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Monday, August 27, 2012
Army officers are forever faced with moving. From North Carolina to California or from Korea to Germany, the move is never down the street and the job opportunities are rarely ever clear. Servicemembers soon grow frustrated by the lack of control they have over their own career, and several decide to leave.
Yinon Weiss and Aaron Kletzing first met in 2008 when they were both stationed in Iraq. Three years later, they reunited at Harvard Business School, reminiscing on how difficult the transition to civilian life can be. After learning the best practices from the private sector, though, they knew what they had to do: create a network that would do for the military what LinkedIn has done for business. They started RallyPoint.
The network’s patent pending technology is changing the way military professionals connect, develop and pursue new career opportunities. Although positions are based on rank or specialization, personal preference or background might not be taken into account. Say you speak Spanish, but were placed in Asia. Through RallyPoint, you could see the other opportunities being offered and then start a dialogue within your own branch of service, by asking, “What do I need to do to be considered for that role?”
Weiss admits people in the military can take control of their own career, but they need to have that dialogue first. And that dialogue only comes with transparency, which is what RallyPoint is trying to provide.
RallyPoint also strives to connect servicemembers with jobs before they enter the civilian world. At 25 percent, young men returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have one of the highest unemployment rates in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compared to the national 8.2 percent unemployment rate, the number is disheartening.
Lucky for RallyPoint users, though, employers have been positively responding to the platform, according to Weiss. Beyond specific training military members have, they also exude several traits employers are looking for, including self-discipline, leadership experience and the motivation to “get things done.” Moving forward, the company will continue to cement these partnerships and, as Weiss says, “try to solve the unemployment issue at the root.”
RallyPoint is currently in private beta. To be accepted into the network, members need to be verified, which can usually be done with a .mil email address. Verified users can also invite other individuals to the site, as long as they’re a current military member.
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