Author: GuideOn (page 2 of 4)

The 3 Foundational Elements That Drive GuideOn

Core Values, Core Purpose, and Powerful Transforming Vision: Overview

When the GuideOn Leadership Team started the company in September 2014, we wanted to build a high-performance, transformational culture that was driven by intangible motivators that not only recognized each teammember’sbasic needs, but more importantly theirpersonal fulfillment needs and desires. We wanted toengage the emotional energy of the “full person” inside every GuideOn team member, similar to the way that the Army’s Values, Purpose and Vision had energized GuideOn Co-Founders. To realize this kind of culture we knew that it would have to be built on a strong foundation of specific GuideOn Core Values, Core Purpose, and A Powerful Transforming Vision that would engage team member motives and drive our behavior. We invite you to examine GuideOn’s three foundational elements and to ask yourself the question, “Are these type foundational elements important to me, when I make my civilian work place selection?”

At GuideOn we believe that high performing companies possess and are driven by three essential organizational foundational elements, which form the bedrock for enduring company success: 1) a set of Internalized Core Values, 2) a Core Purpose, and 3) a Powerful Transforming Vision.

The first two foundational elements, Core Values and Core Purpose form GuideOn’s Core Ideology. GuideOn team members fully understand that to realize lasting organizational success we must live and work by our Core Ideology. Furthermore, to create and sustain our GuideOn culture we must also teach our Core Ideology to all new team members. Core Values are the crucial and enduring tenets of an organization. In short, GuideOn’s Core Values are our basic beliefs about “what is good”, “what ought” to be, or “what we stand for”. The second part of GuideOn’s Core Ideology is Core Purpose, is “our reason for being” or “why we exist”. GuideOn’s Core Purpose is the company’s and team member’s DNA. These first two tenets essentially identify what is sacred to GuideOn and must remain fixed. They differ drastically from our business strategies and practices, which must endlessly adapt to a changing world. In the end Core Values and Core Purpose, our Core Ideology provides the glue that holds our organization together through time. Our Core Ideology is what defines GuideOn’s enduring character, our consistent identity that transcends product or market life cycles, technology breakthroughs, management fads, and individual leaders. Most importantly, GuideOn’s ability to focus and refocus on our Core Ideology is the primary reason we can solve “unsolvable” problems innovatively”.

GuideOn’s third foundation element is our Powerful Transformational Vision. Our Core Ideology is critical to Vision development and attainment, because it measures the “rightness” of our Vision. GuideOn’s strong Core Ideology prevents us from creating a Vision that could be viewed as immoral or unethical. However, as important as our Core Ideology is it does not provide direction. Only GuideOn’s third essential foundational element, our Powerful Transforming Vision provides crucial direction. Vision is GuideOn’s realistic, credible, compelling future state. It is the vivid description of our desirable future, “What we want to create”. Vision animates, inspirits, and transforms Core Values and core purpose into action.

GuideOn’s Core Values: A Deeper Dive

As noted earlier, GuideOn’s Core Values are our basic beliefs about what is “good” or what “ought to be, or what we stand for”. Our Core Values serve as guidelines for leader and team member decision making and ethical conduct. At GuideOn leaders and team members are embrace and aspire to our Core Values. At GuideOn we live and work by the six team Core Values. These Core Values were developed by GuideOn leaders and team members during our initial Strategic Planning Retreat in September 2014.

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To ensure that all GuideOn leaders and team members fully understand what is meant by each of our six Core Values, we defined each Core Value by a set of guiding principles. Our guiding principles are value-based statements that specifically define each GuideOn Core Value. Each Guiding Principle is a promise or commitment that describes how GuideOn leaders and team members will live our Core Values, both privately and publicly. It fine-tunes the meaning of GuideOn Core Values and provides a specific frame work to form expectations and judge behavior. GuideOn Guiding Principles answer the question, “How will I act and behave daily as I live and work to fulfill our Core Purpose in pursuit of our Vision?”  GuideOn Core Values with their Guiding Principle shown below.

GuidingPrinciples1GuidingPrinciples2

Core Purpose: A Deeper Dive

The second part of GuideOn’s Core Ideology is Core Purpose, “our reason for being” or “why we exist”. GuideOn’s Core Purpose is the company’s and team member’s DNA. Our Core Purpose is based on our enduring core values and guiding principles. Core Purpose is important to GuideOn’s success because it simultaneously drives our team forward and helps build a sustainable competitive advantage. We believe that in the hands of our leaders and team members Core Purpose becomes the engine of our team and the source of our collective energy. Core Purpose makes GuideOn leaders and team members feel that their work is worthwhile and thus it builds and maintains morale and energy levels. We strongly believe that Core Purpose also guides our work to do things that create a competitive advantage and ultimately turn our Vision into reality (see our Core Purpose below).

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GuideOn’s Core Purpose incorporates a deeply felt awareness of who we are as a team, the circumstances of Service Members and Veterans, and GuideOn’s potential calling: the “problem” our United States society is asking the leaders to solve. It draws equally upon our GuideOn’s self-knowledge and intellectual thought – it calls upon everything our company is, everything our team members have experienced and everything we believe in.

In the end, GuideOn’s Core Purpose is “Battle Flag” for doing what is right and what is worthwhile. As such, it creates our sense of obligation. But this obligation is not a weight or a drag in any way. It’s a way of knowing what our leaders and team members can and can’t do. Because Core Purpose provides certainty, it also provides confidence. All of that comes together to contribute to our team’s competitive advantage. “Do the right thing and do it well” This is GuideOn’s way of saying “Do well by doing good.”

Powerful and Transforming Vision: A Deeper Dive

GuideOn’s third essential organizational foundational element is a Powerful and Transforming Vision, “what we want to create”.  Vision provides our company crucial direction. It is our leaders and team member’s vibrant engaging description of what it will be like in the distant future. In simple terms, Vision is reminiscent of the picture on a “jigsaw puzzle box”, it enables everyone in GuideOn to know what the big picture or desired end state looks like.  Additionally, research demonstrates that a powerful and transforming vision is essential to guide change in an organization and shape a new culture

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At GuideOn be believe our Vision enables the company and team members to: 1) stretch and aim for a high target, 2) energize and jump-start the future by calling forth the skills, talents, and resources to make our Vision happen, 3) bridge the present and future, and 4) muster the strength to persist in the face of setbacks and even failures.  

In the final analysis, when GuideOn’s high performing leaders and team members harness the power of Core Values, Core Purpose, and Powerful and Transforming Vision they become the energy behind every effort and the force that pushes through all problems. By embracing theses three essential foundational elements, our high performing leaders and team members on a mission and a contagious spirit is felt among everyone to solve “unsolvable” problems innovatively.

Soldier to Civilian: Networking as a Veteran

When I left the military in 2007, my next move was business school. As a fresh veteran, I knew little about the private sector, let alone business. What I learned one short week after arriving was that networking is everything.

Networking can be unusual and unnatural for soldiers. We do little of it in our military careers. For the most part, our OER and NCOERs (military performance appraisals) speak for our professionalism and experience. The Army and sister branches rely on this system, in my opinion, for these three reasons:

  • Efficiency – The Army is the large organization with an enormous Human Resources challenge.
  • Continuity – If everyone operates under the same grading system, with all soldiers given equal opportunity to succeed (shine), promotions and job assignments should be fair.
  • Community – When we enter the service we’re designated to a career within a specific branch or corps. In short, everyone will eventually know each other or be one degree away from knowing each other before long.

This system is designed to practically eliminate the need to network the way our counterparts do in the private sector. So where does that leave veterans as they transition into the civilian workforce?

My first week of business school was a networking nightmare. Everyone was doing their best to leave strong first impressions while discovering what each other’s past careers were and where future careers were headed. This felt hokey to me and I was reluctant to participate. After a few weeks I made some friends who asked, “why aren’t you attending networking events?” I explained my reasons and they explained why I was making a mistake.

Here’s why networking is everything

I graduated from Cornell in 2009. Since then I have had three jobs. I worked at a New York start-up straight out of school doing business development. After this experience, I moved to San Francisco and landed a job doing operations management with SRI. Finally, in early 2011, I co-founded Adjacent Applications which has now become GuideOn.

In the past 5 years, what got me work and allowed me to start funding my company was meeting with hundreds of people over coffee, lunch, dinner, drinks, running groups, biking groups, dinner parties… you get the idea. It’s all about networking.

In the private sector, every professional is looking for the next opportunity, even if they say they aren’t. I was in the Army for eight years and never networked to get a job. My father was a Cold War soldier for 21 years and never networked to get a job. It’s because you’re always, technically, in the same organization.

In the private sector people don’t share their performance appraisals when interviewing for a new job with a new company. What they share is a resume and, nowadays, their LinkedIn profile.

I’m not going to tell you how to get over the hokey feeling of networking. You are a veteran or a Soldier, Airman, Marine, or Sailor. You’ve been in tougher situations. What I can provide are some tips to help with the networking process to ease your transition as a veteran entering the private sector:

  • Find a mentor and coach who has made a successful transition from military service to the private sector. No need to re-create the networking wheel — learn from another veterans’ mistakes and successes.
  • Find a mentor and coach who has been in the private sector for their entire career. They can provide just as much guidance and assistance as a veteran. In many cases, their advice may be more valuable as you begin.
  • Prior to leaving service, start translating your military experience to private sector relevance. You’ve accomplished some amazing feats – now you need to translate them. Before you know it, you’re a year way from leaving the military and need that resume and a year of preparation to find your next job.
  • Create a LinkedIn account a year to six months prior to leaving the military. LinkedIn is currently providing a free, one-year subscription for their premium account. The premium account allows you to send messages between other LinkedIn users and gives access to benefits to other features. This is how you get a free premium account: a. Join LinkedIn and complete the profile.
b. Be sure to add your military experience, so LinkedIn can verify you are serving or have served.
c. Join the Veteran Mentor Network and then join the subgroup, “LI Job Seeker Subscription.”
 LinkedIn will later connect you to information on the premium upgrade.
  • Create a 30-second personal pitch. What’s your story? Here is a great tool from Harvard Business School to assist you.
  • Create a Meetup profile and start searching for groups that interest you in your local education or business community. Meetup will help you meet non-military people who enjoy the same activities and have the same interests as you do. This is a good way to network without feeling like you are ‘actively’ networking.
  • Be courageous and put yourself out there! It’s scary at first and seems uncomfortable, but as with everything else, you will succeed and land yourself the jobs and opportunities you deserve and desire!

 

Anthony Garcia
GuideOn, CEO and Co-Founder

 

A Veteran’s Call to Action

When I left the Army in 2007, I had been away from combat for one year and was in the process of transitioning to life as a student. As ridiculous as this sounds, I was more afraid of going to class than receiving a 0300 Dustoff mission. I was afraid because I didn’t know how to act as a civilian, I was zoning out in class thinking about Iraq, I was surrounded by people who had never experienced combat, and I believed I had lost my identity.

Warriors and the Village

Hundreds of years ago, warriors left their villages to fight wars. Sometimes they were away from home for years. Villages knew their warriors, the same as small towns like Bandera, TX and Elmira, NY know their warriors today. When warriors in the past returned to their villages, they were welcomed back with open arms. Every person in the village understood what their warrior had been through. Warriors were not held on pedestals, but were respected because villagers knew they were fighting and defending the community. This understanding helped make the transition from warrior to farmer a relatively smooth one. This understanding eliminated misconceptions about combat and what it meant to be a warrior transitioning to a new profession. Older generations of warriors in a village were the norm, which reinforced the re-assimilation of younger warriors returning home. Our community understood us.

Fast forward to the first half of the 20th century. Many communities were smaller than they are today. There were still generations of warriors in these communities. Organizations like The American Legion and the VFW provided a common place where warriors could come together. Service was mandatory and generations of warriors were still abundant.

It’s different today in the early 21st century. Technology and industrialization have grown our communities and formed our great cities. Our military is vastly improved. We have superior combat technology and our warriors are better trained and educated. We do more with fewer warriors, resulting in only 1 percent of our population serving at any given time. Generations of warriors are widening. Today, a warrior comes back from years of fighting, separates from service, and is thrown into a society that does not understand what he has been through.

Who can help Warriors?

So how do we do a better job of veteran assimilation? I could make the argument that our government and local municipalities should solve the homeless veteran battle, veteran unemployment, and the lack of healthcare resources. I could also make a case for joining the local VFW or American Legion post. I believe it’s our duty, as fellow veterans, to welcome back our brother and sister warriors. It’s our duty, as veterans, to be the community that assists with the transition from warrior to farmer, so to speak. No one can do this better than veterans. And every veteran can make an individual difference. With social media, technology, and the cell phone, we’re all connected and closer than we were 10 years ago. A couple of months ago I discovered that a flight medic I served with was retiring. I got this from his Facebook timeline. The village is not dead, it’s just changed a bit.

Here are some examples of how veterans can help veterans:

  • Telling your transition story to a veteran – Warriors need to understand that they are experiencing nothing that another warrior before them has not been through. This can assist with avoiding isolation from loved ones and assist with combating PTSD – resulting in encouragement to seek professional help.
  • Resume writing – A veteran assisted me in translating my military service to private sector understanding. I was completely lost without his assistance. The process involves digging up old OERs/NCOERs, looking at past assignments, and reflecting on your career. Assistance from a warrior whose made the transition provides validation that what you did while serving can translate to the private sector. It will help you to understand how you can contribute after service and what gaps need to be filled through education and training to be successful. This is why I founded GuideOn.
  • Coaching newly separated veterans on how to interact in the private sector – I currently hold monthly Skypes with two buddies who are in the process of leaving service. I tell them about my mistakes and what I thought when I was interacting for the first time in the private sector. The questions they ask me are the same questions I had back in 2007.
  • Connecting veterans with civilians in a social setting – I knew very few non-military folk when I left the Army. It took me a while to make civilian friends. After I made a few good friends, I could see they were just like me. In fact, I would argue having new friends, who have never served, is vital to the transition.
  • Offering assistance – When I was an Army Aviator, crew coordination was paramount to the safety and success of all missions. A vital element to crew coordination is “Offer Assistance.” Crewmembers offer assistance anytime a crewmember sees or recognizes anything that posses a hazard to flight. This could mean taking the controls if the pilot on the controls is having difficulty, or questioning another crewmember prior to taking action. All warriors in combat offer assistance. It’s a matter of life and death. Why should this be any different after service? If you meet a fellow warrior, ask how they’re doing. If you feel a connection, exchange emails or phone numbers. I consider any day I meet a fellow warrior in the San Francisco Bay Area to be a good day. We’re few and far between in this area and it’s good to know we can lean on each other if needed. Even if it’s for a discussion over a late night beer or coffee.

The days of the village welcoming the warrior back home are still possible. The village is now virtual and comprised of veterans. This past year I changed my profile picture on FB to a photo of me in my dress blues. I later noticed my news feed filled with dozens of profile picture updates. Fellow warriors were changing their profile pictures to high speed photos of them kitted up, wearing their dress uniform, or busting a pose in front of a Black Hawk. We do this because we’re proud of our service. We do this because other veterans are proud of our service. And we do this to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters to cope with. We may be hard to find in the real world, but we’re all discoverable and accessible in the virtual world.

I challenge all warriors to reflect on how they can welcome a warrior back to our village. We’ve been fighting for over a decade. We all have suffered, lost brothers and sisters, many have physical wounds, and we all have emotional wounds. We understand each other. We can’t sit around and wait for the government to do something for us and we can’t count on an organization to solve our problems. We all have the power to have a direct impact on a warrior. That’s something worth living for.

 

Anthony Garcia

GuideOn, CEO & Co-founder

 

Veterans in Recruiting Funnels

How do Veterans fit into a Civilian Recruiting Funnel?

Veterans are no strangers to strategy, models, organizational structures, and formal processes focused on goals or outcomes. Whether this brings any comfort or not, the civilian world does function very similarly in that capacity, especially in the job selection and recruiting arenas.

(The Army actually utilizes a version of a recruiting funnel for it’s own recruiting and selection process too.)

So what is a recruiting funnel?

In its most basic form, it’s a strategy, often represented in a visual form. Think of it as a pipeline (or a process) that channels in a group of candidates (passive or active, depending on the recruiter and position looking to be filled) at the top. These candidates go through a good screening process in the middle that provides recruiters the opportunity to move the most talented applicants quickly to the bottom of the funnel to select, interview, and hire the best fitting applicant (or applicants) from that initial grouping that entered the funnel at the top.
LET'S GO SHOPPING!-4More than likely, as you traverse the job market, you’ll end up in one of these funnels along the way. So it’s important to understand how it works and how you can be the best candidate to make it to the end of funnel for consideration and employment. There are several indicators that can assist in that success rate that we’ll discuss in an upcoming blog, but one to highlight now is a great resume. Our mission at GuideOn is to ensure veterans are equipped with the best translation of their time in service (The GuideOn Resume) which places them in the funnel at a competitive level. If you have not yet utilized the free resume translation service we provide, we invite you to get started today!

Which Way to Go?

Where do I go? What do I do know? These are among the first thoughts when a military service member reaches the point of transition. While we are aware of the decisions having to be made, we may not be as aware of the deep mental processes at hand.

Intuition and Listening to Your Gut

There is an interesting study from 1997,published in Science called, “Deciding advantageously before knowing the advantageous strategy”.

There is great relevance here with respect to decisions as to whether we cooperate with or defect against the other ‘players’ based off of data and signaling. The research suggests that our intuition operates nearly twice as fast as our conscious mind and that it leads us towards the most advantageous strategy before we are consciously aware of why that strategy is the best.

The study sought to analyze whether overt reasoning in complex situations was preceded by non-conscious intuition that assisted in decision making. Meaning, does our gut really tell us what to do. The participants consisted of normal individuals and patients who had damage to their ventromedial prefrontal cortex – an area of the brain involved in making decisions. Each set of participants was given four decks of cards, with the individual cards corresponding to a specific monetary reward or loss. The participants were instructed to pull cards from the decks with the goal of winning the greatest amount of money and losing the least amount of money; however, two of the decks were stacked disadvantageously.

By measuring the subject’s skin conductance response (SCR) the researchers determined that the normal participants were able to develop a “hunch” about which two decks were bad by card 50 – on average – based off of SCR’s; however, the same participants could not explain why the decks were bad conceptually until card 80. The patients with ventromedial cortex damage did not generate any SCR’s, and even after they realized which decks were bad they continued to pull from the disadvantageous ones. 

Bechara and his fellow researchers concluded that, “In normal individuals, non-conscious biases guide behavior before conscious knowledge does. Without the help of such biases, overt knowledge may be insufficient to ensure advantageous behavior.” 

Our intuition is likely built up through some combination of nature and nurture and is continually refined over the course of our lifetimes. The value that it provides us is undeniable, but it is important to know when to intrinsically trust it – e.g. for split second decisions such as combat – and when to utilize it in conjunction with our System 2.  The subconscious nature of our intuition creates potential pitfalls if we allow biases and faulty assessments of previous experiences to cloud critical decisions and introspective analysis (Daniel Kahneman’s research provides a nice framework on how best to utilize our System 1 and System 2 in conjunction to make the best possible decisions given outside constraints). Use your gut feelings and intuition when asking the interviewer questions. You will learn of great benefits of the company and culture, so listening carefully to avoid biases is important to making the right decisions.

Intuition Training and Pitfalls

When we look at intuition training, Malcolm Gladwell seems to do the best job of summarizing the top research. His writings allude to the fact that intuition can be honed through experience and explicit training, but the tricky part is trying to achieve a balance and knowing when to trust your intuition and knowing when it’s leading you to the wrong conclusion.

In “The Naked Face”, Gladwell explains how we can get a read on peoples’ thoughts and actions through their non-verbal mannerisms and facial expressions, and how some people are incredibly adept at rapidly and correctly assessing what these expressions mean. Gladwell mentions that the FACS (Facial Coding Action System) can be taught over the course of several weeks, potentially bringing a trainee up to the level of some of the experts. Could you imagine walking into an interview equipped with a skill to read your interviewers mannerisms and facial expressions?!

Honing in on intuition can also present some pitfalls. “What We Know Without Knowing How” explains some of the potential pitfalls associated with using our intuition. It states that, “Interviewers generally think they can better predict a candidate’s future job performance through a meeting than through evaluating test scores and grades – but research has shown reliance on intuition can backfire in this situation.” 

Diving into cutting edge research on how to make better decisions and optimize our analytical skills by understanding and refining our thought processes over the course of our careers will aid and support us during intense transition periods. Our System 1 (Intuition) and System 2 (Deliberate Logic) enable us to identify immensely valuable insights, especially when analyzing complicated decisions, such as choosing which career path and industry to pursue after serving in the military. By continuing to refine our intuition and incorporating data-driven objective analysis we can steel ourselves against natural biases and better determine the arenas where we can do our best work and the roles that we are best suited for following our time in uniform.

~The GuideOn Blog Team

When Intuition Comes into Play

As we transition out of the military, it’s important that we try to make an effort to know ourselves and know our strengths and weaknesses.  Our time in the service often gives us the ability to perform a candid introspective analysis of what we’ve done well and what we need to improve on. However, as we transition into the private sector it’s important to understand where our skills are immediately transferrable and were we need to gain new knowledge and experience in order to become strong contributors. To assist with this introspective analysis, we wanted to share some insights and research on the psychological underpinnings of thought processes – specifically intuition vs. logic – in order to help us better understand ourselves and the organizations and sectors where we can make the biggest impact.

Frameworks of Thought

At the most basic level, human beings have a rational side and an emotional side. This framework of the way in which humans interact with each other and the world goes all the way back to Aristotle and has largely stood the test of time; however, new research by Dan Ariely, Daniel Kahneman, Chip and Dan Heath, and Jonathan Haight has brought new insights into this baseline framework.  

Our emotional side is like an Elephant and our rational side is its Rider. Perched atop the Elephant, the Rider holds the reins and seems to be the leader. But the Rider’s control is precarious because the Rider is so small relative to the Elephant.  Anytime the six-ton Elephant and the Rider disagree about which direction to go the Rider is going to lose. He’s completely overmatched.  (Heath, Chip and Heath, Dan – Switch, pg. 7)

This analogy comes from Jonathan Haight, who offers a concise and straightforward understanding of how to understand why we react in different ways. The Heath Brothers, further added environment to the equation, which they refer to as the path. Their addition to the framework offers a new element to this instructive analogy, which intuits that by utilizing our rational side to direct our emotional side into a virtuous environment, we can sustain ourselves in a positive growth focused trajectory. Dan Ariely adds another fascinating perspective through his research, which shares the concept that humans are indefinitely irrational, though in predictable ways.  

We have problems with self-control, related to immediate and delayed gratification – no doubt there. But each of the problems we face has potential self-control mechanisms, as well. If we can’t save from our paycheck, we can take advantage of our employer’s automatic deduction option; if we don’t have the will to exercise regularly alone, we can make an appointment to exercise in the company of our friends. These are the tools that we can commit to in advance, and they may help us be the kind of people that we want to be. (Ariely, Dan – Predictably Irrational)

One of the most fascinating insights about the way that we think and how to conceptualize and utilize the emotional (Intuitive) and rational (Logical) systems of the brain comes from Daniel Kahneman. Dr. Kahneman (a nobel laureate) explains how our thinking is broken down into two systems: System 1 – emotional and intuitive; and System 2 logical and deliberate. The key advice that we share is that we need to train our intuition (System 1) to know when to incorporate more deliberate thoughtful analysis (System 2) in order to make optimal decisions and choices. Especially when big decisions are on the line, it’s important to think methodically and make full use of our System 2. Daniel Kahneman’s research is of profound importance in understanding how to utilize our intuitive side and our logical side in order to achieve positive outcomes. This awareness can be of great use in determining how best to approach our transition from the military into the private sector.

~The GuideOn Blog Team

 

 

Ted Talks for Veterans in Transition: Talk Nerdy To Me

There is an art in being able to explain yourself. Telling your story in a way that makes it compelling to an employer or interviewer is a skill to be mastered. Explaining your personal contribution and relevance to others doesn’t necessarily involve comprising your background and content but it does involve some self-awareness and delivery. How can you effectively talk and communicate your way through an interview process? Melissa Marshall has some great tips… gone are the days of death by powerpoint.

 

 

Don’t Veterans Have Enough Help Already?

It’s no secret that the awareness and support of the veteran community is on the rise. Campaigns, initiatives, and support for veterans’ quality of life, transition assistance, career placement, and remembrance of those lost are growing more and more visible everywhere from private organizations to corporate sponsors to government funded programs. Helping veterans isn’t even something so ‘new’, as many veteran service organizations were founded generations ago. But if you talk to the veterans’ themselves – there is still something missing. There is a gap. There is an umbrella of services that the general population seems to deem “successful in helping the veteran community” and yet if you talk to a veteran, if you live with a veteran, if you ARE a veteran, you may have something different to say. It’s not that these organizations aren’t effective or important or needed, it’s that there is still a disconnect in the transition between lives. That place between the, “Hey, we offer this” and, “Hey, I am literally in the process of changing my life here and I don’t know how to use what you are giving me.” While it’s not unknown territory, it’s a hard one to traverse.

So where does that leave us?

The mission, purpose, and values of GuideOn is to bridge this gap and openly acknowledge difficulties in the transition journey. There is nothing to sugar coat. Leaving something you’ve known, you’ve become, you’ve given literal sweat, blood, and tears for is such a deeply personal experience it can be hard to do anything other than try and process that alone. Throw in finding a new job, supporting your family, changing your healthcare, reformulating self-identity, forming new social relationships, leaving behind an era of military affiliation, and walking towards the unknown than you’ve got yourself one huge reason to feel every emotion under the sun.

So where do we start?

We start by talking to each other. Actively listening and effectively responding. In order to first understand someone’s struggles you have to listen, feel, and if not understand, at least empathize not for the good of your campaign or initiative or service but for the individual person sitting right in front of you.

We can say this because we are those people. We are the veteran in transition. The veteran who walked the fine, dusty line between successful transition and succumbing to the pressures and pain of PTSD and soldier life. We are the sibling who has cried, held hands, prayed, searched, and supported. We are the parents who’ve sat with pride and heavy hearts at the same time. We are the spouse who sees the daily stress in leaving one path of life and embarking on another.

“I believe it’s our duty, as veterans, to welcome back our brother and sister warriors. It’s our duty, as veterans, to be the community that assists with the transition from warrior to farmer, so to speak. No one can do this better than veterans. And every veteran can make an individual difference” says GuideOn CEO, Anthony Garcia.

This is not a sob story.

This is a story of a second wave of bravery. Bravery taking on a different form, a form which still takes on many blurred lines. Transition is hard. Innovation is hard. So in short, No. Veterans do not have enough. Our advantage is that by possessing these personal victories, stories, and experiences as a team, we can match up innovation and transition to create strong, stable veteran career opportunities, strong futures, and fulfilled individuals.

Thanks for believing in GuideOn’s service and mission to continue to better the lives of veterans and providing opportunities for veterans to bridge the gap, tap into bravery, and find continuity in quality of life. We all have the power to have a direct impact on a warrior. Keep following for updates and ways to spread the GuideOn message to your fellow service members.

 

 

Know Where You Fit In: High-Skill, Middle-Skill, and Low-Skill Workers

Skills Breakdown

Do you know where you fit in, in the labor force?

The labor force is no longer divided into white collar and blue collar workers. It’s actually broken up into three categories:

High-Skilled: college degree or higher

Middle-Skilled: associates degree or some college courses Low-Skilled: high school diploma or GED

When you look closely at U.S. jobs and workers, we’re actually over capacity with high-skilled and low-skilled workers. In other words, there are not enough jobs to fill the demand of workers in the two categories. However, the opposite holds true for middle-skilled workers. As a nation, we don’t have enough workers to fill the demand for middle-skilled jobs.

This is were the military is poised perfectly to answer the call. When you look at the skills breakdown, of the military, based on education alone – we stand strong at 65% middle-skilled. This does not include all the skills and experience we obtain over the years of our service. Some examples of middle-skilled work are:

  • Health care workers/technicians
  • Legal assistants
  • Machinists
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Clerical workers
  • Engineering technicians
  • Green technology jobs
  • Sales
  • Transportation
  • Construction and repair
  • Production

As you can tell, most of this work can be found in the military or is work that is transferable based off the skills, aptitude, and experience we acquire while serving.

This data does not mean it’s going to be difficult or impossible to find a high-skilled or low-skilled job. Nor does it prove that it will be simple to find middle-skilled work. What this does show is where one fits in by education, and can be used to set expectations or prepare for a proactive transition into the private sector.

For further information, see The Future of The U.S. Workforce. If you’re interested on how the workforce breaks down in your home state or the state you wish to call home, check out the The National Skills Coalition by state.

The GuideOn Blog Team

GuideOn’s First Annual Dining In

When a company’s founding team is comprised of veterans, spouses, milbrats, active duty, and those in the transition process themselves, it’s only natural to celebrate in a style of military tradition with a startup edge! Earlier this month, the GuideOn team all convened in their tiny cinder block office in Oakland, CA. It was transformed after a 4-day work session into a mashup of formal Dining In scripts and traditions with the laid back vibe of a Silicon Valley startup.

If you’ve ever been to a Dining In, you’ll know the deep tradition, emotions, antics, and memories that ensue. It was truly a night to be remembered and commemorated our years of hard work, passion, dedication, and innovations for the veteran community. If you’ve never been to a Dining In, the official definition is “a formal dinner function for members of a military organization or unit. It provides an occasion for cadets, officers, noncommissioned officers, and their guests to gather together in an atmosphere of camaraderie, good fellowship, fun, and social rapport.” It’s typically a formal event that involves only the immediate members of the military unit, in this case our founding team.

The night ebbed and flowed with humor laced antics to more serious, somber moments of remembrance of friends and heroes lost and the toasting of the sacrifices that many have made for our nation. Our night was fueled by the values of our organization, our passion as a team of people who know and understand the needs of the community, and celebrating the changes we are initiating for veterans and career transitions. Here are some highlights from the night:

 flowers

When we founded GuideOn, we ensured military tradition and values were a pillar to our organization. We knew that in order to create an environment that would thrive, an established set of values were necessary for growth, success, and critical in weathering the constant ups and downs of creating something transformational. Although our values are different from the U.S. Military, their foundation runs deep in GuideOn and will ensure we create the very best technical solutions for our veterans.

The GuideOn Values:
We will be Innovative
We will be Credible
We will be Courageous
We will be Collaborative
We will be Accountable
We will be Passionate

Our First Annual GuideOn Dining In took most of the traditional Army Dining In experiences and mashed it with who we are as a team from various different backgrounds, experiences, and our individual reasons for serving our veterans. It is our way of celebrating success, each other, unwinding in preparation for the hard work ahead, and celebrating those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

2016 will be a pivotal year for GuideOn and veterans making the transition to the private sector. We’re excited to do our part and it’s our honor to serve!

~The GuideOn Blog Team

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