A mother of two, a wife, a daughter and a veteran, Tasha Hines is the first employee in her department to be both a flex worker and a mentor. She began working remotely earlier this year and she is grateful for a workplace that allows her the flexibility to succeed as a senior FMLA specialist.
Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Tasha joined the Army the summer after she graduated high school, in June of 2000, and went to basic training the summer after her freshman year in college in 2001. After the tragic events on Sept. 11, 2001, her unit was called to serve, and Tasha served in Iraq as a Motor Transport Operator from 2003 – 2004. In total, she served in the Army for eight years.
In a Q&A with WorkWell, Hines talks about her experience serving in the Army and how she’s utilizing that knowledge to shine in the corporate sector.
WorkWell: When did you start working at Unum?
Tasha: I’ve started working at Unum twice. I graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta, but I moved back to Chattanooga in 2009 to take care of my mom after she had a stroke. I worked in Leave Management for about a year. I then returned to Unum in Nov. of 2015 because I missed my family and the city and was getting ready to marry my now husband. I started working remotely in January of 2018 because of a traumatic incident that my two-month-old daughter experienced while in daycare. Thankfully, my manager supported my ability to work remotely, so I’ve been working from home ever since.
WorkWell: Are there any benefits to self-identifying as a veteran?
Tasha: I think it’s opened a lot of doors for me; not that they couldn’t have been opened otherwise. But, I think people associate the military with leadership, so that’s always been very positive for me.
WorkWell: Are there any difficulties in your current job you’ve experienced since leaving the military?
Tasha: When I first came back from Iraq, I experienced some anxiety and PTSD because of the position I was in when I served. I drove the trucks in convoys that transport people and cargo. I was in that group of people that you’d hear about in the news going over improvised explosive devices (IEDs). It was incredibly dangerous and very nerve-wracking, so a lot of those feelings came with me when I began my transition back to civilian life. I had coworkers that would unknowingly scare me by doing things like saying “Good morning” when my back was turned, so it took me a while to get over that.
WorkWell: What advice would you give to coworkers who work with a veteran?
Tasha: Let the veteran open up to you – be a listening ear, rather than prying into their lives. Most people are just curious, but they don’t realize they’re asking personal questions that may bring up sensitive memories.
WorkWell: What advice would you give to a veteran who is thinking about working at Unum?
Tasha: Unum is a place you want to be. This company has the resources you need to transition back into civilian life and the workplace. The company as a whole offers great empathy, and you can tell the company genuinely cares about its employees. Unum is constantly trying to better people and their situations.