According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 18 million people are military veterans, accounting for approximately 7 percent of the U.S. population. Today, nearly 9 million of these veterans are a part of the civilian workforce and bring many skills to the organizations for whom they work, including leadership, teamwork, a strong work ethic, the ability to handle stressful situations, self-direction, and motivation.
However, any change can bring challenges – and there are unique obstacles military veterans face when deciding to enter the civilian workforce. For those who have never held a position outside the armed forces, they will need to learn the skills of how to find, apply, and interview for a job. They will also need to figure out how their military skills and duties translate in a civilian context when creating a resume. Those who have been previously employed in the civilian workforce and are coming back after deployment will need to catch up on new skills, adjust to new roles and address social changes that may have happened in the workplace since they left.
Late last year, we launched AvePoint Vets, our newest employee resource group dedicated to driving greater awareness and connection with military veterans.
We sat down with the co-chairs of AvePoint Vets, Daniel Stump, Director of Technical Support, and Erik Wilson, Senior Service Engineer, to get their perspectives on why they’re excited about the launch of AvePoint Vets and how AvePoint supports their efforts.
Why are employee resource groups important for armed forces veterans?
Specifically for veterans, employee resource groups are important because the mindset and environment of the military are completely different from the civilian world. There’s a culture shock with veterans when they initially leave the military and integrate back into civilian life. So, having an employee resource group for the veteran community offers a familiar group of brothers and sisters who understand what they left and can navigate the day-to-day of their civilian jobs, in our case at AvePoint, confidently and efficiently.
It’s also a great opportunity outside of directly leading individuals for veterans to share their advice and knowledge on where and how to progress in their role and career at AvePoint.
AvePoint Vets is the newest employee resource group at the company – what is your unique mission?
Our mission is to embrace and recognize the veteran community that served, bring awareness to the sacrifices they made, and support veteran organizations and the community at large.
Why are you both enthusiastic about being a part of AvePoint Vets?
We appreciate the continued comradery veterans understand from serving together in the rough times.
How does AvePoint support your employee resource group?
Through the I.D.E.A. (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Allyship) Committee, we have a platform to communicate across our organization to bring greater awareness, focused communication to fellow veterans, resources to celebrate and acknowledge the veteran community with in-office gatherings, and AvePoint’s support for matching donations.
What is AvePoint Vets planning to do throughout the course of 2023?
We’re a new employee resource group, so this year we’re focused on new member recruitment, branding and recognition. We’re working with our local AvePoint Operations teams to coordinate in-office gatherings which enable us to connect, engage, and drive awareness of our community, and we’re working with I.D.E.A. on an awareness campaign on the history and significance of key military holidays.
Can you give us an example of the type of awareness you’re driving throughout AvePoint?
We can give you a very timely example. May is National Military Appreciation Month, which was first introduced in 1999 to reflect on the sacrifices made by military personnel, both current and former members.
May was chosen due to the many holidays which occur during that month – some which are better known than others. In addition to Memorial Day, which is the last Monday in May, there’s also Loyalty Day, Victory in Europe Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, and Armed Forces Day.
Any final words you wish to share about your experience leading AvePoint Vets to date?
We’re just getting started, but we’re excited for what’s to come!
To learn more about how our employee resource groups at AvePoint enhance our company culture, visit our careers page.