231: Blended – Veterans and Civil life: Winning the Battle of Workplace Discrimination

It’s episode 14 of Blended: I’m joined by another incredible panel of guests and we’re talking about veterans. It’s another emotive subject, but you should all know by now that we pride ourselves on open and honest, sensitive conversations that really aim to bring insight. And if anyone deserves the stage, it’s the incredibly brave and inspirational men and women who have sacrificed, pretty much everything, so the rest of us can live freely and authentically.

Today we’ll be diving into our guests’ personal experiences of the military and transitioning to civilian life; inclusion and supplier diversity; employment struggles and entrepreneurship; and the panel will be sharing their advice and tips for both veterans and businesses looking to support them.

 

IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:

 

[0.40] Introductions to our Blended panelists.

  • Zuri – Co-founder and Managing Partner at MaryBelle Solutions LLC
  • Adebayo – President & CEO at Adebayo Adeleke LLC
  • Daniel – Mr. Supply Chain®

[02.56] The group discuss their experiences, both the challenges and the positives, of being in the military; their roles, responsibilities and memories.

“I found a community, I found brotherhood, I found a group of people that all signed up for a cause that is greater than themselves – and that, for me: I’d found my safe place.” Adebayo

  • Community; culture
  • Travel
  • Learning, education and discovery
  • Introduction to logistics and supply chain
  • Good times and bad times
  • How the military experience shapes/influences people; identity
  • Transferable skills; adaptation

“Everybody in the military learns about leadership – but, perhaps more importantly, everybody learns about followership.” Daniel

[18.02] The panel discuss transitioning from the military to civilian life, the challenges and prejudices.

“It taught me responsibility and maturity very quickly!” Zuri

  • Occupational specialty; finding a job and networking
  • Identifying transferrable skills/knowledge transfer
  • Structure vs flexibility
  • Imposter syndrome and overwhelm
  • Selflessness vs profit-making
  • Moving from no digital footprint to embracing the digital world
  • Learning to ‘speak the same language;’ bridging the gap

“I was technically a yeoman – in the civilian world, that means nothing!” Daniel

[46.15] The panelists reflect on corporate hypocrisy, with what brands say and what they do; where veterans and brands can go for support; and how veterans can actively prepare for civilian life.

  • Looking for brands who have proved record of veteran support
  • Preparation and creating ‘an exit plan’
  • Establishing boundaries and comfort levels
  • Outside consultancy support
  • Finding the right fit
  • Mentorship and veteran retention

“Turning a warrior into a profit-making machine is an endeavour that can take a lifetime.” Adebayo

[1.02.10] The group discusses entrepreneurship, supplier diversity programs and veteran-owned businesses.

[1.14.01] The panel shares their thoughts on the mental and physical health implications following deployment; how we tackle these potentially difficult subjects and normalize conversations; and what policies, procedures, education or training needs to be in place to support veterans in civilian life.

  • Open communication
  • Accessibility to therapy, counseling and mental health services
  • Creating safe spaces
  • Self-care
  • Connection with other veterans and organizations
  • Have empathy; listen to hear

[1.27.37] The panelists each give their one-word sum-up from today’s discussion.

  • Understanding – Adebayo
  • Opportunity – Daniel
  • Inclusion – Zuri

“When the war is settled and done, the war is never-ending for a soldier – they still have to carry that burden to their homes… Their journey continues beyond the uniform.” Adebayo

 

RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED:

 

You can connect with Adebayo, Zuri and Daniel over on LinkedIn.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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