Joan Lynch on recognizing the skills of veterans

Thought leaders sit down with WorkingNation Overheard at the Milken Institute Global Conference 2022

Employers need to have a greater understanding of the skills learned from military service, according to Joan Lynch, chief content and programming officer, WorkingNation.

WorkingNation sat down with Lynch at the Milken Institute Global Conference 2022 in Beverly Hills.

“Veterans need to value the fact that they have already had a job. They’ve already been in a position that many people coming out of college or programs have not had – which is employment and having to do a job under sometimes very difficult circumstances,” says Lynch.

However, Lynch notes that the skills gained in the military are not always those that some veterans are looking to use long-term. “One of the most misused pieces of data when talking about veterans and work is retention. Employers say they’re worried the data shows that veterans don’t stay as long in their first jobs. That is not dissimilar to people coming out of college and going into their first jobs. One of the things about going into the military is, oftentimes, you’re selected and put into a student job or group, not because it’s what you want to do, but because it’s what you’re assigned to do.”

She continues, “We often have veterans coming out with certain skills in an area that they really don’t have an interest in, but they often take their first job based on what their skills are and where they fit. And throughout that first year, perhaps they find what their passion is or a program or something that drives them in a direction of doing a job that is more aligned with what they would like to do.”

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