Volunteer Spotlight: Elana
When exploring new careers, transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses sometimes find themselves limited to certain industries or roles due to assumptions about the military community. It’s why Hire Heroes USA Volunteer Elana Najera, who comes from a family of veterans, makes a point to throw out any preconceived notions. She sees each mentorship conversation as an opportunity to listen, learn and collaborate.
“I approach each client with an open mind,” she said. “The best solutions come from engaging together in conversation to craft next steps and alternate solutions as we talk through their goals and desires. We build a path with prioritized tasks together.”
Elana has more than 15 years of experience in the technology industry and has seen firsthand the top-tier skills and unique talents veterans bring to the workforce.
“I would encourage anyone who interacts with veterans and military spouses in their lives to listen to them. There is so much to gain from their experiences and specific problem-solving skills,” Elana said.
For jobseekers, Elana believes the most important piece of advice she can offer is for clients to learn how to advocate for themselves in the civilian job market. “Know and believe in your worth. By serving in our military, you have experienced and participated in problem-solving at scale. Any work experience at scale is extremely valuable.”
With more than 53 volunteer hours completed with Hire Heroes USA, Elana has empowered many veterans and military spouses to achieve their career goals, but the benefits she receives from these conversations are just as powerful.
“I get to meet and interact with individuals that have served our country, and I cannot express how rewarding it is for me to be touched by them,” she said. “Every single client I speak with provides me with a sense of joy for their accomplishments and excitement for their road ahead.”
If you would like to make a difference in the lives of veterans and military spouses, please click here to learn more about volunteering with Hire Heroes USA.