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Military Veteran Transition, Article Critique Example

Pages: 2

Words: 598

Article Critique

Understanding the Complexity of Women Veterans’ Career Transitions”(Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, 2007)looks at the challenges faced by women military veterans as they switch careers to non-military professions. The fact that the true extent of the challenges faced by female veterans has only been realized recently surprised me because management and organization behavior researchers should have known all of this long ago. Anyone who has served in the military or has an interest in military culture knows that military’s culture is entirely different from a professional workplace. This is because military acts as a non-profit and ideas-driven organization with a huge emphasis on blind obedience to authority, loyalty to colleagues, and discipline; qualities that are more a hallmark of a socialist society rather than capitalist societies such as the United States. In addition, a significant portion of military veterans started their work life in the military and, thus, they have known no other workplace.

Organizational culture affects the way its members think, work, and approach tasks and habits do not change easily. And yet little support has been given to women veterans seeking career change and it is no surprise that it takes a long time for them to finally get used to new places. A better alternative would be to provide them extensive training before joining new workplaces and that should be done by the non-profits and other social welfare organizations.

One may argue that the private sector has a responsibility to ensure a smooth transition of women veterans to new workplace. But the problem is that private sector has always been focused on hiring efficiency and may be hesitant to hire women veterans if additional costs are imposed on them. Moreover, it may be difficult for the managers to understand the problems of women veterans when all they have been taught is flexibility and efficiency and have never known the mindset of a military soldier as well as military culture. One way to encourage private employers to play greater role may be to provide them incentives such as training costs credits as well as subsidizing the recruiting costs of trainers who have had both military and private sector careers.

The Department of Labor’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is not mandatory yet even though the alumni of the program on the average find jobs earlier than non-alumni. It may also be a good idea to make it voluntary for every woman leaving the military at or below a certain age since it is quite likely most of them would be seeking a new career. In order to ensure that the program doesn’t become a burden on the participants, the military may find ways to make it more accommodating such as online courses or even shortening the duration of the training program. One another reason TAP should be made mandatory is that one cannot expect a significant number of women veterans to predict the transition difficulties in non-military sectors when they have never known another work culture besides the military.

As the article points out, women veterans would also have to take responsibility and forming support and network groups on a nationwide scale would be a good idea. In addition, the women veterans should also learn to take advantage of certain military skills more efficiently such as communication, leadership, time-management, and can-do attitude. A little training could help women veterans develop these skills into core competencies especially when many of these skills such as communication, leadership qualities, and teamwork are in great demand in the private sector.

Reference

Business and Professional Women’s Foundation. (2007). Understanding the Complexity of Women Veterans’ Career Transitions. BPW Foundation.

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