Did you ever wonder what it would be like to travel back into time to the year 0?
I recently had the privilege of attending the Joint Employer Event at the Mansfield Air National Guard Base in Mansfield, Ohio.
Representatives from Ohio companies who employ veterans were invited to spend the day with the members of the Ohio National Guard service members in order to better understand the commitments they make to their careers, and the challenges they face in the job market.
There were approximately 50 employers represented; many brought their service member employees with them. After a brief overview and video, we were transported on a bus to another area of the base where we got to mingle with members of the Red Horse squadron. (A side note: The Red Horse squadrons – an acronym for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers – are self-sustaining engineering and construction units that provide support for other military units worldwide.)
We were offered rides on various military vehicles, including a Humvee, and were given an opportunity to chat with some of the service members. Later, we watched demonstrations of some of the tactical equipment and listened to a presentation about the Red Horse squadrons. The day culminated with a ride in a Chinook helicopter!
We were given a packet of information on recruiting, hiring, and retaining veterans, along with an invitation to join the Ohio National Guard Employer Advisory Council.
According to Lt. Col. Kathryn Lowrey, director of community outreach for the Ohio National Guard (ONG), these events are held twice a year, rotating between different locations in Ohio. They typically draw between 50-60 employers.
“These events are very well received by the employers,” Lowrey explained. “They very much appreciate learning about our organization and having special time with their military employees. It transforms the relationship between the employer and employee.”
Military veterans face employment challenges, due to the fact that many get called away from their jobs for active duty. Depending on the particular type of work they do, it can also be challenging for employers to hold their jobs; especially when service members might get called away for long periods of time.
Lowrey said the Joint Employer Events aim to educate employers on how to accommodate this inconvenience. “The Employer Advisory Council focuses on retention activities so employers can understand more fully how to help service members be more successful in their careers,” she added.
For more information about the Ohio National Guard Employer Advisory Council, please contact the community outreach office at (614) 336-7002. This forum is open to all military-friendly employers interested in learning more about recruitment and retention of military employees. Visit the Ohio National Guard website to learn more.
To watch the rest of the videos, check out my playlist on YouTube.
At a recent trip to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, I had the privilege of visiting this Giant Anteater. I love this animal!
The Giant Anteater feed on ants and termites. According to Mother Nature Network, they are capable of mauling a human if they feel threatened. So it’s probably just as well there was a fence between us and the anteater.
The sedentary animal sharing the pen with him is called a Capybara. He takes the honor of being the world’s largest rodent.
Note to zoo officials: They need a bigger pen.
I know, it’s been a while since my last blog post…but I’ve been busy with a new job.
So here is something to keep you entertained until my next post — A shameless plug for my favorite entertainment in Columbus, Ohio. If you live in Columbus and haven’t been to one of their shows, check out their website to see a list of performances.
For a sneak peek at past performances, check out this playlist.
This is a skit from their recent show, Reckless.
Until next time…
I recently drove by a group of protesters picketing Walmart. Their signs, “Corporate greed,” and “Exploiting employees,” caught my eye. I’ve seen similar protesters in the news, but this was the first time I saw them in person at the Walmart in my neighborhood.
I shop at Walmart for many things, mainly because their prices are lower than other stores, for staples such as deodorant, toothpaste and cosmetics, for example. Every time I enter Walmart, a nice man greets me. The employees are helpful, and never once have I encountered a disgruntled-looking employee. Nobody looked like they were being forced to work there against their will. I highly suspect that most of the protesters don’t work for, or have ever worked for Walmart.
Minimum wage is a political football tossed about by politicians around election time. But there is something missing in this debate: The discussion about how to move from a minimum wage job to a higher-paying job. How to avoid staying in a minimum-wage job your entire life. This is the real problem that needs to be solved by individuals, not corporations.
Minimum-wage jobs are entry-level jobs. Although I’ve worked in several minimum wage jobs throughout high school and college, I never thought I would be doing this type of work forever. I wanted something better for myself and my career. It took me a while to get there; and I know from experience that you typically don’t start out in your career making a huge salary. Minimum wage was not intended to sustain you through a career.
6 tips for taking charge of your career
If you are unhappy working in a minimum-wage job, take responsibility for your career and do something about it. Here are a few tips for those who believe they are “victims” of exploitation by businesses.
1. Stay in school. It’s a known fact that most high school dropouts have a harder time finding jobs, let alone advancing in their careers.
2. Take advantage of opportunities to learn new skills. The Internet has made it incredibly easy to learn anything you want to learn. Knowledge is power. And just because you already have a college degree, doesn’t mean you should stop learning. The world is your oyster!
3. Volunteer to do extra work above and beyond your job description. Showing superiors your willingness to take on additional responsibilities will set you apart from your peers when it comes time for that promotion or raise.
4. Network. Thinking of changing careers? Reach out to those who are already working in your desired profession. Meet for coffee and pick their brain on the benefits, pros, and cons of working in that particular field. People love to talk about their jobs and offer advice, and the only thing it will cost you is a cup of coffee. The insights you’ll gain and the new contacts you’ll make are priceless.
5. If you can afford it, go back to school. Education is expensive, but many companies offer some type of tuition assistance. If you’re already working for a company that offers this benefit, take advantage of it. Jobs will come and go, but the one thing you can never lose is your education.
6. Plan ahead. Job security is not guaranteed. Have a backup plan before you lose your job, so you won’t have to start from square one when it happens. Do some research on the job market. Figure out what you want to do — what you like doing — and create a strategy to get there. What’s great about living in the U.S. is that there are endless opportunities to move ahead in your career — the only requirement is self-motivation and hard work.
Minimum-wage jobs provide opportunities to learn basic work skills in order to move to the next rung on the career ladder. Take responsibility to move ahead in your career. If you’re not happy with your current job, wages, or [fill in the blank], be proactive and do something about it. Be the change you want to see in your life.
This post has been slightly modified from the original version published on LinkedIn.