a year. And it just it was not what I wanted. And part of that came from maybe my lack of preparation in my transition. And I think a lot of it came from just feeling like, I had to take the first thing that came along. And I know that that's a that's something that happens with a lot of servicemembers when they transition is it's scary. There's a lot of unknowns, and you feel like, well, I just I have to take the first thing that comes along, because I don't know if there's going to be anything else. So that was something for me that I did not go as planned, you know, I thought wow, I'm going to go I'm going to have an amazing career, I have, you know, I'm a valuable, I'm valuable because I did time in the military, which we are the skills that we have are valuable. You just have to find where you fit best. So that didn't go well. And you know, and then and then as a veteran and a military spouse, with a spouse on active duty, there's so many unknowns, right, my husband deployed every six months for the last almost last seven years, like six months on six months home, six months, gone six months home. And so that's, you know, just navigating a different part of my transition in my professional journey, and just trying to have a very flexible and open mind about things right and seeing other people's career trajectories, and not comparing my own because I'm in my own situation, right. So that's something that I think is hard for veterans as well, because you might have gone to boot camp with someone right? And you stayed in a little longer they got out before you and now they're out doing something and you see where their careers going. And then you've transitioned you're like, well, I should be getting something that's on par for where they're at, because, you know, we were the same rank or we came in at the same time. And you can't do that, you know, Comparison is the thief of joy. That's a very, you know, cliche saying but comparison is also the thief of, you know, your own personal progress. Everyone has their own journeys, and especially when it comes to transition. My goodness, you could have someone that was in the army was a Medical Service Corps officer just like myself had the same undergrad we went to the same schools did all the same things. But we will have two completely different transitions. We will have two completely different career paths, because we're individuals and you cannot compare yourself to others. So I think that was one thing that I struggled with in my transition was just not comparing myself to other people and where they were at in their career journey and where I was at. I could talk a lot on that, because it's, it's something that I'm still kind of, you know, I think about a lot, and especially on LinkedIn, that's one of the downsides of any social media platform is the comparison piece. And try not to get caught up on that. And instead, just focusing on where you're finding success, or you're finding joy, or where your passions lie, and really finding the ideal next job or career for you,

KP:

most definitely, Kate. And many times when I speak to veterans like yourself, when you're describing some of your experiences, I can certainly connect with what you're saying, as far as transition being scary. I remember distinctly when I resigned my commission, I had so many other captains come up to me. And they were like, oh, so what are you going to do? What are you going to do? Like what? You know, that you could tell that they were fearful for me? And I'm like, listen, I believe in myself, I believe that I'm a hard worker. And at the end of the day, I'm going to do it. Like if you're in this business, because you're afraid of what's on the other side, then you're in this business for the wrong reasons. Absolutely. And it's it's refreshing to hear you know, folks like yourself, explain this, the similar experiences as well. And if you could go back in time, Kate, and give freshly commissioned second lieutenant Kate wood advice, oh, on better preparedness of career trends of the career transitioning aspect. Let's just say, what are three things that you'd advise? Young Kate would

Kate Wood:

Wow, oh, my goodness, you're taking me back to another world. Now. I'm so small caveat. I've been out of the military longer than I was in come February, which is a very weird feeling, right? Because you identify so much with who you were in the military. Um, three things that I would mention to Second Lieutenant Kate would I would probably just say, you know, it kind of goes back to that comparison thing. But you know, being giving yourself grace, right, like being a little easy on yourself, right? Like, you know, being in the military is hard, right? Especially as a second lieutenant, you're you're trying to feel like, where do I fit in and prove myself, and there's a lot you're navigating there as well. But I think just taking it easy on myself a little bit more, because I think that you rush and you focus so much on what's in front of you, especially in the military, it's like, this is the biggest priority right now, everything is, you know, needs to get done now, and you don't you leave little time for yourself, especially as a leader, as a leader in the military, you leave little time for yourself. So I guess that would be my next, my next point would be, you know, take time for yourself. Take time for personal development, professional development, while you're while you're young. And in the military, when you have three or four years until you transition, right? You don't want to be having to try to fit in 100 informational interviews in your last 60 days, 60 to 180 days in the military, talk to people early. If you come across anyone while you're in the military, whether they're in the military or out of the military, that's something that's interesting to you stay in contact with them, it's never a bad idea to take time for yourself to do personal and professional development. So that's, that's one. That's another piece. And the third piece of advice for Second Lieutenant Kate would you know, it kind of networking, but it goes to something else, just relationship building. The one thing that I think we all can say we miss about being in the military is that people you know, I luckily, we have Facebook, and we have things like that, or different social media platforms where you can keep in touch with people. And I do I still, you know, like friends with my platoon sergeant on Facebook, and we're commented on each other stuff a lot. And, you know, it's like, take the time, take the time to get to know people, right, not just because you're their leader, and you know, you're supposed to say you care about them, but you should get to know them. You know, you never know when you're going to cross paths with people in the future, especially when you're all out everyone's out of the military. And you're you know, working professionally, you never know when you're going to cross paths, right? So just maintain those friendships, maintain those relationships, take advantage of it. Take advantage of being stuck with someone for 30 days out in the field like get to know them, get to know them, get to know their family. Take advantage of the time because the military is such a unique and amazing organization. You have people from all different walks of life from all over the country and get get to know them take advantage of it. It's it's one of the most amazing things about the military is the people. So that'd be my last piece of advice.

KP:

Yeah. And the piece where you're talking about taking time for yourself and investing in yourself is something that I feel like even when you're on the civilian side of your career is something that you have to always remind yourself of doing is to Yes, it's important to do your in house training, but also take into consideration some of the opportunities that you have outside because I know that there's, especially if you're a veteran or a male spouse, there's a lot of opportunity certifications you can get like with academic education we have Coursera is one of our biggest organizations that we work with. It's an online platform. So you can continue that education and and, you know, talk about that time for yourself and investing in yourself. So that's some great advice. And there's certainly a lot of things that I would definitely tell the younger version of myself as well. But going back to your social media posts, and LinkedIn, you know that that's how I found you, Kate. And so what you're doing is working 100%. And I saw one of your posts, we wrote about time, and it involved career and mental preparedness. And I certainly think managing time is extremely important. As far as time What can a service member do to efficiently utilize their time and preparedness for a career transition?

Kate Wood:

Yeah, that's a great, great question. KP and I think you're alluding to a post I did about it was before the last four day weekend, and you know, veterans are transitioning servicemembers are constantly DMing me and saying, Hey, what advice do you have? What are the things that I need to do to you know, prepare myself for transition, and I usually give them very pointed advice on here's what you need to do resume or organizations to connect with, like, the list of to dues. And I thought that it would be a great idea just to post something about, hey, the most important thing you can do over a four day weekend, is to take time for yourself and spend time with your family. Right? We can get so stuck into this is the all the to dues I need to do for my transition. And they are all important. And you should give time to all of those different things that help you to prepare smartly for a transition. But take time with your family take time to revisit the old hobby that you had, right? That's where this mental health and you know, mental well being. And self care really plays into things. Because we find we lose ourselves to the military when you're an active duty. And when you get out, it's almost like who am I? What do I like? What what are the things that I'm interested in outside of the military. So that's very important. But as far as preparing your, for your transition on the other side of that, right, it's just starting early, you know, it's never too early to start. Even if you have three, you know, four years or you know, you're more than a year out from your transition, if you know that you're really interested in becoming, you know, doing it, talk to people in it, or the different career fields that you're interested in. What are the certifications I need? You know, what are the types of skills certifications that are ideal for this type of role, start working on those, it's never too early, I know someone that I'm connected with on LinkedIn, he has over like 50 or 60 certifications. And he's still in the military. And he's he's setting himself up very well for transitioning into a career that can utilize, you know, several of those certifications. So start early. You know, it comes down to that networking piece. Again, find people in fields that you're interested in, even if it's just having one conversation a week, find one person in your professional network or through LinkedIn that you can have an informational interview with 1515 minutes a week, one call 15 minutes a week, pick their brain, ask them all the questions. That's a great way to start you know, start small schedule, schedule a call and then that one call will turn into other calls. And through that, you will find the different organizations or you know, education options that you that will really, you know, help you to prepare the most for your transition.

KP:

Yeah, for me, Kate, when I was a lieutenant and I would, you know, have my my platoon trying to get some of the lower enlisted folks to properly utilize their time, in a sense of feeling accomplished was something that I tried really hard to do, whether it was trying to get them to the Education Center, or have them do something more positive other than sit around the barracks and drink all weekend or go out to the bars of the closest face it that's just how it is right? So posts in itself stuck out to me the most and I'm the type of person where I like feeling accomplished and seeing the fruits of my labor. And it kind of gives you a sense of pride but it gets the momentum rolling in the right direction. So I thought that was a great post that you put up as far as hey, you know, don't just waste your waste your four day weekend but you know, use it for family use it for yourself. And you just absolutely just mentioned it and so this rolls into my next question from your experience. It sounds like it is number one, but what are the hot careers seeking to hire veterans and what do you think will be in demand beyond the horizon?

Kate Wood:

Such an interesting question and honestly KP myself, Lucy, our hiring manager and Amber, the other recruiter at higher military we talk about this almost constantly because the job market I think we I could say this is wild right now. Right? It's a candidates market. There are job openings everywhere across Every industry in every organization, whether it's fast food to, you know, cybersecurity consulting with the Big Four consulting firm, like It's wild. And it's really hard to know what where are the trends at right? So I'm going to speak to a couple things. I'm going to first I'm going to speak to, you know, trends of current openings, which it's kind of wild to say this, but it is it's, it's it, it's anything related to, you know, cyber is a huge thing right now, it's not going to go anywhere. So cybersecurity, any roles in cybersecurity are really hot right now. But I'm going to caveat with saying, it's hard for some for transitioning servicemembers to slide right into those roles, right? There's hardly, there's, there's a limited amount of entry level cybersecurity or entry level, it rolls out there. They do require some education and experience, not to say you can't, you don't, you might not come from the military with some of that experience. But it does require, you know, some education, some certifications, some training, things like that. Tons of those organizations out there that we just talked about that offer a lot of those certifications and things like that. So those are trends that I think are definitely not going anywhere, right. But I think a trend that I see from a perspective of, you know, things that veterans transitioning service members offer is it's always that leadership piece, some of the soft skills that come and you know, from being a military veteran and operating in the military, those are skills that employers want, being dedicated and hard working and operating fast paced environments, kind of being unflappable, right? You you don't you know, but you don't buckle under stress or pressure. And then the leadership piece as well, like, those are things that organizations are always going to need no matter if you're, you know, working in it or another industry. So just, you know, be confident that you come away with the military with those skills, and that there's organizations out there that want them. The other trend I'm seeing is that there's a lot of skilled trades that are open right now. And we've were actually recruiting for several of them. Like if you were a diesel mechanic, or worked on any sort of, you know, machines in the motor pool, you drove trucks or any of that, like we are actively sourcing for roles like that. But a lot of people that are in we're in those MLS that have directly transferable skills outside of the military, they're wanting to branch into, you know, it and tech and things like that, which is great. I think people should pursue whatever they're interested in in whatever they're passionate about. But I think that if you have those skilled trades, and you have that experience doing some of that skilled work right, based off of your MLS, there, there are roles out there that are directly transferable for you to I guess all that to say it's a very interesting time. And there's openings everywhere. Across the board. Yeah, it's it's a really interesting time to be a recruiter. I'll tell you that much.

KP:

Yeah, most definitely. And I really, when I got out of the military, it was 2007. And so I always say this, and it just kind of gives you an idea. But I had no there was no Facebook. I mean, Facebook was just starting out and MySpace, MySpace was the hottest thing out there. So that's what I had was a MySpace, there was no LinkedIn. So no day, there's really no excuses on why you can't connect and why you can't start networking and finding folks to help position yourself in the right into the right career before getting out. And I understand what you're saying 100%. And I believe that transition actually begins when you join the military. And it sounds kind of strange. But a lot of folks wait to the very end when they're getting ready to get out. And then they start figuring out, oh, I need to get certifications, I need to do this, I need to figure out where I'm going to live. Next, I got to move my family. But in reality over the course of your whole career, if you properly manage your career, you can start going to the Education Center, the first week that you show up to your duty station, and slowly over time, you can knock out a lot of the education certifications, diplomas and things like that, over the course of your time that you're actually stationed wherever you're at. What was really interesting, Kate was I recently stopped by a recruiting station and army recruiting station. And I asked the recruiters there, I said, Hey, you know, I know that when you sign people up for the military, you ask them, What are your goals? And do you follow up with those goals? Once they're done with their basic training and a it? And they said, Well, yeah, they you know, they send us a picture and tell us that they're done. And I'm like, no, no. So what I mean, like, do you like you ask them what their goals were? Are you following up to make sure that they're being held accountable as far as what they said they were going to do? And are they you know, getting their bachelor's degree or whatever it said, like, Well, no, you know, that's what I would like for more information to play as far as linking up with, you know, higher military, and also active education, some of these other groups out there to help hold people back. accountable to follow their goals and to do so even when they get to the first duty stations.

Avi Dhanraj:

Now, Kate, circling back to our questions here, from your experience, what are some things that servicemembers think they understand about transitioning, but really don't and often succumb to that pitfall?

Kate Wood:

That's a really good question. And I think, hear me out before you judge me how I'm going to answer this. I think that sometimes, transitioning service members sometimes overvalue the fact that they've served in the military. And they feel they're, they feel like, oh, I served, I'm going to get a job like that. People are waiting for me, people are waiting for me to get out of the military so they can hire me. And, again, do not discount the skills that you come away with the military, right? Being a leader, being adaptable, being flexible, all of these soft skills that we gather in the military and a lot of technical skills, right? There's a lot of MLS is out there that have very technical skills that you come away with, but no one is waiting for you. People are not going to be you know, groveling at your feet, saying pick our company, pick our company, pick our organization, okay, you have got to put in the work, you have to put the work in, that is the part of transition that will make you successful, or it will have you fail, you have to put in the work. Okay, and you have to be humble, you have to have some degree of humbleness and saying, I might have been amazing in the military, which you probably were, but outside of the military is much different. Even if you're going directly into like a DOD government contracting job. Okay, that organization is not your battalion. It's not your platoon. It wasn't your brigade, wherever you were at in the military. It is their own organization, they have their own culture. The job has its own responsibilities, its own requirements, you have to be humble about that. And say, what can I learn? How can I prepare myself to best serve in that role, no one is going to just say, Wow, you just got your DD 214. Here's 15 jobs, I think you should apply for your, you're amazing for all of them, you've got to put the work in. And you have to, you know, be a lifelong learner of where you fit throughout your your professional journey as well. Transition is tough it is. Everyone that's ever transition will tell you that even if they went into a great if even if they found an amazing role first time out, right, and they've been with that company for the last 10 years, which rarely happens. Everyone will say it's tough. But those that have more success, and maybe say that it's a little easier, or those that put in the work. And it does require that doing the networking, taking the informational interviews, working on your resume, doing a lot of soul searching on what you where you think you would fit in what you think you're good at, or where your passions lie. What's the right fit for your family, you know, job wise and location wise, right, let's talk about bringing your family into the decision making process, you know, because they, they often don't get to be part of the decision making process when you're in the military and your PCs sing every couple years. You know, so just taking a holistic approach to it. I think AVI is also important as well. And taking all those factors into play. I could talk for hours about transitioning, but that's my that's my I guess short answer on it is Be humble, do the work. And just take a really holistic approach to it.

KP:

Yeah, Kate, a lot of your a lot of your answers. You know, I really feel connected whenever I speak to veterans like yourself, because some of your answers got me cheese. And I mean, I'm just smiling because, you know, I know that what you're talking about, you know, as far as your military service is enough to, to get you into an awesome job is exactly how a lot of folks think they think that when they get out then that's enough, like going through your ai t and then going through your other courses. You know, if you're enlisted, that's enough, I'm when I get out the career world is going to throw rose petals at my feet, and I'm going to get all the offers. And then it's like just so disappointing when that doesn't happen. And so, for me as a leader, it was always important to say look, you need to get your bachelor's degree, you need to get your associate's degree or whatever you need to do something while you're in here. Don't waste your time. And I think it's important for like Avi, for example. He's a future military leader. You know, hopefully Avi which I don't have to hoax, I know he will be he'll be the type of leader that's going to be like, hey, get your butts to the Education Center. Start investing in yourself. Right, Avi?

Avi Dhanraj:

You know it KP I know too much. Now to let that go by. He's seen too much.

KP:

It's important to involve some of our future leaders just like Avi into the conversation and we hosted clubhouse for a long time and we had we only had a couple folks drop in we had a brand new army Second Lieutenant come into clubhouse and was talking to some of the service members and veterans about their experiences which I find absolutely amazing. I didn't seek any type of elder leadership when, when, when we were getting out. Kate, I really appreciate your time on the morning formation today, your answers were spot on. And I know a lot of folks out there while they're listening to this are going to be thinking wow, like I like I can resonate with what she's saying, Is there anything that you'd like to close out and let our listeners know about either military experience or transitioning out of the military or the organization that you work for?

Kate Wood:

Absolutely. So first, I feel like I have to plug that please connect with me on LinkedIn, connect with higher military, and you know, the other people within our organization, I think I can speak for our entire company that we might not be able to provide exactly what you need. We I can't I can't build your resume for you, I might not have the open job that you're looking for. But we will do everything we can to connect you to those people. The last thing is just and I feel like I'm going to I say this over and over and over again. But you know, put yourself out there. Don't be scared to start. Okay, we all started somewhere. Every every transitioning service member, every veteran started somewhere in their journey, right? We all started somewhere. And we all want to give back to the community, our own our military community, right? So, you know, put yourself out there, do it in a smart way. Do it in a professional way. Don't expect everyone to respond. Don't expect everyone to give you you know that 15 minute call the first time you ask them, but ask right hey, I really am interested in the work you're doing at you know, KPMG and consulting, whatever it is, I'd really love to pick your brain for 15 minutes, just ask put yourself out there and ask and it's never too early to start your transition.

KP:

Some great advice. Some very great advice, Avi before we finish off the show, what are your thoughts

Avi Dhanraj:

now much is say KP Cade we had a great interview here you answered everything perfectly and you have so much insight and so much value to add to so many veterans and so many active duty service members lives highly, highly recommend everybody listening to check out high military and all these different veteran organizations.

KP:

Most definitely and for the folks that are looking to connect with Kate are looking for the links for higher military all that will be in the show notes as well. And her email will also be on there too so you can reach out to Kate and ask any additional questions and follow up. As for the morning formation, KP Avi with Kate wood. I want everyone out there to stay tuned, stay focused and stay motivated. Warriors fall out