Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on RallyPoint.
Upon meeting with Yinon Weiss, the CEO and co-founder of RallyPoint, in response to my somewhat crudely written “What is the purpose of RallyPoint?”, we were able to discuss the purpose and potential of the only professional military network. Being a Harvard Business graduate, Weiss obviously has a bit more experience in the world of business than I, so it was truly an honor to hear him express his views of why he created RallyPoint.
You might think this is obvious, but the problem is, it isn’t. And there is really no good way to say, “Hey! This is how you could use RallyPoint so it is most beneficial to you!”
The fact of the matter is, people rarely get jobs by simply hitting the “Apply Here” button. As much as I wish it was this easy, recruiters, hiring agents, or human resources personnel aren’t going to thoroughly review hundreds of resumes. This is why we need to network. However, it is important to realize that this process doesn’t begin when start looking for a new job; it starts long before that, so that you have time to build your network. This way, when it is time to look for a job, you are already connected to and have befriended the very people working in the field you wish to be in.
With RallyPoint, we are able to connect with veterans and current service members who live or are stationed all over the world: Veterans who may be working in your specialty in the civilian world, and service members in your field who may be entering the civilian world in the near future. Then, there are the current National Guard members and reservists, some of whom work in the same field as their MOS. We have IT service members working in the IT field, mechanics operating auto repair shops, military police and infantrymen who are police officers or federal agents. Plus there are a vast amount of veterans who work in a variety of fields not directly related to their MOS, but have found success through leadership skills they learned in the military.
The purpose, or at least one of the purposes, of RallyPoint is to help put you on the right path toward success. By networking now, you can help build the bonds with the very people who, when it comes time, can help you find and obtain the career you deserve. Reach out to these users and send them a message. Let them know that you are interested in the work that they do and that someday, or right now, you hope to be doing the same thing. Other than those who are completely retired and those that are completely satisfied with their current careers and won’t be moving, we are all going to transition at one point or another, and RallyPoint is here to help us be prepared.
RallyPoint has more purposes than just networking for a career. While it does have the Career Corner, where you can find information on jobs, schools, military assignments, among other things, it is much more than that as well. We can all help each other understand regulations, ask questions about military and civilian schools, ask advice on military and civilian career progression, or even find someone to talk about personal issues with, such as post-traumatic stress, or dealing with being away from home. It is a place where we can all find a common ground and find the resources we need to be successful in all aspects of our lives, civilian and military. RallyPoint has so much more to offer than is even listed here, and it is only continuing to grow and improve.
But for those of us who are job seekers, or know that someday we’re going to be job seekers, it’s time to network. Tell your friends, your junior enlisted, your senior enlisted and your company commander to network. Don’t wait until you are on the verge of transitioning, prepare yourself now. You wouldn’t start working out the day before a physical fitness test, so why start networking the day before you need a new job?