Transitions: from the Military to the Civilian Job Force
So you’ve decided to retire from the military. Whether you have three years or 20 years of military experience, transitioning from a military to civilian job force requires a little bit of research, a lot of determination and quite a bit of patience. Finding a satisfying job in a civilian position will be made a lot easier by accessing various resources before you make that big move.
In the past, military personnel have not experienced extreme difficulties finding jobs in the civilian market. The skills, motivation, leadership capabilities, loyalty, as well as a strong work ethic have encouraged greater “hire-ability” for many veterans. Whether enlisted or officer personnel, transitioning into the private sector has not been particularly difficult for most military personnel. Until recently.
Today however, retiring military personnel face the same challenges and difficulties as anyone else when it comes to finding that right job or career. Not only do military personnel need to make a transition from an extremely structured environment, but they are also competing with those who have been in the civilian job market and know the ins and outs of getting their resumes to the right people.
Learning how to restructure a resume that will reflect experience and expertise in a wide number of career fields is essential for those who are making such a transition. Often, the skills that have been applied during military service also apply to civilian jobs, though the vocabulary and terminology of such skills may need to be tweaked.
Learning how to best present the skills that you have gained while in military service is a major challenge for many retiring military personnel.
Some important factors that need to be addressed by military veterans looking for a civilian job after retirement can include but are not limited to:
- Asking friends and acquaintances for advice regarding employment in your anticipated living location
- Start looking for jobs in that area, about six months before you are discharged
- Assess and list your specific skills
- Learn how to adapt vocabulary and terminology to enable future employers to understand your skills and experience
- Take the time to research resources
Take the time to research a variety of jobs and careers in the civilian world that are in some way connected to your training, expertise and experience levels. Start searching out contacts in potential areas of employment before you approach your discharge date.
Check out resources available on the Internet such as:
- The Department of Defense
- Military websites
- The United States Department of Labor
- Veterans organizations
- Business administrations
Keep in mind that roughly 20,000 soldiers retire from the military on a monthly basis. Competition for jobs is fierce and while veterans generally will be chosen for various positions over young civilians with little experience, there are times when a veteran may become frustrated at the lack of immediate progress when looking for work in civilian markets.
Take the time to research educational and licensing requirements for various job positions regardless of the position you hold, or held, in the service. Above all, be patient, try to plan as far in advance as possible, and never take anything for granted. Finding the right job to suit your needs in a civilian environment may not be easy, but it can be done successfully with careful planning and information.