More and more companies and individuals are creating online communities, and there is a huge number of them to choose from. As a service member, you may be wondering if there is something out there for you. If there is, is it really worth your time?
The answer is a resounding yes! Online communities have a lot to offer their members, especially niche communities that may cater to those with military experience, and return big benefits for little effort. Not convinced yet?
Here are ten reasons why joining an online community is worth it for service members:
1. Interact in a safe place: Always know who you are speaking with, and make sure your information is only visible to those you may otherwise give it to. RallyPoint and other modern networks, go to great lengths to verify membership--assuring you those who create profiles actually have something to offer you.
2. Stay connected to your colleagues: You may not be able to connect on Facebook with subordinates and many military members aren’t on LinkedIn - so a military only community like RallyPoint is the place to connect.
“I have deleted my Facebook, Twitter and all those other ‘social’ media sites that have added no value to my life. RallyPoint on the other hand...provides plenty of entertainment and knowledge which benefits me.” 2nd Lt, USMC
3. Connect with the right people: Connect with people who understand military service and people you may never otherwise meet. Find people in your future units and duty stations--even people with your specialty across the world. RallyPoint allows you to search geographically by any criteria, or by exploring RallyPoint Universe and narrowing down by units, etc.
4. Career networking: Build a network now before you need the help, and the network will be established when you do need the “in” for a position you’re applying for.
5. Build out your professional identity: Showcase all your military credentials and experiences, such as deployments, specific units, schools, certificates, and promotions. Professionals now depend on thorough digital identities. Some people think having no online identity is a good option, but it hampers career progression. We encourage you to showcase your experiences on the web.
6. Learn from a diverse set of people: Learn from others in your branch, those serving, those who are out, active duty and reserve component, senior leaders, junior members, across branches.
“I feel being able to have discussions with people of all ranks and branches of service is extremely important in developing good relationships within the military and solidifying the brotherhood (and sisterhood) we find in the service.” SPC, Army
7. Be a mentor: Share your knowledge and enjoy watching others succeed with your advice and encouragement. Building a digital identity is one thing, promoting it is another. Make sure the world knows you’re an expert, and do so by contributing valuable advice to those who can apply it.
8. Compare career options: See how others in your field apply their experience - whether they stayed in or got out, and learn more about career opportunities based on decisions they made.
Should you take that special assignment?
Should somebody become a Warrant Officer or remain an NCO?
What about those who transitioned?
9. Get career advice: With your established connections, ask for advice and you will be surprised by how much information you’ll receive.
“I would like to take this time to thank [several members who] took the time out of their schedules to review my records. If you see my name I am promotable now and just waiting to get picked up... just wanted to say how much I appreciate the honest feedback from everyone.” SSG, Army
10. Be part of a community: Enjoy the natural camaraderie and participate in passionate discussions. RallyPoint is a tight knit community and the only military network of its kind.
These reasons apply to civilians as well. It’s important to stay connected and make the most of your professional experience.
RallyPoint is the only professional online military community that empowers its members to capture relationships they formed during their service, explore the career paths of those that have gone before them, and gain more control over their career. Founded by former Special Forces officer Yinon Weiss and Army Captain Aaron Kletzing, it is the premier military network run by veterans in the USA. Visit www.RallyPoint.com to learn more.