The COVID-19 pandemic severely strained the economy through both unbridled fiat currency printing and global supply chain manipulation. But after all darkness comes a dawn; and as the world adjusts to a new “normal,” small slivers of change emerge as much-needed evolutions of society.
One such change came in the form of work-life balance; specifically, the American workforce learned that productivity does not require a life handcuffed to a cubicle desk. Modern technology makes commerce both possible and feasible from anywhere. Workers learned they could spend more time with family and less time on the commute; bosses learned that their employees could produce competent, if not stellar, results from home. Therefore, they could reduce the traditional office overhead in favor of other perks.
Now that the genie is out of the bottle, workers are valuing freedom over fiscal imperatives. So much so, in fact, that an estimated 25 percent of the American workforce left their jobs in 2021, looking for more flexibility in their companies. A staggering 4.3 million people left their jobs in August 2021 alone. Psychologists call the mass exodus the “Great Resignation;” and though some of it can be attributed to the government paying too much in unemployment aid (more than some real employers could keep pace with), many aspects of the phenomenon reflect the human element — a shifting sentiment away from corporatism toward entrepreneurship.
Specially-trained veterans should be able to thrive amidst the Great Resignation
Of course, whenever social contracts change, those with unique skill sets and a willingness to get their hands dirty will succeed with relative ease. Jerry Quinn, the COO of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) and a 36-year Army officer, says that service members are uniquely positioned to succeed in this new environment.
“Businesses out there are redesigning the way they deliver for their customers. Whatever industry that might be in,” Quinn tells Military.com. “If I were transitioning right now, this would be my time to identify what it is I want to do. Then [I’d] be sure I’m skilled up and get on board with a new career employer.”
Working from home means more stability and less travel
Remote work, Quinn says, has suddenly provided opportunities for veterans they may not have had access to while in-office work was the norm. He says the opportunities are so plentiful in the new environment that veterans can find them almost anywhere.
“The information we get from our nonprofit partners, the trends we’re seeing in employment and business, all point to opportunities for people interested in any industry,” Quinn says. “A fair number of jobs exist there, and people are coming back to patronize those places and services. This is a time when people are able to pick and choose where they want to work.”
Remote work also provides a consistency in location, given that the employee can complete the work from anywhere. This means that military and military spouses do not have to uproot and move to new job sites anymore.
“We recognize that military spouses face unemployment or underemployment at significantly higher rates than most families,” Quinn also says. “Nearly a third of spouses experience this because of the unique dynamics associated with the military family.
“I certainly hope that there’s not a single veteran or active-duty member that feels fearful of the civilian job market.”