At BeneLynk, we’re always on the lookout for exceptional talent and we know that recruiting veterans is a great way to find excellent colleagues. This perspective is reflected in BeneLynk’s 2020 commitment to becoming a “Veteran READY” organization.
Yraudis, one of our Client Benefit Advocates, is a great example of the military veteran talent we continue to seek. Yraudis had served several years in the US Army Reserves, where she is a Private First Class, as a Transportation Management Coordinator. Yraudis has been with BeneLynk since July of 2019.
We understand that military veterans possess skills and perspectives that are valuable to our company – including resiliency, team-building expertise, cross-cultural fluency, and leadership to name a few. We also understand that there are challenges (e.g. unemployment, underemployment, etc.) when transitioning from the military to civilian work, and we want to help with that transition however we can.
Based on Yraudis’ experience, we asked her to share her insight to assist other veterans in their transition to civilian work. The following questions are from James Tongate, BeneLynk's Vice President of Government Relations and a veteran himself.
Please share a valuable experience or lesson from your time in the military that has contributed to the development of your career.
In 2014, I was seventeen and a Junior in high school. Up to this point in my life my entire high school experience consisted of being in and helping manage and run my high school’s Army JROTC battalion. With my high school career coming to an end soon, it was time to start exploring options for my future. Like many people at that stage of life, I was indecisive as to what steps I would taking after high school. Or, I was until I had an Army Recruiter approach me. From that moment it was very clear to me what I wanted my next step to be. I joined up after my Junior year and completed basic training over the summer.
As a teenager you don’t really think about how your actions affect others. You’re self-centered thinking about what dress and what car to take to prom. You don’t realize that there is so much more to life and that there is so much more to learn.
My time in basic combat training opened my eyes. I learned to appreciate my fellow soldiers. In addition, I realized that I’m just as important as the individual to my left and to my right and vice versa. Nothing is a competition. Any group of individuals I’m placed with, we all must come together to work towards our common goal. We our only as strong as our weakest link, and it is our duty to push, motivate, and help not only ourselves but those around us.
Share your military-to-civilian career transition experience.
My military-to civilian was a little bumpy. I returned from basic two weeks late into starting my senior year in high school. In addition to playing catch-up with my studies, I had work to do in matching my new habits acquired in the military with my new surroundings. I had to learn that everyone is not fast paced. I had to learn that other individuals have different ways of working and approach things differently.
How does your military experience impact your work at BeneLynk?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being in the Army, it is the power of resiliency. In a perfect world we have a plan, and we’re ready to embrace a new role or new opportunity. We get excited and caught up in the idea of growth, but in reality not everything always goes according to plan and we don’t always get that chance to get what we want.
The Army has taught me that it’s okay to be sad or disappointed if something didn’t work out the way you wanted, but not to stay sad too long . Resilience is, by definition, the mental, physical, emotional and behavioral ability to cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover and learn and grow from setbacks. At BeneLynk, I am pursuing opportunities for growth and applying what I’ve learned to grow and do the best I can in my current position. I may not always be growing as quickly as I want, but I am resilient in the face of any disappointments.
Not only is the ability to be resilient something I can apply to work and my time at BeneLynk, but it’s a great characteristic to have in life in general. It’s important to remember that no matter how hard the fall, you can and will rise stronger and better than before.
How would you advise your fellow veterans that are in the process of transitioning to the civilian workforce?
Some advice I’d offer to others in this position is that it’s okay to take your time. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know this right now, but I will.” It’s okay to ask for help and I would recommend to all veterans to continue being problem solvers, team players, working with urgency and continue to motivate and push themselves along with team members in any occasion any situation to strive for greatness