We helped millions of veterans learn how to get a job after the miliary, now it’s YOUR turn!
Getting out of the military and reentering the civilian work force – or perhaps joining it for the first time – is a time with lots of questions. You knew what you were good at in the service, but how does that translate to non-service work?
Some military job titles transfer more easily: things like mechanics or IT specialists, while others can be difficult. To learn more about how your skills best qualify you for civilian positions, look at job boards to see what sorts of positions are currently open. Read lots of ads and see what keywords or experiences they may have in common.
Once you have a better idea about what positions are out there, network with people currently working in the industry you want to join. It can be as simple as making a call or sending an email to someone in a position like one that you would like to have; many companies have individual contacts on their website, or call the main number and ask the receptionist to transfer you to an appropriate person. Explain to them that you are departing the military and would like what you could do to best translate your skills to a job like theirs. Most people will be happy to participate in such an informational interview.
Many industries have their own trade association; a trade association works to support a specific industry through member education and public relations. Look up the trade association for the field in which you’re interested and check out their website for more information or give them a call. This sort of research and networking will also be helpful to determine for what sort of job you are best qualified. G.I. Jobs has the industry leading job board for veterans, every company listed is specifically looking to hire military veterans.
It is important to note that when trying to translate military experience into civilian positions, many veterans are running into problems with red tape in regards to licensing and credentialing, especially those in the manufacturing and medical fields. For instance, you may have years of experience as a combat medic, but would have to take an official training course – much of which would be repetitious – to become a civilian EMT or paramedic.
The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 was legislation put into place in part to help standardize state-to-state licensing requirements for various industries. In addition, the Obama administration has created a task force to work on better converting military training to civilian work requirements. Also, organizations like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars are actively lobbying legislators to win recognition for military experience in industries that require special licensing but have varying state rules and do not often consider military training. It is likely that these barriers will be more easily crossed in the coming years, but it is something to be aware of in your first civilian job search.
Determining what you are best qualified to do in the civilian world will take some time, but with a bit of research, it will all soon become clear. If you have not yet taken our Military Transition Readiness Quiz that would be a great place to start!