106 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 • 26 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.

    Episode 105: Top to Bottom LinkedIn Creation with Adam Braatz - Part 1

    Episode 105: Top to Bottom LinkedIn Creation with Adam Braatz - Part 1

    Adam Braatz served in the USAF for 8 years before separating in 2015. In addition to holding several communications and marketing roles, Adam has become an influential voice in the veteran advocacy ecosystem. Adam’s book, LinkedIn Mastery for Veterans and Transitioning Service Members, was recently released and contains actionable strategies to improve your LinkedIn profile. Although there are many LinkedIn how-to guides, Adam specifically wrote this book with content focused on the veteran and transitioning service member. 
    When Adam initially left the military for his first role in the non-profit space, he was using Facebook to make professional contacts. It wasn’t until a few mentors suggested he become more active on LinkedIn and use the platform for career growth. With over 900 million users, LinkedIn is the largest professional business and educational database in the world. Adam suggests becoming active on LinkedIn well in advance of the military transition to establish a network. Afterall, this network may be able to help you find a job. 
    The background image should never be left blank. Adam likens a profile without a background image to walking into a store with empty shelves. Consider using an image of the city you are hoping to live and work in. Adam encourages people to think about hiring a professional for the portrait. However, a well-planned iPhone photo will also work. Use a plain background and keep the focus on your smiling face. The photo should be well-lit with no obstructing shadows. Never use your military photo or dress in your uniform. Your LinkedIn profile is not about where you’ve been, but where you are going. 
    Avoid fluff words such as “experienced” or “seasoned” when filling out the headline. If you are a transitioning service member or veteran, consider abstaining from using these descriptors in the headline. Once again, the profile is about where you are going, not where you’ve been. When you lead with “transitioning service member,” you are telling the reader you’re currently in a state of flux without definable skills. 
    As you continue with the top third of your profile, always capitalize the first letter of your first and last name. Avoid using non-characters, like emojis, before your name. While it’s important to not create barriers between you and someone trying to get in touch with you, consider your security. For example, it’s often advised to not disclose your personal cell number. Don’t put anything on LinkedIn that you would not be comfortable at least having a conversation about in a professional environment.
    The ABOUT section of your profile should contain keywords for the industry you are targeting. Writing this portion in the first-person will help showcase your communication style and personality. Answer the following questions to help you write the ABOUT section: What do you want to do? Why do you want to do it? Why does it matter to you? This section should give your connections and potential employers a little more insight into you in addition to the work experience section. 
    Start filling in your work experience by using your resume bullet points. Consider rewording them and using the first-person narrative to create more of a story. Make sure the language is palatable to civilians and not militaristic.
    Subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22.
    You can connect with Adam on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/abraatz/
    Order LinkedIn Mastery for Veterans and Transitioning Service Members at https://a.co/d/2Hd88Ap
    SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!

    • 57 min
    Season 3 Episode 104: Military Transition Q&A with Cody Bowman

    Season 3 Episode 104: Military Transition Q&A with Cody Bowman

    On this week’s episode of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, we are excited to bring you our first Q&A session of Season 3. After serving 6 years on active duty, Cody Bowman transitioned to the South Dakota Air National Guard. He encountered many challenges during the transition and is determined to better prepare for his future retirement transition. Although still 9 years away, Cody is already taking steps to smooth his next transition and prepare for a fulfilling future career that will provide for his family.
    The biggest challenge Cody faced was securing a job. While he was stationed in South Korea, he was under the impression that he had landed a well-paying position and was told to contact the company once he relocated back to the US. With nothing in writing, Cody was powerless when the company never returned his calls. With no other prospects, Cody was back to the job search process and realized he had lost his focus. Thankfully he landed a full-time ANG job, which afforded him time to find his focus. Even though Cody’s background is in aircraft maintenance, he has chosen to focus his future career in emergency management. 
    Question 1: Being an aircraft mechanic, from the outside looking in, what are some similarities between aircraft maintenance and emergency management? It’s important to find the skills that correlate to both fields and focus on those key traits when you optimize your LinkedIn profile, write your resume and interview with potential employers. Look for opportunities while you are still serving that will help your marketability after the military. 
    Question 2: With so many different certification options, what is the best way to pick the most effective certification for any given career path? Conduct informational interviews with industry professionals and ask them what certifications and education are valuable. Be strategic about your pursuit of education and research organizations like Boots to Books or Sigma Forces that offer free resources. 
    Question 3: What recommendations do you have for someone who wants to expand their LinkedIn network? A QUALITY network is more important than the quantity of connections. However, more connections mean you are more likely to show up higher in LinkedIn searches by recruiters. Focus on connecting with people who can serve as a reference, can refer you to jobs, can educate and mentor you and who you want to work with or for.
    Question 4: How can I make my accomplishments and job descriptions on LinkedIn more appealing? An optimized LinkedIn profile is just as important as your resume. It serves as a job search agent while you are asleep and at work. In some cases, your LI profile is the first impression you give a recruiter. A resume is a focused, targeted marketing document. Your LI profile is like having a conversation about your experiences with the person who is viewing it. It should have personality and showcase your communication style. 
    Question 5: Any tips or tricks on writing the Summary Section of LinkedIn? The summary section is a chance to write about yourself in a way that appeals to a potential employer. ☑ Be brief ☑ Be engaging ☑ Target your audience ☑ Showcase your value ☑ Be clear. 
    Remember that people want to help you, but they first need to know how they can best assist you. Whether you're looking for a new job, contacts to expand your network or just to make connections with industry professionals and expand your knowledge, be sure to tell your listener what you need. 
    Subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22.
    You can connect with Cody on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/codyabowman/
    SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!

    • 42 min
    Season 3 Episode 103: The Power of Humility in the Military Transition with Bernard Toney

    Season 3 Episode 103: The Power of Humility in the Military Transition with Bernard Toney

    To launch the 3rd season of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, we welcome Dr. Bernard Toney. Dr. Toney’s impressive US Army career includes serving 3+ years as a White House Medical Officer, where he provided medical care to the Vice President and First Lady. A month after his retirement, he began a role as an Advanced Practice Provider / Associate Investigator for the National Institutes of Health. He is also Board Vice Chair for Stepping Stones for Global Development, an organization that provides health and education resources in resource-scarce communities.
    Dr. Toney grew up in Atlanta, Georgia in a socio-disadvantaged household. He was surrounded by violence, substance abuse and crime. With no clear prospects for his future, it was by default that he answered the call of a US Army recruiter. At age 17, before he left for bootcamp, Dr. Toney was a victim of a drive-by shooting. His best friend was riding passenger in the car he was driving and died in his arms. This life-changing event was the catalyst for his career in the medical field.
    With his impeccable career and solid credentials, you may not believe that Dr. Toney needed to be proactive about his transition and next career after the military. During his military service, he recognized that many servicemembers didn’t know when and how to get off the train, so to speak. He and his wife started planning his retirement and transition three years prior. He believes that time was critical in not only taking advantage of the various resources the military and other organizations provided but also to mentally prepare for life after the military. To quote one of our previous podcast guests, Herb Thompson, “God willing, every one who joins the military will transition someday.” 
    Dr. Toney attributes his success in the military and beyond to humility with an open mind. He reflects on the steep learning curve he experienced to eventually become a medical officer in the White House. As a young soldier, his insecurities hindered his initial growth, but he expresses gratitude to the many leaders who made him do things he found uncomfortable to help him gain confidence. He consistently had leaders who invested in his career. Dr. Toney recognized from an early age that he would need to rely on other people to help him learn, grow and become a more well-rounded person.  
    As Dr. Toney thought about his next career after the military, the most logical path would have been executive medicine – providing care to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. During his time working for 2 administrations, he traveled the world and noticed the inequity when evaluating health systems. Realizing it was time to give back in new ways, he made the decision to retire. Today, Dr. Toney provides medical guidance for Stepping Stones for Global Development and works with other professionals across different disciplines and geographic boundaries to make positive impacts in the lives of others around the world through health and education endeavors.
    Dr. Toney believes we can all be a testimony to other people. Sharing our struggles and our resilience normalizes hardship and provides strength for others.
    Subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22.
    You can connect with Dr. Toney on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/btoneyjr/
    Learn more about Stepping Stones for Global Development at https://www.steppingstonesglobal.org/
    SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!

    • 36 min
    Season 2 Episode 102: Key Strategies for Bouncing Back from Setbacks

    Season 2 Episode 102: Key Strategies for Bouncing Back from Setbacks

    Sometimes life hands you the unexpected. For the last episode of Season 2, I had a plan but then had to pivot. My life was hacked last week, and if you’ve ever experienced someone gaining access to your bank account, then you know that the nightmare keeps going, compounding itself with each new day. My planned guest also had life hand him the unexpected, so I decided to record a solo episode. My week inspired me to touch on a subject that is universal – the dreaded bad day or in my case, days.
    Even the hardest days contain lessons that can help you become a better person. While you are living that bad day, it can feel like things will never improve. However, tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to improve your life or someone else’s life. If you are in a season of challenging circumstances, consider the following to help you continue moving forward.
    ☑ Life Doesn’t Need to be Perfect. Our culture has conditioned us to strive for perfection through results-driven performance, meeting expectations and reaching goals. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for progress. You will stumble as you move toward reaching your goal, and that’s okay. 
     
    ☑ Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight. Our social media feeds only show highlight reels. People spend a lot of time and energy presenting their best moments to the world. You are not alone in your struggles and challenges. Take time to slow your mind and focus on the present. Find an activity that brings you back to the “now” like exercise, meditation, journaling or hiking. 
     
    ☑ There Is a Lesson in Every Struggle. Next time you stumble, reframe your mindset from failing to learning. Instead of focusing on the negative, look for the lesson in your struggle. This will help you make positive changes and prevent similar situations in the future.
    ☑ Hard times Help You Appreciate the Good. Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” 
    ☑ It’s Okay to Cry, Freak-Out, Go to Bed – Just Get Back Up Tomorrow. Having emotion is not a sign of weakness. Look for positive ways to release your negative feelings whenever possible and then move forward.
    ☑ Worry Makes You Suffer Twice. Ask yourself why you are worrying. It is our nature to prepare for things that might go wrong or eventualities. Recognize what you can and can’t control. 
    ☑ No One’s Life is as Picturesque as It Looks. Do not compare your life to someone else’s social media posts. If you find that social media is negatively impacting your self-esteem and happiness, then walk away from it. Consider only using LinkedIn to network and communicate – bypass the news feed.
    ☑ It Takes Courage to Ask for Help. You have a community of people willing and wanting to help you. You are not a burden.
    ☑ There’s Always Something to Be Grateful for. My challenge for you is to focus on 1 thing that you are thankful for when you wake up in the morning and when you go to sleep at night. It’s hard to feel a lack of hope when you feel gratitude in your heart.
    As we conclude Season 2 of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, we want to hear from you! Please give us your feedback and input for our next season by completing a short survey at http://tinyurl.com/ll4vsurvey
    Support this podcast for as little as $5. Find out more at www.buymeacoffee.com/ll4v
    SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military! 

    • 22 min
    Season 2 Episode 101: From Zero to Hired Using LinkedIn with Deon Myers

    Season 2 Episode 101: From Zero to Hired Using LinkedIn with Deon Myers

    After serving 21 years in the US Army, Deon Myers retired and landed a supervisory role shortly thereafter at Raytheon. Within a year at his new company, he learned the facility was closing, and he would be transferred to a new location. Not willing to add a significant amount of time to his commute, Deon leaned back into LinkedIn and accepted a new position that better fit the needs of his family. Deon is a great example of someone who went from no prior LinkedIn knowledge or usage to someone who has become a master on the platform and used it to land 2 fantastic positions. 
    In 2015, Deon sat down with his family to decide where they would like to live once he retired. His primary focus was accommodating his wife’s career, living in an area that would provide him job opportunity with competitive pay and finding job satisfaction. For a few years before retirement, Deon had the mindset that he would just land a job by having a “veteran” status. A lightbulb went off during a networking event for him, and he realized he needed a real plan with a specific focus. Thankfully he started his planning process early and still had plenty of time to research and explore options. During this time, he participated in TAP and began to learn about the various resources available to transitioning service members. He gained certifications, attended webinars, conducted informational interviews and started learning about LinkedIn. 
    Having no previous social media experience and a background in security, Deon approached LinkedIn with caution. After he learned that LinkedIn is a professional platform that is designed to promote the user through strategic networking and help users grow in their career or find new job opportunities, Deon knew he needed to take advantage of the platform. He researched no less than 10 approaches to mastering LinkedIn and took the best information from each to start building his profile. 
    Deon credits his success on LinkedIn to creating content and tagging people in his posts. He takes the approach of strategically tagging individuals that will find his content relevant. Using his posts to demonstrate his knowledge, Deon has grown his network to 1000+ connections – many of whom are recruiters and hiring managers. Although Deon is happily employed, he continues to stay active on LinkedIn to grow his network and help other transitioning service members find success after the military. Deon offers a list of his most influential connections and how their knowledge or organizations propelled him forward. Like many veterans, Deon admits that the transition is a journey that doesn’t end with a job acceptance. LinkedIn continues to be a platform where Deon learns information on how to be successful in the civilian sector. 
    Head over to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/llforvets22 to hear Deon speak on additional lessons learned during his transition. 
    As we approach the end of Season 2 of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, we want to hear from you! Please give us your feedback and input for our next season by completing a short survey at tinyurl.com/ll4vsurvey
    You can connect with Deon on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/deonmyers/
    SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!

    • 46 min
    Episode 100: Celebrating 100 Episodes and the 2nd Anniversary of the Show!

    Episode 100: Celebrating 100 Episodes and the 2nd Anniversary of the Show!

    On this week’s podcast, we celebrate our 100th episode by recapping some of the most common and important military transition lessons that our guest speakers have shared over the past 99 episodes. We welcome 7 previous guests on this episode to speak on a key issue they either talked about in their episode or have since focused on as their career has progressed.
    ✩ Gregory Austin: Season 1, Episode 11. As USAF retiree, Greg planned over 10 years for his transition. His methodical approach gave him the confidence and skills he needed for his next career. One approach Greg used for his transition was conducting his own SWOT analysis. Whether you plan 10 years or 10 months for your transition, Greg’s methodologies can help you. 
    ✩ Don Gleason: Season 1, Episode 52. Don retired from the USAF and is now a certified John Maxwell coach, business owner and co-founder of the Military Transition Roundtable. Don reflects on his interactions with service members through the Military Transition Roundtable and encourages every service member to find a mentor or coach to help identify their focus.
    ✩ Matthew Langseth: Season 1, Episode 7. After serving in both the Army and Army National Guard, Matt retired and has learned the art of networking. Finding mentors through American Corporate Partners and networking through Vets2Industry, Matt has become a positive voice in the transition space. 
    ✩ Adam Braatz: Season 1, Episode 19. After serving a diverse military career in music, public affairs and as a military training instructor, Adam recently published a book on how to leverage LinkedIn for the military transition. Adam encourages everyone to ☑ Optimize your LI profile. ☑ Organically develop your network. ☑ Create content. 
    ✩ Peter Cline: Season 1, Episode 44. Co-founder of Boots to Books, Peter uses his experience in the US Army to help others research education and certification opportunities before leaving the military. Boots to Books offers a wealth of resources for transitioning service members, veterans and their families to gain competitive education and employment opportunities. 
    ✩ Chris Dreisbach: Season 1, Episode 25. After retiring from the US Air Force, Chris had multiple job offers. Accepting what he thought was a dream job quickly turned into a nightmare. Chris shares his lessons learned on how money can’t buy happiness, not getting hung up on loyalty and being unafraid to walk away from a job that is not working.
    ✩ Ray Jokie: Season 1, Episode 38. Ray opens up on his struggles with depression, suicidal thoughts and extended unemployment after retiring from a career in the US Air Force. Many transitioning service members and veterans have similar experiences and Ray shares resources of support.
    As your host, I have had the privilege of sharing in your victories and struggles. One lesson I want to reemphasize is YOUR job to make sure your target audience – your potential employer – understands how you can add value to their organization. You must translate the skills you learned in the military on your resume, LinkedIn profile and in your interview. 
    Need a mentor or want to grow your network? Explore:

    ✔ American Corporate Partners: https://www.acp-usa.org/
    ✔ Military Transition Roundtable: https://www.militarytransitionroundtable.com/
    ✔ K.E.Y Mentor Group: https://thekeymentors.com/
    ✔ Vets2Industry: https://vets2industry.org/
    Check out Boots to Books at: https://www.boots2books.com/
    Order your copy of LinkedIn Mastery for Veterans and Transitioning Service Members at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BJ7Y2HCH

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

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!

Silentkestrel ,

This Podcast Should Be Mandatory For Transitioning Personnel…

This is an absolutely amazing resource for transitioning military personnel, I’m astounded I had to find it for myself on LinkedIn and no one told me about it! With a wealth of personal stories from vets across the services that are extremely relatable, each interview has at least one valuable takeaway. Many of the lessons intersect, reinforcing just how important they are for transitioning personnel. Can’t recommend it enough, thank you for what you do!

John N. - ,

Great insights regarding transition

The information presented on this podcast has been so beneficial during my transition. Lori does a great job discussing with guests the importance of finding purpose, resume tips, and overcoming challenges. Highly recommend to learn more about transitioning successfully to a new chapter in life.

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