Career Tips for Veterans

Getting out of the service is a potential change to life as you know it.  It can be disorienting. While it offers more autonomy, it presents new challenges and self-determining responsibilities.  The good news is that it’s a manageable process and companies are looking for the skill set that your military experience gave you.  Let’s break that process down into actionable steps.

Prepare

You know that your transitioning date is coming up well in advance.  Start planning your transition, so that you can prepare for any new skills that you may need to acquire.  You can always change your plan, but the key is to get started.

Resources

Every branch of the military provides you with resources to help with the transition to the civilian world.  There are programs and workshops designed to equip you with new skills and tools for success.

Jargon

Get current with non-military jargon in your field.  The military is notorious for acronyms and jargon specific to government service.  Military.com even has a military skills translator to help you know what to search for in your field.

Utilize

Don’t leave your GI Bill unused.  While a college degree doesn’t guarantee you immediate success, it still increases your chances.  Take advantage of it.

Make connections

The military experience is a built in network.  The shared experience creates a camaraderie that your fellow service members are more than than willing to act on, even after they have transitioned.  Start making and using your connections before you separate. Find the organizations designed to help former service members find jobs and a stable life outside the military.

Contact

Reach out far and wide.  Contact staffing agencies who are better acquainted with your job field.  They may know niches and angles that you aren’t familiar with. Make use of veteran specific agencies, as well, as they will know what skills you have that civilian organizations are looking for.

Polish

Present your most polished self on your online presence.  Pretend that your Facebook profile is the hospital corner of your professional image.  Scrub and polish. Limit public access. Social media is not the space to show questionable exploits that don’t fit their employee image.

Mobilize

Keep in mind that veteran job seekers can often make use of an advantageous tool; they offer help with relocation.  That may make the difference for the company considering you, despite your current distance from the company location.

Be selective

Make thoughtful decisions.  If you’ve prepared in advance, you won’t need to jump at job offers.  Look at the horizon when you consider job offers. It’s important to weigh salary and whether the job will suit you in the long run, both in terms of long term growth, and job satisfaction.

Strategize

Identify the mission objective, i.e., what career do you see yourself in?  Break it down into actionable steps. Identify your team members and resources.  Execute the mission. Regroup when necessary.

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