Companies make a big stink out of their efforts to employ U.S. service members who are transitioning out of military service, but veterans still face a major obstacle when it comes to the actual hiring process: they're seen as unemotional, unfeeling, and lacking in interpersonal skills — and that screws them over when it come to certain jobs.

New research from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, based on experiments involving more than 3,000 participants and published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Process, indicates that veteran job candidates are widely seen as possessing a "calm under pressure and having a get-it-done kind of attitude," according to lead researcher
Aaron Kay.

But while those traits are normally appealing, Kay said that the changing nature of the U.S. economy means that many new jobs "many new types of jobs also require creativity, interpersonal skills and emotional capacity" — traits that civilians assume military veterans fundamentally lack.

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Jacob Leonard (Courtesy photo)

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Exelon committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Comcast is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task &Purpose sister company. Learn More.

A civilian job after military life may sound easy at first. There are no early-morning PT sessions and formations, so a regular 9-to-5 job may seem like a dream. But giving up the discipline, organization, and skills you learned in the military will not do you any favors in civilian life. Veterans will be more successful if they approach a civilian job with the same high level of work ethic they were taught in the military.

That's the advice of Jacob Leonard, a former Marine who now works as an accountant at Exelon, supporting the company's nuclear energy generation division.

"Don't drop your pack," he says. "You just can't give up after the military. A lot of veterans go that way, then they lose that sense of belonging."

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Matt McGowan (Army Veteran, Market Manager, Staffmark Skilled Trades)

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Staffmark. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Staffmark is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.

It's nearly impossible to credit the invention of the vast, every-changing internet to a single person. It's the result of work by many programmers and engineers – and even U.S. military members.

When Matt McGowan joined the Army in 1991, he was assigned to a brand-new MOS: 31F Mobile Subscriber System Network Operator. As he describes it, "We would go out to the field with infantry, armor and artillery units, and we set up centers for phones and computers that could be used in the field and integrate with military and civilian systems. We were the original internet."

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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.

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Courtesy of Jonathan Molina

Goodyear’s commitment to safety, quality, and innovation is evident through its recruitment of top talent from the veteran community. The Ohio-based company has a long history of supporting the military, dating back to World War I, when the manufacturer produced goods for trucks and airships. Goodyear continues that tradition today by actively working to fill its workforce with the unique skill sets of service members. The company leverages its internal veterans association to help create a seamless shift to the civilian sector for those transitioning from active duty, like former U.S. Army Sgt. Jonathan Molina, who found a management position with Goodyear.   

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eBay

If you ask Michael Robinson, he’ll tell you the skills and profound sense of purpose he gained while leading Marines in Desert Storm helped him climb the corporate ladder in his post-military career. His journey from Platoon Sergeant to Director of Seller Tools, Programs and Services at eBay took years of personal growth, networking and understanding the value he adds to the civilian workforce.

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