Puppy Mill Approach
Most “headhunting” agencies utilize what
we like to call the “puppy mill approach” to finding
talented Veterans for the companies they represent. These agencies will typically review and assist an individual with
résumé preparation and conduct one or two assessment phone calls. These “puppy mills” will then schedule some hiring
conferences at large hotels, where nervous job seekers conduct a few interviews with companies they may or may not know
much about. Furthermore, companies are all too often making important hiring decisions derived simply from résumés and
references. As a Counselor, you can help Vine & Branch break this cycle that often leaves Veterans and their Families
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Veterans serving post 9/11 is 10 percent for 2014,
while the unemployment rate for our nation is currently at 6.6 percent. Some companies don’t want to hire Veterans
because training takes time. Some companies even discourage the hiring of Veterans because they have unfounded
concerns regarding emotional stability or physical impairment. Companies often have concerns that it simply takes too long
to incorporate a Veteran into the organization. Family turbulence, hopelessness, debt, and a loss of the American dream
results when a family cannot find meaningful employment.
Location changes that accompany job changes are understandably major stressors for Veterans and their Family
Members.There are moving and housing considerations, school considerations, and even pet considerations! There are
new Churches to find and friends to make. Extended Family is often left behind. Moves can be twice as complicated for
dual-income households. As a Counselor, you are able to help people wade through these important decisions.
Without the connections of friends and family, the transition to a new career might feel daunting. Customs in a new area of
the country or world might be radically different and can dissuade a family from taking advantage of a great opportunity.
Relationships built at Church, school, and work are often uprooted when the breadwinner chooses a new career path.
A lack of deep and meaningful connections often results in higher divorce, mental illness, and suicide rates. As Counseling
Professionals, you have unique skill sets that can speak into the lives of Veterans & Family Members.
Résumé building is stressful for almost everyone. Translating military terminology into civilian terminology is often mentally
difficult, time consuming, and always requires another “set of eyes.” Often, a Counselor can provide insight into a Veteran or
family member’s strengths and weaknesses so that a résumé is both honest and accurate. Success means that the
Veteran is confident in the résumé. . As a Counselor, you can help a person in describe who they are!
Interpersonal Skill Set Matching
Intelligent and talented Veterans and their family members will fail at a job if they do not have the interpersonal skills
required for a given work environment.
Often, specific job descriptions and tasks associated with a job or career choice do not match with the underlying cultural
expectations. This results in a poor match of employee and employer. There is inevitable loss in productivity and money.
Mental health suffers as a result.
Vine & Branch works with Partnered Employers to understand their underlying values and needs. As a Partnered
Counselor, Vine & Branch provides you with a company’s background information such as: communication style, focus,
leadership, creativity, discipline, innovation, and values. We package this information in a way that will help you assist a
Veteran or family member in their employment search.
Fear of Transition
Military Families are used to moving often and are accustomed to switching schools, making new friends quickly, and lots
and lots of boxes. In fact, 1/3 of Active Duty Military Families move within a given year.
Transitioning from the Military to the “Civilian World” is a different and more complex animal. Chances are you have helped
clients navigate the complexities of both career or geographical moves. Veterans, Military Families, and the Vine & Branch
Family need your help and expertise to grow and serve.
There are countless articles, studies, programs, and diagrams devoted to unlocking the enigma that is “career satisfaction.”
There are even arguments that attempt to define the difference between what a “career” is in contrast to what a “job” is.
Vine & Branch considers jobs as part of career fields. The confusion grows with some of the following questions: What do I
want to do with my life? Do I even know what I want? What do I enjoy? Will I be happy? Will my family be happy? Will I
make a difference? Do I even know what questions to ask?
These questions and others like them cause great anxiety
personally and within the family. As a Counseling Professional, you can help Veterans and their Families find the answers.
We need you!
Interviewing and preparing for an interview is challenging for many reasons. Many Veterans haven't had the experience of being
interviewed by a civilian employer. They might struggle during interviews with conveying their past experiences, overcoming
cultural misunderstandings, negotiating salary or simply what to wear. As a Counselor, you have the opportunity to assist in the
Income and Benefits
Income and “benefits” mean more than money, insurance coverage, and 401K quality to most people;. Hard figures
regarding income and benefits are easy to find. However, great benefits on paper do not always translate to both career and
family success. As Counselors, you can assist Veterans and their family members discover what they “really” want and
need in a new career path.
The Wikipedia definition of business networking is “a socioeconomic business activity by which groups of like-minded
businesspeople recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities.” Notice the words “businesspeople” and
Veterans and their family members come from a subculture unaccustomed to the business world..” Veterans are trained to
accomplish missions rather than maintain profit margins. Although some of your clients will not have a problem with
networking others will find it difficult. As a Counselor, your experience is invaluable to Veterans and their family members,
especially as you help them see their inevitable “blind spots.”
You will expand your own networking opportunities and income potential as a partner of the Vine and Branch Family.
Working with a Best Practice Group
or beginning one of your own will definitely further your own
network and potential client base.
What Networking is for
Many Veterans,, mistakenly believe that networking is primarily used for finding a job. Many Veterans entering the civilian
workforce think that their military rank will automatically translate into civilian job opportunities . This thinking often inhibits
Additionally, many Veterans believe that networking ends once they find employment.. Most people, including Veterans,
begin to actively network when, and only when, they believe that a job transition is around the corner. When efforts at
networking fail, Veterans can become stressed at the very least or suicidal at the very worst.
As a Counselor, you will have the opportunity to help many Veterans and their Family Members overcome networking
Video Interview with Founder and CEO Chris Allen coming soon
What networking is really about
Wikipedia used the term “socioeconomic” in its definition of business networking. Socio = Social. Networking certainly
involves making new connections and maintaining contact with old ones, but networking is also a lifelong process that is
essential for survival. Successful networking establishes new friendships, strengthens the family, and helps everyone
involved in the process of looking for a job or new career. Great networking minimizes apprehension about career moves by
revealing potential opportunities for change. Great networking also builds solid relationships between potential employers
and career seekers. There’s a saying that’s been around for years: “It’s not what you know but who you know.” Vine &
Branch Best Practice Groups will prepare Veterans and their family members for both the “who” and the “what.”
No clear standard exists for résumé conversion, yet anyone leaving the military definitely sees the need for it! Converting a
military résumé into a civilian résumé causes considerable stress for Veterans and their Family Members. There are
online services that offer it, but it can feel bewildering.
Problems with Résumé conversion
Résumé conversion for Veterans and their family members is often difficult. No clear standard exists for writing résumé.
For Veterans, military terms and military job descriptions do not readily translate into civilian terminology. For military family
members, many of whom volunteer extensively within their communities, translating their efforts into a successful résumé
is challenging. There are online services for conversion, but it can still feel bewildering and a source of stress for a Veteran.
Over a twenty year period a Veteran or family member might gain experience in at least 4 different career fields.
In some cases, a person’s self worth is actually challenged in the résumé creation process. As a Counselor, you can help
our clients overcome their fears by helping them see the “bigger picture”.
Please click here to play our Military Terminology Decipher Game
Video Interview with Founder and CEO Chris Allen coming soon