NEWS + ADVICE
How to Fail Your Military Transition
Want to ensure you have trouble finding a civilian job? Looking forward to months without a job? Ready to go through 3-4 job searches in your first few years after the military?
Probably NOT! But those problems are quite common.
Failure 1: Defining a Specific Career/Job You Want
I see comments like this regularly in many LinkedIn military transition groups:
“We (military) can do anything. All we need need is the opportunity.”
“Employers ignore my military work just because I don’t meet their requirements, but I can do any job.”
Many of the transitioning military I talk with and whose resumes I review say something similar. They say they do not know what they want to do. Or, what they want to do is generic stuff: Manager, Leader, Senior Role, High Pay. It’s not going to happen!
The BEST thing you can do to make your transition go well is to figure out what you want to do next in very specific terms. You have to focus and choose a career field or a specific job or two. Assess yourself and your interests. Evaluate your skills, knowledge, strengths, weaknesses, education. Then define your goals.
Failure 2: Lack of understanding and preparation
You are used to planning. Operations, actions, training. Why would you think you could skip that step in your transition? Once you have selected some potential career paths and goals, research is critical. What do employers usually require when they hire people for that work? What organizations hire people in that field? What are your potential work options? Are there jobs in your field in the area you want to live in?
Then you need to learn the common requirements of that field and see if you need added skills or education or certifications. Plus research potential employers to find those you really want to work with.
The transition program your service offers is a good first step but YOU need to do the work and find your focus. Join groups on social media in the field you want to explore and learn. Ask questions for additional help. Search online for professional groups, military alumni organizations, non-profits or trade associations that offer programs for veterans in your field and see if they have information or help you need to transition.
And then act on what you learn!
Job search is difficult enough if you work it well. Don’t make yours harder by thinking someone will offer you a job because you are a vet or that a recruiter will see your value in that pile of stuff you tossed into a resume. Make your plan, do your homework, and get the job you seek with an employer who values you!
Patra Frame is ClearedJobs.Net’s HR Specialist. She is an experienced human resources executive and founder of Strategies for Human Resources. Patra is an Air Force veteran and charter member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.This entry was posted on Monday, July 07, 2014 9:38 am