One of the toughest parts of the military is having to transition from military to civilian status. Having lived a life where discipline and organization is at the forefront of teachings, switching to a civilian lifestyle can be hard for those who have served. One of the hardest parts of this process is finding a job as many veterans struggle finding the right career. This article will give you key steps on making the transition much easier.
Know Your Options
Transitioning is not always as easy as some may say it is and is often times much harder for some people. The best thing to remember is that there are programs put in place for you to use to help make the transition. Programs such as the Transition Assistance Program help veterans become successful during the transition period with the help of VA benefits and services. You can also choose a career counseling and guidance program such as the Veterans Gold Card to help assist you as well. This program is for unemployed post-9/11 era veterans.
Find Out What You Are Good At
Being in the military breaks people out of their comfort zone and really makes them find out who they are and what they are best at. List out all of your skills that you posses both before and during your time in the military to keep a running tally of your strengths and weaknesses. This will be a good tool to have when speaking conversations with other civilians or even in a job interview when the question may arise.
Determine What You Want To Really Do
This is where you are going to want to decide what your hobbies are and find out what really makes you happy. This can be just about anything that puts a smile on our face, from golfing to collecting presidential challenge coins, as long as it makes you happy. Take this list and use it both in your job search to hopefully find a job around your hobby, or as a reminder to take some time for yourself and do the things that you love to help make the transition more fun.
Do Some Research On Civilian Careers
Once you have identified what you are good at and what you really want to do, you can move on to start researching some careers that might interest you or that you may excel at. This is the most tedious part of transitioning as job interviews can be a high stress situation for those not completely transitioned. The best advice is to choose a few careers that you would love to do as a job that you love will make the transitioning period much easier and being surrounded by like minded individuals can help build a support system.
Consider Additional Education Or Training
After researching a few different career options, you may notice that you may need additional training or certifications to qualify or move up in your career. You may use this as an opportunity to research some additional training opportunities to help your resume stand out. This does not have to be as extensive as a full college degree, but can be as simple as a forklift certification or even a couple of online program certifications. Many jobs will allow you to get training after you have been hired but this is a good time to think about getting ahead.
List All Of Your Accomplishments & Skills To Build A Profile
In the military, you will rack up many accomplishments and skill sets that are sure to be impressive on any resume. What you will want to do is keep a running list and create a profile that keeps all of this information to list out on resumes or to take with you to job interviews. This is a quick and easy way to give someone a nice snapshot of who you are and what your strengths, weaknesses, and skills are.
Start To Recondition Yourself To Civilian Vocabulary
One of the most overlooked items when transitioning is the way you speak versus the way that civilians speak. Employers often point out that veterans resumes include a lot of military slang that is hard for the average civilian to comprehend making their resume less attractive than most. There are many sites available that help you make the verbal transition to become more adaptive to civilian slang.
Create A Resume
Once you feel that you are ready to start to apply for jobs, you will need to create a resume. As many veterans have joined the military straight out of high school, many have never created a resume before. This can be a daunting task for those transitioning and there are many veteran resume resources to help you create a perfect resume. Getting help with your resume can be the difference between being looked over and landing your dream job.
Start To Research Potential Employers
Once you have your resume ready, it is a good idea to start researching a few employers. Site such as Glassdoor allow you to research employee reviews and salaries for certain employers. This can give you a better picture of whether or not a specific employer is right for you.
Start To Look For A Job
Now that you have figured out a few employers that are a good fit and you have your resume ready, it’s time to start looking for jobs. Take the list of employers that you have found to be a good fit and start to apply. Some may be hiring and some may not be, but getting your resume on the hiring manager’s desk is the first step to success.
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it, 10 ways you can start to make your transition to a civilian as pain-free as possible. The biggest takeaway here is that there is always someone to help if you ever feel lost or hopeless. Take advantage of any resources available to ensure you are making the most of your transition.