This Memorial Day Weekend we commemorate the sacrifices made by those who have served in our armed forces. I can think of no better time to highlight the contributions veterans are making to our own industry and the ways in which they are ideally suited for careers in the apartment industry.
In a previous blog post, I talked about the opportunities our industry offers to veterans. That post generated a lot of conversation. One veteran we heard from was Jason Whittington, director of management operations for the Gene. B. Glick Company
Jason was in the U.S. Army for six years after college. After leaving the military, he realized he had a lot of leadership skills but no hard skills -- an issue many new veterans face. Fortunately, Jason found a job as a leasing consultant at the apartment community he and his wife had just moved in to. That was 10 years ago.
He said many people who serve in the military will need to learn hard skills after they leave military service. The civilian world just doesn’t have much demand for tank commanders (his role in the Army). However, the military does provide a solid foundation in leadership skills that can be easily transferred to the apartment industry. These skills include the ability to work well as a member of a team, an emphasis on accountability and a high level of focus on training -- all skills and qualities that are highly sought after in our industry.
“Multifamily is one of those industries where you can learn on the job, which is something you’re used to doing in the military,” he said. “As long as you stay true to what you learned in the military, you will succeed in the apartment industry.” He advises employers who are looking to hire a veteran that while they may not get someone with hard skills, they will get someone who is well-positioned to learn those hard skills and who can easily – and quickly -- step into a leadership position.
Jason started in an entry-level position, and he said that working his way up in the industry gave him an invaluable perspective, particularly after he moved into a management role. Veterans who are trying to land a job in the apartment industry should consider following the path taken by Jason and apply for an entry-level position in leasing or maintenance. It’s a great way to learn the industry from the inside out and to best position yourself to quickly advance up the career ladder.
For more information on careers in the apartment industry, please visit here