G.I. Jobs Virtual Job Fair   |   July 25

Virtual Job Fair   |   July 25

Misunderstandings About Building a Civilian Career

Misunderstandings About Civilian Career

Whether or not your military career shows countless accomplishments, veterans at all levels may have some questions about transitioning and building a civilian career. We can help.

What Is Your Goal?

Without a defined goal, you may waste time going after a career that isn’t right for you. In addition you may end up creating a resume that is too general to be considered for the job you are looking for. It is important to research occupations that interest you and create a career path.

If you have more than one strong interest, set up different resumes tailored toward each career. If it does not relate to your goal, leave out or de-emphasize information such as military awards or distinctions.

Translate any military terminology into civilian-ese. Referring to job postings for key words and phrases and having your nonmilitary friends read over your resume will help alleviate any confusion when potential employers review your qualifications.

It’s Not About You, It’s About Your Employer

Look at a job posting from the employer’s point of view. Find out what their requirements are and compare how your background and training matches up with their needs. What types of skills and experiences are employers seeking? What aspects of your background are most relevant? Your military experience should be marketed as an asset. Employers will realize the value you bring such as dedication, leadership, teamwork, positive work ethic and cross-functional skills.

Will You Find the Same Level of Camaraderie in Your Civilian Career?

The camaraderie experienced in the military develops almost spontaneously due to the need to get onboard and quickly assimilate into a new duty station. The self-sacrifice, teamwork, long hours, stressful conditions and separation from loved ones contributes to bonding and creation of a unit.

The civilian workforce operates a bit differently other than occupations such as emergency responders. It may be a matter of time, before a similar type of camaraderie is experienced. You may also have to take the initiative.

As you research new civilian career opportunities, take a look at company cultures and values. Besides money, location, growth potential and benefits, try to evaluate whether your colleagues might share your similar interests and lifestyle and hopefully the camaraderie will develop in time.