Getting out of the service and transitioning back into civilian life can be a hard task. You have gained skills and knowledge, but now what do you do with it? Your future career options are unknown. How do you relate your experience to civilian life? We have a few tips to get you started on your job search.
Off the Beaten Path
Veterans are trained to complete the task at hand. While being able to say you have completed tasks with 100% intensity is great, it doesn't always translate well in the working world. Rather than going with the "I'll do whatever needs to be done" approach, figure out what tasks you enjoy doing and tell a detailed story about your duties. If you are not sure what type of job you are looking for, attending a few job fairsand use your veteran network.
Don't Get Lost In Translation
Not all hiring managers will understand military "jargon" such as job codes or titles. Try translating this into something hiring managers will understand. Help them see the skills that you can bring to their company, and how it will benefit them. For example, 11Z is a job code for an Infantry Senior Sergeant. By spelling this out, you are able to demonstrate your leadership experience to a hiring manager that may not be familiar with military codes.
Service Member to Civilian
It is a good idea to get some real world experience through volunteer work, internships, or workshops. This will help in being able to show how your military experience can transition to on the job work. Being able to tell these types of stories will help hiring managers envision the added value you will bring to the position.
Use Your Network
Reaching out to other service members can have huge benefits. There are groups and organizations such as your local VA Employment Service and Hire Heroes USA, which can bring together veterans who can relate to and support each other. Veterans can also utilize staffing agencies to help find work.
Try approaching your job search as if it's an important mission-which it is! Determine your main objective, steps to get there, and then execute your plan. Treating your job search like a job will help you become more successful in your search.
Break the Stereotypes
The media has created this image of service members coming back into civilian life and not being able to mix well with others. While this may be true in some rare instances, there are many more where this veteran stereotype is far from true. Give hiring managers examples, tell them stories, and don't wait to be asked. Take the initiative and show that the skills you gained while in the military can benefit their company.
The transition back into the working world can be a bit tough but with these tips it can become a little easier. Make sure to know your objective and utilize the proper resources, including staffing agencies, to get you there.