There’s a lot to be proud of at ReadyTalk. We have great people as well as awesome perks like being able to volunteer while being paid. But it’s more than that — we have a culture that really values people. And when I type “really values,” I mean I attended a brown bag presented by employees across the company where everyone, including IT, talked about how ReadyTalk is a people-first company.
When you make decisions with people in mind, you can’t go wrong.
One of those things to be proud of in this people-first company is a program known as Returnship. What is it? It’s a lot like an intern program, but for people who are older and are looking to re-enter the workforce. It’s great for anyone thinking about returning, maybe slowly, from new moms to job changers to veterans.
Being a new mom and going back to work was rough
I was a new mom once — one who quit her job envisioning that I’d want to be a stay-at-home mom. About eight months into my time as a stay-at-home mom, I began to remember longingly what it was like to be in an office. Adult conversation became way more important than I ever thought it could be. And though at the time I jumped in with both feet, accepting a mostly full-time position, I wish I’d been able to go at it slowly with a reduced schedule that ramped up as I became more comfortable.
When you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, it can be a shock to re-enter.
The biggest shock of all is that although I had the same skills, my priorities were completely different. I had to think about getting home to make dinner. I also had to decide between Valentine Day parties and meetings.
Imagine being a veteran
Being a new mom is rough, but being a veteran re-entering the workplace is a bigger shock — especially one who’s been out of the country and has seen combat or the results of combat. Service can change people beyond just priorities. And when they’re ready to return to the workforce, they’ll possibly need more time and different ways to integrate again.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists unemployment in 2015 at almost 6% for veterans. Yet veterans have fantastic skills. Unlike civilians just entering the workforce, they understand how to get work done. They have a range of skills that are easily transferrable to various jobs, too. And they’re hard workers. In fact, all the people in the military I’ve ever known are tenacious and diligent, meeting deadlines easily. They understand what it takes to get a job done and they’ll do it. They don’t usually complain either about working hard.
We owe it to them, too. These brave men and women have devoted their lives to our country and it’s our responsibility — all of ours — to ensure they’re welcomed back. And because they’re talented, dedicated, and smart — why shouldn’t we welcome them back with open arms in businesses across the country?
They may also need more support. Many veterans struggle with a range of issues mostly around purpose — what do I do now and what am I doing to contribute? They may be more apt to suffer from depression — sometimes from that lack of purpose. And because they aren’t complainers, they’re less likely to talk about it. In fact, Pew Research has the statistic as high as 44% have difficulty adjusting to civilian life … especially soldiers who come home now — post 9/11.
How we help
This blog will touch on the Returnship program again, but in the meantime it’s worth noting that business people can have a direct way to help veterans.
- Hire a veteran
- Develop a returnship program of your own with veterans and other workers who’ve been out of the workforce
- Support nonprofit causes to help veterans like Veterans to Farmers