Look for an employer that offers benefits important to you.
Besides the pay checks and free healthcare, there are some other perks that come with being in the military. Access to base facilities like stores and gas stations where taxes are not a concern is nice, not to mention other amenities like libraries, restaurants and even movie theaters can make living and working on a military base a pretty good deal. Many of these perks extend to retirees and other eligible veterans, but when it’s time to take off the uniform, does the fun end? The answer is absolutely not. Companies across all industries offer a range of perks in hopes of recruiting and retaining the best employees.
No Need to Leave
Imagine working for a company and not leaving the corporate campus once you get there. For employees with small children, there may be an on-site child care center. Do you want to keep up with that morning PT routine? Hit the company-provided gym before starting the workday. Need a caffeine fix after cardio? There’s likely somewhere to get a cup of coffee, or in some cases, a full-blown coffee stand. When lunch rolls around, perhaps you can visit the company cafeteria or maybe there’s quick service vendors that come on location. There are even some companies that offer concierge services where you can bring in clothes for a weekly dry-cleaning pickup or will take your car for a quick wash while you attend back-to-back afternoon meetings. Next thing you know, it’s time to go home and you have not left the company premises at all. Make no mistake, companies that offer these perks have motives to ensure efficiency during the workday by keeping you on-site. It’s very similar to how military bases have amenities that keep you close to your AO. These types of perks were likely more prevalent before the pandemic, but they still exist and are being used to lure employees back to the building from their home offices.
Work from Home…or Wherever
Speaking of home offices, remote work is one of those things I personally had on my list of dream job perks when I left the Army. Except for my very first job after the Army, I’ve had some level of remote work at every company, including my current one where I work remote 100% of the time. It’s not for everyone, but for those who want the flexibility that can come with remote work (and can make sure work actually gets done), it’s a great perk to seek out, especially if you have familial responsibilities. Some companies have fully embraced a remote workforce and may offer additional perks like extra compensation to offset the costs of maintaining a home office. Remote work is not something all companies offer. In fact, some of the bigger tech companies are requiring employees to come back to the office full time or offer a hybrid model of work where employees can work from the office some days, and work remote other days, but if you’re able to seek this perk out in any capacity, I highly recommend it.
If you’re one of those veterans who will lose access to a military ID and the discounts that come with it, you may want to seek out companies that offer wide-ranging employee discounts. These can include deals on travel, cell phones, computers hardware/software and other consumer goods. If you’re lucky enough to work for a company that sells consumer goods, these discounts can be even better. Many companies actually outsource the management of employee discount programs, to include setting up employee-only “storefronts” where you can buy items for less.
Personal Time Off
Everyone needs some time to unwind and recharge. Personal Time Off (PTO), or something equivalent, is offered in most workplaces, but I have to admit that the 30 days of leave that’s offered in the military is something I miss because I have not had that many days to work with since leaving the Army. What’s typical is two or three weeks, with more time offered as tenure with a company increases. There are companies that offer unlimited PTO, meaning that you don’t have to worry about using all your days before earning more. This is one perk that has eluded me so I’m not very familiar with any restrictions that may come with it, but I would imagine a whole team can’t be on PTO at the same time. Nonetheless, the idea of not having to strategically plan time off using a limited supply of days sounds pretty cool.
When you are trying to figure out your next moves when leaving the military, company perks may not be a priority. In my opinion, it definitely should come secondary to financial requirements, but there is nothing wrong with honing in on companies that offer that extra thing that would make your post-military life a little easier.