PHOENIX, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Average citizens cannot appreciate the challenges facing military veterans as they transition into civilian life. In the military, officers and enlisted personnel operate within a matrix of expectations and deliverables that is far different than any comparable system in the private sector. Rather than a financial bottom line as the impetus behind all decisions, military personnel are focused on duty, efficiency, discipline and tradition. With more than two decades of experience working with six-figure executives and professionals, Fred Coon, founder of Stewart, Cooper & Coon, understands the rigors of career transition. Recently, he has turned his attention to the problems faced by members of the military as they enter a changing civilian workforce.
"We owe our military a debt of gratitude that doesn't end when they take off the uniform," explains Coon. "These people bring an invaluable skill set to the workforce. My job is to present those skills to hiring authorities in a provocative way."
Traditionally, the defense sector has been the "drop zone" for those leaving the military. Today, however, that landscape is changing; a shrunken economy and aggressive cuts in military spending have curtailed the growth curve of the defense sector.
In the private sector, hiring managers measure success by profit and loss. When recruiting, they must clearly understand what candidates "bring to the table" that will contribute to growth of the company. Coon notes that military veterans have learned to communicate in a different language, one that does not translate easily to the private sector. Time and again, those who once wore the uniform wind up with less pay, lower positions and slower promotions, when compared to their private sector peers."Military personnel bring core values to the workforce that are difficult to quantify," notes retired Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rod McKinley. "An employee with a military background will be at work on time, concentrate on the task at hand, never take shortcuts, and demonstrate fair, effective leadership. All of these skills can be summed up in one word: integrity."