I’ve recently had the honor of getting involved with a non-profit organization, Black Diamond Charities.
Black Diamond Charities helps US military veterans in their transition to civilian careers — assistance needed by many veterans because civilian hiring managers have difficulty drawing parallels between military experience and civilian job requirements.
Hiring managers want employees who are reliable, disciplined and highly adaptive — able to learn quickly, size-up an evolving situation and get a project completed successfully. Veterans have been trained to be just this sort of person: define and plan the mission; pre-mission briefs, contingency plans, communication plans, performance under extreme stress, adaptability to uncertain and evolving conditions, post-mission debriefs, and so-on.
Imagine young kids, 18 or 19 years old… they hear the tag line: “Be All You Can Be” and enlist. Within a few years they’ve been molded into inspiring leaders, responsible for a bunch of soldiers and a $20 million helicopter. A few years or twenty years later, they decide to retire from active duty and join the civilian work force. All too often these veterans struggle to be considered for even an entry-level job. No one understands their capabilities because hiring managers focus on work experience, and they can’t imagine how to use a forward observer, for example.
Black Diamond Charities provides project management training to veterans and helps them to see the many parallels in their military service experience that relate to project management. PMP®-certified instructors volunteer to teach a 5-day classroom course. Others volunteer to be mentors paired-up with veterans to help with career advancement strategy.
The veterans are so appreciative, deserving and interesting — full of fascinating stories about their military service experience. I just love working with them. I think you will too.
PMP is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.