Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Advance AutoParts. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Advance Auto Parts is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
With a surging population of post-9/11 military veterans in search of meaningful career opportunities, the civilian job market repeatedly reports rising numbers of "veteran-friendly" organizations and businesses. But in a world where the competition is strong and service members leave the military with significant skills and experience highly desired by employers, it's not enough to just be veteran-friendly.
Veterans want and need more than just a job, which is what Ciara Arguello found when she left the Marine Corps.
Armed with her experience as a logistician, multiple deployments to the Middle East, and a master's degree in global supply chain management, Arguello knew she wanted a fast-paced career in logistics in the civilian world. While her initial post-military job afforded her great exposure within the industry, she realized early on that "veteran-friendly" didn't mean "veteran-ready." She knew something was missing. "My jobs right out of the Marine Corps recognized my military experience and thanked me for my service," Arguello says. "But overall, they were jobs that undervalued my leadership experience, hired me for positions that I was significantly overqualified for, and didn't give me the same drive and purpose to get up each morning in the same way the Marine Corps had."
"From my initial conversation with the hiring manager, who ended up being my boss, I knew AAP was veteran-ready and the right fit for me," says Arguello. She saw that AAP would satisfy her desire to have a mission, while recognizing, respecting, and compensating her at a level commensurate with her military service. Diving into AAP as a supply chain project manager, Arguello found that the company immediately understood and recognized her military logistics experience. It brought her onboard with a salary and benefits package equal to that of someone with similar civilian experience.
It's evident to Arguello in all of its actions that AAP, much like the Corps, puts the needs of its employees first. That's something you can't put a value on in your job search.
"Finding a job isn't the hard part," she points out. "It's finding the right job that's a challenge." All transitioning service members are entitled to attend Transition GPS prior to leaving the military, but it's up to the member to make the most of the course. Arguello can't recommend embracing the opportunity enough. Take the time to learn how to network, how to write an effective resume, leverage LinkedIn, and more, she advises. "Your service won't speak for itself anymore," she says. "Knowing how you can highlight and leverage your unique skills and experience in a very high level of competition will set you apart from the rest of the pack."
For transitioning service members and veterans looking for a job, Arguello highly recommends AAP. With a diverse array of career opportunities that align with so many military specialties, AAP truly values, understands, and respects what military veterans bring to the table. Its employee resource group, Service Network, embraces veterans, giving them the opportunity to share their stories with fellow AAP employees and to represent the company at community engagements, hiring events, and company gatherings. "We're more than just advance auto parts," Arguello says. "If you're looking for a job, consider AAP — do it and do it now!"
This post is sponsored by Advance Auto Parts.