From Military to Civilian – A Careers Journey #1

Posted by Patra Frame

Currently there is a lot of attention on the employment of military vets.  But your challenge is to figure out what you want to do, what organizations interest you, and how to make the transition.

There have always been companies which sought out veterans.  And the federal government offers special considerations.  Equally there are other organizations which have no real idea what a veteran might bring to them.  Since my own transition back when even the people who trained officers at the Pentagon on resumes recommended they pretend they had not been in the service, I have worked with a lot of military folks of all ranks seeking civilian employment.  Many of their issues are the same as other job seekers but some are different.  Here is the beginning for such a transition.

It takes a plan!

While all the services offer some form of transition counseling, too many folks ignore it until they are short-timers.  And many do little beyond attend a few seminars.  Start early.  Be proactive.  It’s just your future…

Your planning should include:

* A personal assessment: what are you good at doing and love to do?  What strengths, education, skills and knowledge do you want to use in your next job?  Don’t confine yourself to your military experience – think about your schooling, community or volunteer work, professional affiliations too.  What is on your wish list or in your dream job picture – get it all out so you can think about it clearly.

* Targeting organizations: what do you need to succeed?  What are you seeking in terms of opportunities, location, mission, values, and culture?  What, if any, additional education or training do you need and how will you get that?

* Research – how will you learn about the types of jobs which appeal to you, their requirements, and the opportunities various organizations offer?

We know that the folks who succeed in their work life share three elements.  First, they choose work which builds on their strengths.  Second, they set goals and write them down.  Third, they are consistent networkers.   You can do all of this easily, IF you want to.

Buy a notebook, set up a file on your PC, do whatever works for you – but start thinking about your career plan.

We’ll talk more soon! 


This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 12:51 am

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