In 2021 WOU (Work Opportunities Unlimited) and Leddy Group became part of a select group of NH-based organizations, each designated as a New Hampshire Veteran Friendly Business by the Department of Military Affairs & Veterans Services and NH Employment Security. WOU and Leddy Group aim to help Veterans and their families find meaningful employment within the WOU & Leddy Group organizations or through Leddy Group’s placement of talent within our client employers’ portfolio.
We are excited to showcase Tina Dykens’ path to WOU! Tina joined WOU as a Career Resource Specialist for the Seacoast market.
How long did you serve? I served in the United States Air Force for 23 years, 11 months, and two weeks as a Supply Management journeyman (7.5 years) and C-17A Loadmaster (16.5 years).
What has been your career path post-military which led you to WOU? I returned to school and became a certified and licensed Occupational Therapy Assistant.
During your time in the US Air Force, did you have a mentor whose role in your career guided your personal and professional development? There wasn’t one person that I could pinpoint as the sole mentor. For me, it was a collaboration of supervisors, senior leaders, and friends.
What are some of the soft skills and technical skills that you learned and have applied to your civilian career? I have learned that your way isn’t the only way of getting things done, patience is vital, and perseverance and resilience are essential. I learned not to be afraid of making mistakes since through making mistakes, we learn, and lastly, to never judge a book by its cover. The military has people from literally all walks of life. You must learn to work with each other to complete a mission successfully.
What would you advise hiring managers to focus on when interviewing someone transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce? In my opinion, hiring managers should talk about offering a veteran candidate stability, a competitive wage, opportunities for growth, professional development, and career path progression. Also, hiring managers must share how the company and the role serve a great purpose.
Why WOU? WOU has a purpose. We help people gain independence and feel like part of the workforce. I will always support someone who puts in the effort and tries regardless of the barriers.
What would you like a prospective veteran transitioning to civilian life to know about a potential career at WOU? They are all the same things I mentioned about what a hiring manager should emphasize: stability, a competitive wage, opportunities for growth, professional development, career path progression, and that WOU serves a great purpose.
Thank you, Tina for sharing your story and insights with us! We’re so glad you’ve joined our team. As a company, we embrace this opportunity to support our veterans and military spouses find meaningful work.