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Going through the process of a career change can be tricky for anybody but transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce can be even more daunting. Whether you have memories of civilian work before you enrolled in military service or the army career is the only one you’ve ever known, the good news is that employment rates for veterans are looking up. Still, changing from a military to a civilian career often involves learning new skills, determining where the ones you possess will be useful, and working towards new qualifications to help improve your employment prospects. The good news is that military service is a highly respected career, and there are several ways to use this to your advantage when finding a civilian job. We’ve listed some top tips for a smooth transition.
Operation Job Search is the ultimate guide for US military veterans seeking employment after discharge. It provides information about the civilian workforce, rubrics for navigating one’s career, and a list of essential resources to consult during the job search.
1. Work Towards a New Qualification:
As a military service member, it’s important to start thinking about your transition to civilian life and career opportunities well in advance. One way to prepare is by gaining new qualifications and skills that will make you more marketable to potential employers. Fortunately, there are now specially designed online military degree programs that offer flexible schedules and coursework that can be completed while still serving.
These programs offer a wide range of options, from building on the skills you’ve developed as a military service member in areas such as public safety and security, fire and emergency management, or public administration, to exploring completely new career paths like business administration, health science, or information technology. By taking advantage of these programs, you can set yourself up for success in your transition to civilian life and beyond.
2. Determine Your Transferable Skills:
Veterans bring valuable skill sets to the table, with expertise that applies to many industries such as administration, public safety, and telecommunications. However, 60% of veterans report difficulty translating their military skills to civilian work. Identify your military career’s required skills, such as communication, coordination, and time management. These in-demand abilities are highly transferable to civilian jobs.
3. Look for Military-Friendly Opportunities:
Many employers recognize the skills and qualities veterans can develop through military service and actively seek them out. Amazon, Verizon, and Microsoft are just a few examples of employers who habitually recruit veterans. Joining such companies can be a great way to transition to civilian life. These employers can better understand your needs and skills, and your co-workers may be fellow veterans who can offer guidance and support. Seeking out these opportunities can be an excellent first step in your civilian career.
4. Get Used to Speaking Like a Civilian:
Adjusting to the language used in the civilian workplace can be challenging for many veterans, especially those with long military careers. To effectively communicate with potential employers and fit into corporate culture, you must avoid military jargon and translate your skills into a language they understand. Though it may be difficult to drop old habits, it’s essential to ensure a smoother transition. Consider having a civilian friend or relative review
5. Boost Your networking Efforts:
When transitioning from the military to a civilian career, it’s important to network as much as possible. It not only helps you familiarize yourself with your chosen industry, but it can also help you stand out from the crowd of applicants. While it’s true that you can apply for jobs online, it’s important to remember that employers are often inundated with thousands of applications. To make yourself stand out, you need to engage in targeted networking.
Transitioning service members should read Mission Next because it will increase their chances at achieving a smooth transition and finding a job that fits.
One way to do this is by attending networking events, but you don’t necessarily need to go out of your way to attend them. With the help of social media platforms like LinkedIn, you can network online by connecting with potential employers and other veterans who have found success in the corporate world. By following companies, professionals, and events in your chosen industry, you can increase your chances of making valuable connections that can lead to job opportunities. So, take the time to build your online presence and engage in targeted networking to give yourself an edge in the job market.
Did you find these tips useful? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Whether you want to find a new job on LinkedIn or advance your career, this guide can be the blueprint for a supercharged LinkedIn strategy.