If you have served in the Military or if you are an Individual With a Disability (IWD) you may have an advantage, that others do not have, in your job search. But you must know where to look.
Affirmative Action Plans
Generally speaking, Government Contractors with 50 or more employees and over $10,000 in contracts (amounts vary based on minority group) are required to have, implement and audit annually some type of Affirmative Action Plan. The Affirmative Action Plan may have goals for one or more of the following groups:
- Military Veterans
- Individuals With Disabilities
- Racial Groups
Many people think that an Affirmative Action Plan only concerns hiring but it’s effects are long lasting for an employee of a Government Contractor. They must monitor:
I am not going to discuss whether or not companies should have AAPs. The fact of the matter is that if you want to do business with the Federal Government, you will likely need one. As I tell the kids in baseball “If the Ump calls it a strike, it is a strike.”
Most AAPs measure their effectiveness against the MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Analysis.) In other words, they are measured against the surrounding population of qualified individuals. Not so with two groups: Military Veterans and Individuals With Disabilities. Want to see what an AAP looks like? Here is an example.
Individuals With Disabilities or IWDs
Did you know that most Government Contractors have a goal of hiring IWDs? Yep, they have a goal that 7% of each Job Group be IWDs. That may not sound like a lot it, but it means that Government Contractors are taking actions to seek out and hire IWDs. In your job search you need to spend more of your time where you are more likely to be hired. The fact is that if you are an IWD you are more likely to be hired by a Government Contractor. There is even an Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). If you are an Individual With a Disability you should take advantage of these resources.
Just Googling “hiring Military Veterans” pulls over 18 million webpages. The AAP goal for hiring Military Veterans is pegged to the National percentage of veterans in the workforce, currently 8%. Just like IWDs, Military Veterans have a lot of resources available.
Looking for a job can feel like a battle sometime, you against “The Man.” I have heard people say “I want to do it on my own, I don’t want help.” Excuse me, but that is STUPID! What if a fire was headed towards your house? You stand there watching creep closer and closer. It is getting hotter and hotter. Just then a firetruck pulls up. You tell them to beat it, you got this. Next you find fire extinguishers, you decide that would be “cheating.” Finally you remember you have a shovel that you could use to dig a fire line with and save your house. Just then you remember that would not be fair because your neighbor does not have a shovel. So you just throw dirt on the fire. Nice job knucklehead. That is what many people do in their job search. They do not use all of the resources they have available to them.
If you are not aware of all the resources you have that is one thing, but if you know about them and don’t use them then there is no whining.
If you’re offended easily, you’re a bad resource allocator. It’s a waste of energy and attention, which is a greater sin than wasting time.
FB post via Tim Ferriss