Truthfully, there are a lot more jobs for veterans than often realized — logical, really — because as vets we not only have the advantage of a longstanding reputation for professionalism, we are critical thinkers, problem-solvers, and generators of ideas: ideas which we not only create out of thin air, but also know how to act on.
So truthfully, logically, the sky’s the limit when choosing a job.
We can do most jobs anyone else can and then some; and we have a lot of opportunities that civilians do not.
We ought to have more difficulty deciding which job we want to take, not which job will take us. If you are currently at the crossroad of choosing the right job, there are many things you ought to take into consideration before making that decision.
One, for example, would be whether or not you consider the offer as a job, a career, or a calling — it’s important to differentiate between the three. Yale researcher Amy Wrzesniewski defines each in the following ways:
Job – A source of income.
Career – A source of advancement, prestige and status.
Calling – A means by which to contribute to the greater good.
A calling is sometimes referred to as doing what you love versus making a lot of money. It brings meaning to your work.
As vets, we often fail to realize how special being in the military is; often, it isn’t until we are out that we realize just how meaningful it really was, and discouragement hits us hard if we cannot fulfill the same sense of meaning.
The psychologist E.M. Morin identified six characteristics that make work meaningful.
Social Purpose – Providing assistance and helping others.
Moral Correctness – Doing work that is morally or ethically justifiable.
Achievement – Doing work that promotes development and is goal-oriented.
Autonomy – Being able to utilize personal skills to solve problems and make decisions.
Recognition – Doing work that is recognized and adequately compensated for.
Positive relationships – Working in environments supportive of interesting social interaction.
Don’t let finding a position in the civilian workplace cut you down. Don’t sell yourself short.
Instead, raise your standards, consider a wide variety of directions, and never settle for work that is less meaningful than you truly want. There are many things in life that we need. When it comes to choosing the right job, always consider more highly what it is that you want.