What Do Veterans Need To Know About Transitioning From Military Life To The Civilian Workforce?
There is no denying that veterans are heroes – they have fought for the country, protected national interests and ensured that we get a good night’s sleep. The respect that we accord to them is something they truly deserve, but many a times, we have no clue as to what to do, once they are back from the service. Transitioning from military life (or a military job) to a civilian one is just as tough for veterans too – they are not sure what to do in what seems to them like a new life – personally and professionally.
While they are in the services, they would have had a very structured life, something which is often missing in civilian life. In the military, they would have been trained for special skills and many a times, have no idea how to translate those skills into civilian life. This is also why several veterans struggle in getting a job after the military or they get stuck in jobs, which they hang on to only for the money. Employers too have concerns but here is how to go about hiring veterans
If you are a military veteran, there are some things that you can do to make the job transition a little easier:
- The first step that you should take is to attend a TAP or Transition Assistance Program, which was originally created to provide training related information as well as assistance to members of the armed forces, within 180 days or retirement or separation from the services. There are three day workshops that veterans can attend, because these will provide assistance in terms of career options, strategies to look for the ideal job as well as help preparing cover letters, telling you details such as how to add additional details such as translation skills on resume and preparing for interviews.
- You need to figure how to present your particular skill sets to a prospective employer – for instance, if you have been handling accounts for the military, could you translate the same skills into handling finances for a private company? Or if you have been an expert in aircraft repair, could that be translated into running the factory floor of a production unit? You should be ready to make your prospective employer understand what you can bring to your employment.
- It would be a good idea to find employers who are military friendly and would have positions to offer to veterans. Several employers look for people who can bring their military experiences and skill sets to a workplace. They understand that veterans can not only bring a sense of discipline, but also utilise the specialised skills they might have picked up during the days on the field.
- When you are leaving the military, you need to make sure that you network, because only with the right contacts, will you be able to get into the right places. Start by meeting other veterans who are now working in corporate organisations or places where you would like to work yourself. By talking to them, you will not only be able to find out how to get a good job, but also where there might be openings.
- There are plenty of organisations which are working to help veterans get hired and will probably have a great list of military jobs. You will want to connect with such recruiters, who will not only assist you in getting the right connects but also get you to the right companies and interviews too.
- You will have to bring about some changes in your own language too – you need to make sure that when you are attending interviews, you are using civilian or corporate language and not military language. Rather than using military terms, explain what you were doing while you were in service; instead of military time, use normal time and while you can maintain your military posture, you can be a little more relaxed.
- When you are a veteran, you will have accumulated several skill sets and it is imperative that you talk about them – talk about your leadership skills, your communication, ability to follow orders and execute plans with precision.
Before you latch onto any job and then regret having done the same, it would make sense to understand how your life will transition in the days to come and then look for a job that will work out best for you.