What Motivates You?

In a constantly growing work force how do we keep up with the growing pains of life around us? Many times it is those who cross our path that motivate us into what we need to do. Or maybe it is motivation based on responsibility of supporting a family or our lifestyle. But, my favorite kind of motivation is by example of others. I have been lucky to have been surrounded with a handful of highly driven professionals in my career who have motivated me to do well at my job and push me to where I am today. But, it started way before that with a driven young father who was motivated by family and survival.

His perspective and story – In the early 1990’s a young father of six children worked an average job that barely paid the bills working as a janitor. He enlisted into the United States Air Force Reserves to pursue more opportunities for himself and his family. Even having a great work ethic and dedication to take care of his family, it was still not enough. Looking ahead he knew that his barely above minimum wage job and a small military reserve paycheck would not continue to pay the bills as his growing children had more needs and as daily living continued to become more and more expensive. So, in his late 20’s with four school age children and two infant children he enrolled into college to further his education and broaden his opportunities for growth in his career. This was only the beginning. After attending classes for about two years he attained his AA degree from a community college, continuing to work a full time job and serve in the Air Force Reserves. He then enrolled into a bachelors program at a college in the city. In effort to keep cost low he took the train system into the city taking along both infant children with him. He was surviving and pursing his dreams at the same time. Two years later he completed his bachelors degree and attained a job working at a local department of the city. He begin to move his way up in both his military reserve and civilian career. Not stopping there, he enrolled into a MBA program to better his chances for movement into management, working his way to retirement. He had a goal and a responsibility, he also needed to survive, so he made it work. He managed his time. He managed his resources. He brought his family along for the ride and held up his responsibility as a father.

My perspective, the infant child – In the early 1990’s I was around 5 years old, loving life. Two of my favorite things were riding on a huge train into the big city. I loved crossing the bridge and I LOVED all the city lights. My dad was in the military and every time he had to leave he ALWAYS brought me back a Polly Pocket (not the kind they have now but the good ones from back in the day that had a million little pieces). I remember when we go into my dad’s classroom he had my baby brother and I sit in the back with our coloring books. Sometimes one of his classmates, whose parents owned a Chinese restaurant in the city, would bring us fortune cookies. Another one of the classmates was a police officer, she did a presentation on child seat safety, I thought it was the coolest presentation ever and wondered when the kind of car seats she was talking about would be developed (they are now). The professor was always so nice, he even gave my brother and I a real permanent marker to draw with. When class was over we’d walk back to the train station, it was always dark and the city lights were beautiful. It was always freezing and I remember being so thankful my mom made me where my flower cotton stockings under my skirt. On the long ride home each week my baby brother and I would cuddle up on my dad’s lap and watch the city lights disappear as we got closer to home. When dad finished school I remember going to a ceremony (it was a little boring), but, my grandparents came and took us to a really nice dinner to celebrate my dad’s accomplishment. Our home was always warm, we were always fed and taken care of. I watched my dad go to school, get certificates and start new and exciting jobs in the military and civilian workforce.

Fast forward to the summer of 2008, I had a three month old baby at 19 years old and I knew I needed to start planning for my future career. I took the first step by enrolling into school. Over the course of the next 9 years. I had two more babies, completed three degrees including an MBA, joined the United States Army serving two years active duty, one deployment to Iraq and transitioned into the National Guard on part time status, became a federal employee working for the Department of Interior and started an accredited non-profit organization that provides career services to veterans. Now, I am 29 years old and I am a dedicated full time mother, devoted partner, soldier, entrepreneur and mentor. One question that I always get asked, “How do you do it?”. I just do it! I don’t stop. I find a way even when obstacles arise and I push past or jump over them. These are all true answers. But, as I enter in my last year in my 20’s I realize there is something way bigger than me that motivated me to be where I am today.

Every day that I watched my dad pursue his dreams and goals, even better I watched him reach them and complete them. Developing himself more and more as a professional, respected human being. That is what motivated me. He didn’t know it, I for sure didn’t realize what was happening. But, he was leading me by example, setting a foundation for my future life choices. We all know kids repeat what they see and hear. Let it be something good. Motivate those around you with positivity, leading and mentoring them by example. I wouldn’t know how to balance, manage time and multi task if it wasn’t for him. I’m hear today because I had an outstanding example as a child of someone who embraced responsibility and was committed to professional growth and development.

Sometimes, just sometimes, when history repeats himself it is simply amazing….

Family
Dad, Me, and Brother

My father, myself and baby brother when they welcomed me home from Iraq. My dad is now happily retired from the Air Force Reserves and continues to advance in his civilian job. My little brother is a devouted father, MBA graduate, CPA and entrepreneur.

 

 

Family
Family Picture

My dad, brother and his son, myself and my three babies. My dad is a loving and dedicated father and grandfather.

 

Deployment & Refugees

In 2015 I moved with my three babies from California to North Dakota to start a new job as a federal employee.

In August of 2015 my son entered 2nd grade in Bismarck, ND. He came home after his first day and with deep concern he says “Mom I don’t understand this school and the kids, they told me I’m welcome here because I’m white, but they made this boy in my class sit alone during recess because he looks brown.” With sadness I told him that was very unfortunate and regardless of color or nationality we treat all people the same with love and kindness. “Mom I want to go back to California, we have all colors there and no one cares what color you are”.

September 2015 I sat in a coffee shop in Bismarck, ND and listened in on some locals talk in horror of the possibility of refugees coming from Syria to Minnesota and North Dakota. They made comments like “What will happen to our nation?” “What will happen to our state?” “What will happen to our kids?” “They should die in their own country.” “Send them somewhere else.” “We don’t have room here.” “They will sneak ISIS personnel in.”

I just listened and wondered if they were right or not. Do we help out? Is everyone in Syria part of ISIS? Will they sneak in the bad?

In October 2015 my Army unit was activated to deploy. In May 2016 I boarded a plane with over 400 Soldiers to deploy to the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Yes, we trained leading up to the deployment, but in reality no one knew what to expect on the deployment. It wasn’t bad, it was a lot of hard work… but the experience… that was unforgettable.

In October 2016, five months into the deployment, I stood in line at a pizza/coffee shack (yes it was a shack) on a military base in the middle of Iraq. I got to the front of the line and the Iraq gentleman says “Madam we are closing”. I smiled and said “that’s alright, I should have came sooner”. He says “Madam you look so tired.” I laughed “I am, but I shouldn’t be, I have three kids back home, this should be nothing.” He smiled “let me put some pizza in for you and your friends and make you a Turkish coffee, it will wake you up.” I expressed my deep thanks for him staying late. Not knowing at this time what it meant for him to stay late.

The next morning I went back to the shop for more Turkish coffee (if you haven’t had one, find somewhere in the states that makes it). The same man smiled and asked me if I had talked to my kids last night. I explained I had not because by the time I got off work they were heading to school on the other side of the world and I’d have to stay up late tonight to talk to them when they got home from school. He says to me “yes I understand that”. He looked very sad. So, I sat down by the counter with my coffee and asked him if he had a family.

His story – “I have three kids and a wife. They live in India. We used to live together. Two years ago our town kept getting attacked. I sent my family away to be safe. I get to see them once a year. I stayed here because my aunt refused to leave and she owns a bakery, I didn’t want her to be alone. I was able to get a job on the military base helping the people who come from America to help us. I get up early every morning to come here and run this shop. I have to leave before dark or I can’t leave base and I have to sleep in my car.” I stopped him “last night when you stayed to make me coffee and pizza where did you sleep?” I asked. He responded “In my car, but it’s ok, you were sad and you needed some comfort and I understand that feeling.”  He went on to say “You and I are the same, my family lives in India so they are safe, you come here from America to help defend our country, your family stays behind and waits for you to come home, I come back to serve coffee and food to those who come to protect our country.”

Deployed

One year later in December 2017 we started reading a book to our three kids called “Refugee”. It’s a book about three kids that escape to America. One from Germany in the early 1900s. One from Cuba in the late 1900s. One from Syria in 2015. Last night we got to the part in the book where the little boy and his family from Syria had their entire house blown to pieces and they start to make their long journey to America. I had to pause every other word to try and maintain my composure wanting our kids to grasp every detail. But, all I could think of was my friend the barista from Iraq and his family and how they had to escape. In such a short time my knowledge of refugees from Syria went from not knowing if there were any good people left and wondering if the locals in the Bismarck coffee shop were indeed right to actually hearing first hand from a Iraq local and how his family had escaped.

I don’t blame anyone who thinks that refugees coming to the states is scary, they simply fear the unknown. I’m lucky to see and hear first hand. But, when in doubt think of this. America was founded in 1776. Refugees have been coming to America since then and continue to come. We are a diverse nation because we are not made up of one type of person or country but of all nationalities, backgrounds and cultures. Making us the best nation. We can’t stop now. America was built on freedom and will continue to be a place where those being mistreated can seek refuge.

  • Chris Angle, Mother, Soldier, Veteran Advocate

Upcoming Fundraiser Events!

Veterans’ Job Resources is pleased to announce the coming of many fundraisers.  First, we want to give a huge thanks to those who are hosting the fundraisers.  That includes Sushi Unlimited, California Pizza Kitchen, Chipotle, Brickyard Kitchen and Bar, and Vitality Bowls.  Thank you so much for your support!

The fundraising events are as follows:

Sushi Unlimted:  12/18/2017 – 4-9pm – 6693 Folsom Auburn Rd #A,  Folsom, CA 95630

California Pizza Kitchen:   12/21/2017 – All day – 1190 Roseville Pkwy,  Roseville, CA 95678

Chipotle:  12/27/2017 – 4-8pm – 781 Pleasant Grove Blvd,  Roseville, CA 95678

Brickyard Kitchen and Bar:  12/29/2017 – 12-7pm  – 1475 Eureka Rd #120  Roseville, CA 95661

Vitality Bowls:  12/30/2017 – 9am-7pm – 3988 Douglas Blvd #130  Roseville, CA 95661

If you go to any of the fundraising events, please announce that you are there to support Veterans’ Job Resources so we get credit.  The money raised goes to supporting veterans looking for civilian work by us helping with resume writing, interview skills, and job placement.

If you have any further questions, please contact me at  vetsgetjobs@gmail.com and I will get back to you.

Thank you so much!

Who are you?

You might think that this is a funny question. Because, I mean come on, we know who we are, right? Sure of course you do, but do you REALLY know who you are?

Your response might be, Soldier, Father, Mother, Gamer, Hunter, Photographer, Civilian, Human, etc.

Let me start with asking you a few basic questions. If it takes you longer then 5 seconds to think of the answer, then you might not know who you are.

What is the most important thing to you?

What is your strongest belief?

What are your morals?

What do you enjoy doing most?

What are your goals in life?

These five questions are basic questions right? Meaning everyone should have a answer to them?

Yes they are somewhat simple but not simple to answer. Let me explain why.

Being in the military as enlisted or officer we are taught and trained to think and act as we are told. Sometimes in the military it is hard to express our own opinions. But, here is the good news, your opinions have developed, we just have to figure out what they are. They have developed because every time you were told to do something or think a certain way, YOU thought of an answer, which may not have been the same one you actually said. Let’s be real, we don’t always speak what we are actually thinking.

Here is what I want you to think about when you try and find answers to each question listed above.

Question 1. What makes you so happy that you cannot imagine life without it.

Question 2. What do you believe is real more then anything else.

Question 3. What do you base all of your decisions on day in and day out.

Question 4. What do you do when you are sad or mad to make you happy.

Question 5. What do you want to be when you grow up.

Yes, I answered the questions with new questions, but we have to get to the truth of who you are and from there who you want to be and what you want to do.

From Chris – Your success is my goal. Remember, Everyone has a purpose.

 

Thank you Starbucks!

 

A message from the founder of Veterans Job Resources – Chris Angle

“I would personally like to say how much I love Starbucks. As a student in college, I worked for Starbucks as a barista and as a manager. It was one of my most memorable jobs and talk about doing something fun, fast pace and you can drink as much coffee as you want. What a great company! During my deployment in Kuwait there was nothing I loved more than receiving care packages that had Starbucks instant coffee packets in them. It was a little piece of home to find a Starbucks in Kuwait City and a Starbucks tent on many of the military camps. However, I do love Starbucks for more than just their product; they model an atmosphere that is much like the military, in teaching their employees how to demonstrate outstanding customer’s service and professionalism. Starbucks is determined to support the military by offering training and long-term careers to service members and their families. I am proud to support Starbucks in their in devour. Thank you Starbucks!”

-Chris Angle

Check out our career services at veteransjobresources.org.

We would like to say a special thank you to Starbucks and for their support of military and their families.

Starbucks has hired over 10,000 military members and their families.

They are not stopping here; Starbucks is continuing to hire veterans and they are determined to hire 15,000 more by 2025.

It is an honor to have a company that understands and appreciates military service members and their families for all they do for our great nation.

Near or far service members and their families enjoy and appreciate the services of Starbucks.

Starbucks in Camp Buehring, Kuwait

Starbucks supports troops with providing a little taste of home away from home.

Something as simple as a drink of Starbucks coffee can make a deployment not feel so far from the land our service members serve and protect.

Starbucks promotes a supporting atmosphere to military families through care packages sent to service members.

Even the littlest military family members enjoy Starbucks while their hero serves.

Thank you Starbucks for supporting our military and their families!

Eternal Optimist

This past week an acquaintance referred to me an eternal optimist. At first, I wasn’t quite sure the individual had it right. But, I actually think that I am, because I believe that EVERY situation or problem has a solution and a positive outcome.
Let me ask you a few questions about how you view life.
  • how quickly do you get angry?
  • what do you think of yourself?
  • what do you think about in general?
  • how do you make yourself happy?
As humans we have an instinct of never wanting to fail so when things do not go our way we tend to react.
There are many kinds of reactions that we could have.
Giving up
Getting angry
Becoming sad
When we start to act from one of these categories we then start to think negatively about ourselves.
After we think we have failed we look at the world and see obstacles instead of possibilities.
This type of thinking and reaction to a difficult situation makes us as individuals very unhappy.
But…… it doesn’t have to be that way.
Every situation has a solution
Every challenge leads to a possibility
Every problem can have a positive outcome
What does this all mean?
I want to challenge you to look at the positive when you face negative situations, tell yourself you can and never say “I can’t”, think positively and do what makes you happy. After all you have to live with you all the time.
Nothing is the end of the world. With hard work, dedication and commitment you can and you WILL succeed in your career. The world is full of possibilities and opportunities, don’t give up on pursuing yours.

 

From Chris (your eternal optimist)

Why hire a vet?

There are many reasons why to hire a veteran. However, I want to discuss one reason in particular.

The action word is complacent.

I have two very active boys. As of late, I have noticed how easy it is for children to become comfortable with their everyday schedule and surroundings in the false safety net that they live in. As a veteran, I felt the urge to share with my children the importance of not just being aware of their surroundings but also having the ability to think outside the box for a solution in tough situations.

What is Complacent?

Some would say that becoming complacent is not always a bad thing. Being complacent can mean that the individual is comfortable in his or her job. However, in the military we are taught something very different regarding complacent.

In addition, being complacent can also mean that one is so focused on their everyday routines and schedules that they forget to think outside the box on new ideas, what is happening around them and what is out of place.

Veterans are not complacent. Military service members are constantly trained to always be aware of what is going on around them, never become accustomed to one routine or solution and notice when something or someone is not right.

How can this benefit an employer?

By hiring a veteran, an employer is employing an individual that will always be looking forward. Businesses that stay stagnant have no growth or development; having employees that are constantly looking for ways to improve and expand current solutions will help the business grow.

Military personal are trained to be aware of what is going on around them when it comes to factors for safety, schedules and personnel. Veterans in the work place can encourage an environment that promotes self-awareness encouraging others to speak up with something is out of place or does not look right.

Employers will not go wrong when hiring veterans. They are trained to be professional and to never quit. What more could an employer want?

Speak Up!

You should not be afraid to speak up in your career positions. Often times the military training can hinder service members from speaking up. In turn service members do not voice valid concerns or ideas because of the fear of reprisal.
Regardless if you work in the military, federal or private sector, if you are trying to improve or speak on a change that will positively impact managers and or employees and not hinder the mission or workflow, then SPEAK UP!
Employees, Soldiers, Volunteers, Managers and Leaders should NEVER receive any kind of discipline, counseling or other reprisal for simply voicing ideas, expressing concerns or proposing changes.
Of course I have a caveat, this communication should ALWAYS be done in professional and respectful way.
Freedom of speech for all is a right!
Respect toward others regardless of rank, position or status is putting dignity and professionalism in the work force.
Lastly, why should individuals speak up at all?

 

The answer is too easy, it is how we foster change and develop new ideas. Great things happen because individuals speak up. Voicing ideas makes others start thinking about what is being proposed and from there action is taken.
If you have an idea let others know.

De oppresso liber

De oppresso liber – This is a phrase I had never heard of until a few days ago when meeting a medically retired Army Veteran who was Special Forces. The individual is my counter-part in the civilian sector and we began to bounce ideas of each other in the Human Resource world. During our communication I noticed at the end of his signature block, he had the words “De oppresso liber”. Of course, I had to Google it because I wanted to know what it meant. 

 

De oppresso liber is the United States Army Special Forces motto that means “to free from oppression” or to liberate the oppressed”. 

 

I asked my colleague what the phrase, that must have meant a lot to him as a Special Forces Soldier, meant to him now working in Human Resources. 

 

His answer surprised me but it made perfect sense. He stated that at one point this meant saving lives, rescuing Soldiers and Civilians and going above and beyond the call of duty. Now, it means the same thing targeted to the same audience with a different outcome. He stated now I take care of Veterans and Civilians by processing payroll, validating benefits, submitting vacation and retirement packets, enabling promotion packets and developing award programs. We all have heard things like “well it has to get past HR first”. However, HR Professionals that love their job and are motivated to take care of employees are the best for the job. 

 

Point is, that this Soldier, Veteran and Federal Civilian had a dream and was living it. However, things happen and he found a new dream with the same motivation from before and developed new goals. We can plan our future all day long, we can chase goals, we can reach goals and we will succeed. However, never be afraid to change direction to reach new goals when obstacles are thrown in your path. 

 

Remember obstacles only make us stronger. 

 

-Chris

What is your next mission?

What is your next mission?

Something that most military personnel are used to hearing. However, can we translate that into our civilian careers as military personnel? That is the real question and I want to have straight talk on the real answer.

First, every mission counts. That is something that all military personnel need to get into their head. Every position, rank or duty assignment they have held counts toward their future. Whatever you did got you experience towards something that will come into play at your next assignment, mission or even civilian job.

What do I mean by this? It’s simple. Not everything that we are told to do in the military is what we want or even what we planned. However, it can be something that we can use. I am going to use my own experience to help this make sense.

I lived in CA after active duty but was offered by first civilian federal position in ND. Yes, ND. So, I moved. A year and a half later I came back for a federal civilian job transfer that I had applied for and that was approved. I remember thinking when I crossed back over the CA border “thank God I’m back”. However, there is a lot the I learned in that year and half that I was away.

Short Story – in a year and a half I took my first federal civilian position, picked up a secondary MOS school, deployed for a year as a activated reservist with a engineer detachment to Kuwait and Iraq and I completed my masters degree. All of which can be applied to my current career path in more than one way.

Conclusion, the opportunity I left CA for was worth it. Sometimes it is very hard to try something new especially when we are so used to being told what to do all the time.

The civilian work force can be scary but it does not have to be. We are hear to help you. We provide resume writing, interview skills and job referrals. Veterans are our priority. We believe in no man left behind.

Contact us to help you make that next step!

– Chris