Dana shares how going to college with Veterans (and marrying one) changed her perspective and helped her become a better ally to the community.
Dana Haymon is an Events Lead with Indeed’s employee-led Veterans & Allies Inclusion Resource Group. She is an Analytical Lead in Client Strategy & Insights for Indeed’s Enterprise clients based in New York City. She received her MBA from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, where she met her fiance, Tom. She loves to cook, travel (pre-pandemic), and watch Great British Bake Off with her ginger cat, Sherlock.
If you are anything like me a few years ago, you may think you have a clear idea of what a Veteran looks like — male, muscular, stoic, serious. For me, going to business school and meeting my now fiancé, Tom, a former U.S. Army Captain, as well as a fantastic group of friends who have also served in the military, completely changed that perception.
Tom and I met in Accounting. We had our lunch breaks between classes at the same time and formed a lunch crew composed of the two of us, as well as other former military members in our class. It was through listening to their stories and laughing a lot together, my perception of Veterans changed. Since then, I’ve come to realize this is a group of smart, humble, funny, and introspective people.
I realized being in the military isn’t all about push ups and physical strength, but rather embracing our differences to work toward a common mission.
Veterans & Allies month at Indeed
Since coming to Indeed a year ago, I have found a company that takes the mission-driven aspect of military culture to heart through our company mission of helping people get jobs.
For the Vets & Allies Inclusion Resource Group, this mission is carried out through actions such as consulting on Indeed’s products to make them better for Veterans looking for civilian jobs, as well as holding coaching events specifically designed for life after service.
We have also had the chance to bring some fun for all Indeedians as we extended our celebrations of Veterans Day in the US and Remembrance Day in many European countries throughout the whole month of November.
We kicked off the month with an amazing speaking event featuring Melissa Stockwell, a veteran, a Paralympian and a mom. We also held a panel discussion, moderated by our Chief Operating Officer, Dave O’Neill, featuring Indeedians who have served or are currently serving.
To top it off, we mixed it up with our co-chairs in a virtual event called Cocktails & Mocktails where members shared their favorite drink recipes and we toasted the end of the month at an Afternoon Retreat DJ session hosted by Vets & Allies co-chair, Tim Kirk.
Delve into Tim’s story in the video below.
Tips for being a better ally
Through exposure to my fiancé and other military members, I have made it a mission of mine to become an ally. One of the best lessons I have learned is to leave preconceived ideas at the door.
Being a Veteran or serving in the military is a dimension of diversity that is not obvious. Many of the service members that I know, including Tom, are very humble about their service and don’t mention time in the military unless it comes up in conversation. Other service members may be reluctant to talk about their time in the military as those stories may come with some painful memories. Respect their boundaries.
My dad always told me, “We all put our pants on the same way — one leg at a time,” and I try to take this into my everyday life. Military members and Veterans like movies and sports and comics and music in the same way we all have our interests. Relate to them as people first.
If you are curious about their military service, ask if they are open to talking about it and be respectful if the answer is no. If they do say yes, lead with asking about what they did in the military without jumping directly to questions about their combat experiences.
There are so many different jobs in the military and not every service member saw combat. For example, my great uncle was an Army food scientist and served predominately from a lab.
More Veterans & Allies perspectives
“I grew up with two incredibly admirable grandfathers who had inspiring careers in the military. Of course, my brother joined the Navy once he graduated. It’s not surprising to see that I married an amazing man who followed his 3 brothers into the Navy. I, now and will always, view myself as a part of the military community.
Being a part of Indeed has allowed me the opportunity to support this community that I hold so near and dear to my heart. The passion of the Veterans & Allies Inclusion Group mission was so inspiring that I had to be a part of their story.” – Jacque, Technical Recruiter – Austin
“I joined the Veterans & Allies Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) at Indeed because it embodies values and focuses parallel to those in the military community I have been serving in for many years. The United States Navy values diversity, equality and inclusivity and its sailors accurately reflect the rich makeup of our country. Creating environments where people from various backgrounds and cultures can succeed personally and professionally is the greatest way to strengthen teams of all sizes.
Being able to represent the less than 1% of Americans who serve in the military, I truly have a sense of belonging in the Veterans & Allies IRG. This is a space where I can not only connect and relate, but also teach and share with coworkers, employers, and job seekers alike.” – James, Account Executive – Stamford
“I left the Active Military four years ago and learned so much during my transition to the civilian work force. Once I landed gracefully at Indeed, I really wanted a way to continue to serve, to be part of a community again, and to pay it forward to the veterans and military spouses that need our help. The Veterans & Allies Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) is one way I’m able to do that.
Witnessing such powerful voices for Inclusion & Belonging at Indeed welcomes authenticity every day. I see it instilled in management at all levels, and that support truly empowers me to bring my authentic self to work.” – Mike, Project Manager – Austin
Bringing a military mindset to helping people get jobs
Throughout my time learning and growing, I have come to realize being an ally is incredibly rewarding. My fiancé and I often talk about the differences between the military and civilian worlds and I find myself pulling tactics and ideas from the military into my day to day work at Indeed.
Learn more: Job search tips for former military members
Furthermore, knowing more about the military and the difficult challenge of transitioning out allows me to better understand our job seekers. If even one person gets a job because of this extra knowledge, then I feel like I’m doing my part to help Indeed accomplish our mission.
For more about the work our Veterans & Allies Inclusion Resource Group is doing, watch the video below.
Learn more about Indeed’s Inclusion Resource Groups and our Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging initiatives here.