Veterans with PTSD: on the job hunt
Earlier this year, we learned ways that employers can accommodate veterans suffering from PTSD, including the fact that PTSD isn’t visible and companies can’t legally ask if a candidate suffers from PTSD. Also, we learned that employers looking for top notch candidates, accommodations can be made for PTSD sufferers like allowing employees that note they have PTSD to step out of situations that trigger a negative reaction, and that better mental health benefits can be added.
But on the flip side, should veterans be honest about their PTSD, or should they hide it? Should they share during an interview their struggle, or should they keep it to themselves? Should they tell coworkers? How should PTSD victims interact with the work force – head on or passively?
Four tips for vets with PTSD
Mike Ligouri, the Director of Community from Unite US offers four tips for veterans with PTSD who are on the job hunt, in his own words below:
- Know your triggers- There are certain instances or situations that trigger episodes within veterans with PTSD. It is important to understand what those triggers are when job searching so that you don’t search for jobs that will regularly put you in situations that can cause an episode.
- Networking- Networking is one of the best ways to find a job, and with a massive military veteran community, it is easy to find a mentor or someone who can help you with interviewing skills, finding open positions, introducing you to the right people in your field of interest, etc.
- Find military friendly companies- Most civilian employers don’t truly understand PTSD, making it difficult with those with PTSD to explain their capabilities as well as their limits. However, military friendly companies have a much better understanding of PTSD and are more willing to work with their employees who experience it.
- Ask questions in your interview- This goes back to knowing your triggers. By having a full understanding of your triggers, you can ask the appropriate questions while you are interviewing and figure out if the environment or type of work is conducive to you. Don’t forget, when you are on an interview, you are also interviewing the company, and you need to make sure it is the right place for you.
There are ways to navigate the waters when job hunting with PTSD, and employers have ways (as mentioned) of accommodating so they don’t miss out on high quality candidates. A better understanding of triggers by all parties can go a long way toward a positive work environment.