153 episodes

Supporting veterans to achieve career success as they navigate the challenges of transitioning out of the military. Each week we will bring you a new mentor who will teach you the lessons they have learned as they traveled the military transition path before you.

Lessons Learned for Vets Lori Norris

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 30 Ratings

Supporting veterans to achieve career success as they navigate the challenges of transitioning out of the military. Each week we will bring you a new mentor who will teach you the lessons they have learned as they traveled the military transition path before you.

    Season 4 Episode 152: Bouncing Back from Underemployment with Dr. Derek Moore

    Season 4 Episode 152: Bouncing Back from Underemployment with Dr. Derek Moore

    On this episode of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, we welcome back Dr. Derek Moore. Derek was originally a guest in Season 1 for a Q&A episode. Since retiring in 2021 from the US Marine Corps, Derek’s journey has had highs and lows, including a period of unemployment and underemployment. Today, Derek is the Director of the Joint Military Leadership Center at the University of South Florida. 


    One of Derek’s challenges during his military transition was relocating from North Carolina to Florida. Derek chose Florida for its climate but was unprepared for the lack of opportunities in his desired field. After experiencing unemployment for 8 months and unable to find leadership roles working with student veterans at area colleges and universities, Derek settled on a position in admissions and recruiting for a local private university. Within 3 months, Derek knew his job was not a good fit for him. It took him almost a year to find his current role. 


    When Derek was unemployed and underemployed, he made an intentional effort to stay in touch with his connections on LinkedIn. He encourages others facing the same reality to remain calm and patient. Consider expanding your job search range to increase the number of job opportunities. 


    In his director role, Derek oversees the ROTC program that includes Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force. He serves as the conduit between the university and the military branches, ensuring that students are successful with both their military and university commitments. Derek uses his military leadership skills and experience in his current role to serve students. Underemployment is one of the biggest issues that veterans face in their post military career. Whether a person is underutilized, undervalued or underpaid, underemployment can be discouraging and frustrating. Keep looking for opportunities that make you feel valued and useful. 


    Sometimes the first job a veteran is offered after leaving the military is a dream job. Other times, that first job is nothing more than a paycheck. There is nothing wrong with accepting a job and continuing to look for a better fit. For Derek, he took his first job without having done the work of translating his military skills on his resume. After seeking professional help on his resume to help him translate his skills, he noticed more employers reaching out to him. If you choose to write your own resume, you must convey the value of what you did in the military to the employer. 


    Derek credits LinkedIn for his large network. Once he got over the initial discomfort of reaching out to strangers to ask for informational interviews, Derek learned how to lean into his network to learn more about careers in higher education. In addition, he created content and commented on posts to share his knowledge and skills. 


    Derek encourages service members to make their education plan while they are still serving. Take advantage of tuition assistance and credentialing assistance. Research the field you want to enter and learn what education you need to be competitive in the job search process. 


    Subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22
     
    Connect with Derek at https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-moore-/


    Download
    AAFMA, the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association is the longest-standing nonprofit association offering life insurance, wealth management, mortgages, survivor assistance and more. 
    AAFMA is dedicated to helping servicemembers be ready for life after the military.  AAFMAA would like to offer you their free Transition Timeline, a guide to help you create a solid military transition plan. Let AAFMAA help you get ready for your next step by visiting www.aafmaa.com/ll4v.

    • 33 min
    Season 4 Episode 151: Navigating the Financial Decisions of Transition with Todd Nelson

    Season 4 Episode 151: Navigating the Financial Decisions of Transition with Todd Nelson

    On this episode of the Lesson Learned for Vets podcast, we welcome Todd Nelson. Although not a veteran himself, he has dedicated his career to helping service members navigate their finances as a financial advisor for Edward Jones. There are often unique financial challenges that accompany transitioning service members into their next career. Todd is the host of Transition 30, a network that uses quarterly Zoom calls to connect service members to resources and organizations that support the military transition process.
    Todd lays out 3 considerations every service member must make as they exit the military. 1) How much money do I need to replace? 2) How much money do I want and how much money do I need? 3) How am I going to get from what I need to what I want? Having mentors and talking to subject matter experts in taxation can become a valuable piece of establishing your financial foundation. 
    The first consideration when thinking about SGLI to VGLI is knowing what your needs are when it comes to insurance. Speak to your spouse, significant other and family members before you start the VA disability process. During the VA process, everything is documented. If you start your insurance research after you have already started the VA process, there may be some exclusions to your policy because of the VA documentation. The second consideration is realizing that VGLI is there for a reason. Sometimes private life insurance companies won’t cover you because of your service-related injuries. 
    When it comes to the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), it’s important to realize that it’s a personal decision that should be based off several factors. Research the SBP at militarypay.defense.gov prior to out-processing. During out-processing, you will be asked if you want to opt out of SBP because by default, you are opted into the plan. An alternative to SBP is life insurance. 
    Another priority when transitioning from the military is knowing how your tax bracket will be influenced. Your pension and new job will affect your tax bracket. Start setting money aside for this reality. 
    VA disability payments are tax free. It is a benefit that you have earned and can be viewed as a lifetime annuity. You are guaranteed that income with a cost-of-living adjustment each year. With just a 10% disability rating, you are eligible for a VA home loan. Service members who are separating and plan to file for disability compensation can file their claim before separation through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program. The BDD program allows service members to apply for VA disability compensation benefits between 180 to 90 days prior to separation. If your disability rating is 30% or higher, you will have preference when it comes to jobs in the federal government. 
    There are many considerations when it comes to accepting a job offer. Look at the total compensation package, not just the salary. Benefits might include a 401K or a 403b and stock options. You will want to consider starting a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA. Do your research and seek assistance and advice to help you navigate your financial situation.
    Subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22
    Connect with Todd at https://www.linkedin.com/in/todd-nelson-edward-jones/

    Transition 30 LinkedIn Group:
    AAFMA, the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association is the longest-standing nonprofit association offering life insurance, wealth management, mortgages, survivor assistance and more. 
    AAFMA is dedicated to helping servicemembers be ready for life after the military.  AAFMAA would like to offer you their free Transition Timeline, a guide to help you create a solid military transition plan. Let AAFMAA help you get ready for your next step by visiting www.aafmaa.com/ll4v.

    • 40 min
    Season 4 Episode 150: Taking the Focus off You for Job Search Success with Lori Norris

    Season 4 Episode 150: Taking the Focus off You for Job Search Success with Lori Norris

    On this episode of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, host Lori Norris shares the best ways to help candidates stand out from the crowd during the job search process. It may seem counterintuitive at first, but a candidate who can shift their focus from themself to the needs of an employer will rise above the applicant pool. 


    Whether it’s your resume, LinkedIn profile, a networking event, an interview or a job fair, you must have a strategy. A strategic marketing plan begins with knowing the customer. Find out what the customer wants – in the job search process, the customer is the employer. Learn to articulate what skills you have that will meet the employer’s needs. 


    Consider some of the most effective marketing slogans on social media and television. Nike’s slogan is “Just Do It” – yet at no point do they ever tell you outright to buy their shoes and clothing. The company makes it all about you – the consumer. Try applying this approach to your marketing and make it all about the employer. Avoid writing objective statements in your resume that tell the employer you need a job or using your LinkedIn headline as an opportunity to state you are a transitioning service member looking for employment. 


    Companies hire for one of two reasons: they have a need to fill or a problem to solve. Do your research and figure out what the organization’s needs and problems are and then craft your marketing to be the solution to their problem. Put more focus on putting together tailored, quality applications instead of sending out a large quantity of generic applications. Convey your ROI to the company. To define an employer’s needs and problems, first conduct a S.W.O.T. analysis. Learn their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and then target your marketing to the customer. Second, conduct research using a company’s website, google, corporateinformation.com and glassdoor.com. Use social media to learn about a company's current events. 


    Determine your unique skills and market the benefits that they will bring to the employer. Employers will believe what you can prove through stories, examples and statistics. To help get you thinking about how your skills can be the solution to an employer’s problems, try this exercise – Make a list of at least 25 of your skills. Next to each skill, make a statement of its value. In the third column, write an example or story that highlights the skill. This exercise will help you craft quality bullets for your resume and effective talking points for an interview. 


    Download your free skills worksheet at www.nextforvets.com


    Subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22


    Connect with Lori at https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorinorris/


    Download the AAFMAA transition timeline at https://aafmaa.com/ll4v


    SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this with other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!
    AAFMA, the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association is the longest-standing nonprofit association offering life insurance, wealth management, mortgages, survivor assistance and more. 
    AAFMA is dedicated to helping servicemembers be ready for life after the military.  AAFMAA would like to offer you their free Transition Timeline, a guide to help you create a solid military transition plan. Let AAFMAA help you get ready for your next step by visiting www.aafmaa.com/ll4v.

    • 21 min
    Season 4 Episode 149: Military Transition Q&A with Taylor Lau

    Season 4 Episode 149: Military Transition Q&A with Taylor Lau

    On this episode of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, we bring you the first Q&A session of Season 4. Taylor Lau currently serves in the US Army and is scheduled to separate in October of 2024 with terminal leave beginning in July. She is currently pursuing Salesforce certifications but is also open to working for a defense contractor. 
    What are the biggest pitfalls that plague transitioning service members as they make their move to the civilian workforce?
    One of the biggest issues plaguing veterans is believing that people are going to be clamoring to hire you simply because you are a veteran. The fact that you are a veteran is valuable and so are the military training and skills you bring an employer. It is your responsibility to translate your value – your skills – to your employer. They want to know how you can help them and add value to their team. You must translate your skills on your resume, while you are networking and building your LinkedIn profile. Your marketing should be all about where you are going, not where you have been.
    If a TSM only has enough time to focus on one thing, what would you say that one thing should be?
    Every transition is unique. With that said, having a focus is key to building a network. Tailoring your resume and creating an optimized LinkedIn profile are equally important. If you find yourself short on time, your first and most important step is to figure out what is next for you - not what is forever. Ask yourself what makes the most sense to target next so that you can leave the military and continue to provide for yourself and your family. Sit down and write a resume and fill out your LinkedIn profile that translates your military skills and showcases why you are qualified for that next role and start applying. 
    Once you land that first job and have an offer in hand, keep networking. Continue to look and apply for jobs and explore any certifications that can set yourself up for the next step.
    What traits or strengths would you say the civilian world looks for that maybe the military tends to find less desirable?
    The value of soft skills is often overlooked in the military. There are skills that service members develop such as communication, empathy or getting a team to buy in that are valued in the civilian world. Veterans will often notice the value that civilian coworkers place on a work life balance. 
    As Taylor approaches the end of her career in the military, she is reflecting on her various roles and asking herself what value and worth she can highlight to a future employer. It is the responsibility of the service member to articulate the importance of each military job.
    Taylor recently made a post where she compared the military transition to walking on a lightly frozen lake. With the reality of a new chapter ahead of her, Taylor realizes that she must confidently keep moving forward. She understands that the uniform she wore gave her extra confidence and that it is now up to her to make a decision on how she is going to portray herself without the uniform. One of the biggest realizations that veterans have after leaving the military is the idea that they have the freedom to change and to pivot. Unlike the military, you have the freedom to change jobs or move locations when you want. The military transition can feel isolating and lonely. While no one else can go through the process for you, there are plenty of r
    AAFMA, the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association is the longest-standing nonprofit association offering life insurance, wealth management, mortgages, survivor assistance and more. 
    AAFMA is dedicated to helping servicemembers be ready for life after the military.  AAFMAA would like to offer you their free Transition Timeline, a guide to help you create a solid military transition plan. Let AAFMAA help you get ready for your next step by visiting www.aafmaa.com/ll4v.

    • 52 min
    Season 4 Episode 148: Removing the Mental Health Treatment Stigma with Major General Gregg Martin

    Season 4 Episode 148: Removing the Mental Health Treatment Stigma with Major General Gregg Martin

    On this episode of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, we host Major General Gregg Martin. During his 36-year career, MG Martin commanded the Corps of Engineers Northwest Division and served as Commandant of the Army Engineer School, President of the National Defense University and Special Assistant to the Chief of Engineers. He is also the author of Bipolar General: My Forever War with Mental Illness. 
    By 2014, MG Martin had been unknowingly living with bipolar disorder. After several anonymous reports of his behavior, General Dempsey ordered a series of assessments and ultimately relieved Martin of duty. When Martin reported to Walter Reed, he was diagnosed with bipolarism. In 2015, Martin medically retired with no continuity of care plan. Today, the military is not allowing that same scenario to happen for service members being medically retired with mental health issues. The military is making an intentional effort to normalize the conversation regarding mental health and providing education through workshops, training and forums. The military is looking for ways to accommodate and keep service members in the force. 
    After retiring from the military, MG Martin fell into such deep depression that he was checked into an inpatient VA psych ward. After two weeks of intensive care provided by a multidisciplinary team, Martin spent the following four weeks living in a dorm inside of the hospital. Once he began taking a new prescription of Lithium, his symptoms subsided, and he began to regain control of his life. In addition to relocating to Florida, Martin reconnected with his family and maintains regular therapy sessions and daily medication. He prioritizes a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and sleep. 
    MG Martin anchors his life using the five P’s – Purpose, People, Place, Perseverance, Presence. For Martin, his new purpose is destigmatizing mental issues and promoting recovery. He surrounds himself with positive and energetic people and chose to relocate to sunny Florida for its health benefits. He perseveres through his challenges and has the presence of mind to get outside of his own thinking and think objectively about his thought patterns. 
    As an advocate for mental health awareness, MG Martin has written over 20 articles that have appeared in publications including Psychology Today, Psychiatric Times, Boston Globe and Soldier Magazine. In addition, he has spoken to over a hundred audiences about mental health. His book, Bipolar General, includes medical research that is woven into his own personal journey with bipolarism.
    Gregg Martin urges anyone who feels like they may have a mental health condition to seek help immediately. Untreated mental illness can ruin a marriage, career and finances. It can lead to homelessness, addiction, incarceration and even death.
    Subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22
    Connect with MG Martin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregg-f-martin-222735aa/
    Explore Bipolar General at https://www.generalgreggmartin.com/
    Download the AAFMAA transition timeline at https://aafmaa.com/ll4v
    SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this with other veterans who might need help as
    AAFMA, the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association is the longest-standing nonprofit association offering life insurance, wealth management, mortgages, survivor assistance and more. 
    AAFMA is dedicated to helping servicemembers be ready for life after the military.  AAFMAA would like to offer you their free Transition Timeline, a guide to help you create a solid military transition plan. Let AAFMAA help you get ready for your next step by visiting www.aafmaa.com/ll4v.

    • 34 min
    Season 4 Episode 147: Seeking Stability with Travis Pearce

    Season 4 Episode 147: Seeking Stability with Travis Pearce

    On this episode of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, we welcome Army veteran Travis Pearce. Travis separated in 2009 with very little notice and without a defined plan. He stepped off an airplane with a cell phone, a duffle bag and his Army training. When Travis joined the Army, he started in EOD and was then reclassed as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. With his GI Bill benefit, he went to college to study engineering. His first job after the military was as a monorail mechanic at the Tampa airport. Today, he works as an engineer for that same company. 


    In 2009, Travis had just returned from a Joint Special Operations in the Pacific when he learned his unit was already prepping for another deployment to Iraq. His commander gave him the option of redeploying or ETSing with an honorable discharge – meaning released from active duty. Because Travis chose to ETS, he did not have the runway to prepare for his transition. Stationed in Hawaii at the time, his belongings were put on a ship, sent to California and then transferred to a truck headed for Tampa Bay, Florida – his hometown.


    Travis relied on the skills he learned in the Army as a mechanic to help him find a job. Because there is no school for monorail maintenance or repair, Travis played up his ability to adapt to change, learn quickly and be flexible – all skills he learned in the Army. After Travis was offered the position at Alstom, the hiring manager disclosed that his background working on multiple pieces of equipment and managing the accountability of equipment valued in the millions helped him get the job. Alstom is actively seeking talent in a variety of fields.


    One of the biggest hurdles Travis faced after he separated from the military was defining his goals. Once he began his college studies and shifted his focus to engineering, he determined his focus and the steps he needed to take to accomplish his goals. Travis has been employed with Alstom for almost 14 years. The stability, teamwork environment and benefits play a key role in his loyalty to the company. Alstom gave him flexibility when he was going to school full-time and working full-time to support his growing family. 


    As Travis reflects on his career with Alstom, he attributes his success and longevity to his management’s flexibility and support and his willingness to be honest and candid about his goals. Building trusting relationships is key to taking advantage of internal opportunities. Now that Travis has been out of the Army for 14+ years, he encourages all service members to learn about and understand their benefits. Find resources and organizations that can help you navigate the process of applying for benefits. 
    Connect with Travis Pearce on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/travis-pearce-99a377274/
    Subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22


    Explore careers at Alstom at https://www.alstom.com/careers/join-alstom


    Download the AAFMAA transition timeline at https://aafmaa.com/ll4v


    SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this with other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!
    AAFMA, the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association is the longest-standing nonprofit association offering life insurance, wealth management, mortgages, survivor assistance and more. 
    AAFMA is dedicated to helping servicemembers be ready for life after the military.  AAFMAA would like to offer you their free Transition Timeline, a guide to help you create a solid military transition plan. Let AAFMAA help you get ready for your next step by visiting www.aafmaa.com/ll4v.

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

Ioannis96 ,

Lori Norris - Phenomenal Veteran Transition Coach

Lori Norris’ “Lessons Learned for Vets” podcast is required listening for any veteran or Soldier looking to retire or complete term of service. Her work is truly a labor of love and her care for the military and veteran community is so admirable. From tips on growing your linked in network, resume writing, mental health awareness, job search skills, Lori WILL have a positive impact on the quality of your transition. ***PRO TIP: her guests are very insightful and helpful. Lori’s show is also a great way to build your linked in network with quality people that understand YOU and the challenges that service members undergo when they leave the service for integration into civilian life. She is a HERO!

crazy lady 1465 ,

Tremendous resources

This podcast should be on in every transitioning members library. A lot of time and effort is put into each discussion. The subjects and guests that are brought it add true value. I really look forward yo easy podcast, as they provide key information on helping to make a smooth transition for all.

Transitioning vet ,

Required listening!

As the title says, this should be required listening for ANY veteran at ANY point in their transition. I’m 6 years out of the Air Force and wow… I wish I had found this sooner BUT it is still relevant to me. Lori is an absolute legend for what she does in this community and I cannot thank her enough!

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