How to successfully find work as a veteran in the civilian world |

You’ve wrapped up your military career, and now it’s time to find a job in the civilian world. This can seem daunting, but with the right insights and resources you can land a good, well-paying civilian job and begin a successful new career. Here’s how to do it.

Determine what kind of job is a good fit

Before beginning a civilian job hunt, first evaluate your skills and write them down. Be specific. Were you in a military leadership role? Then your skills include strategic thinking, team development, effective communication and problem-solving. Were you a supply technician? Then your skills include the ability to organize, stay focused on details and follow through until a job is finished.

In short, no matter what military job you held, it gave you skills that you can transfer to the civilian world.

Once you have put these skills into a list, it is time to look for employers with job openings that match the specific skills you have. Some examples:

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  • Project Management – These jobs supervise a company project, anything from a marketing campaign to constructing a bridge. The project manager is responsible for setting goals and organizing a team to get the job done. Skills learned as a military leader transfer well to this type of employment.
  • Information Technology – The U.S. Military utilizes some of the most advanced technology in the world. Hands-on experience with information security or electronics operations can translate into a civilian career as an IT operations analyst, computer maintenance or information technology specialist.
  • Logistics Coordination – These jobs involve overseeing all aspects of supply chain management, including supervising orders, managing stock and ensuring delivery of materials. Military veterans with experience in cargo handling, inventory management and transportation planning have the skills for these civilian jobs.

Find the jobs that match your skills

Once you’ve taken stock of your skills and know what kind of job they fit, start your job search on the job listings in your local newspaper or Veteran focused sites like veterans.gov to find matching employment opportunities and hiring events.

Know how to speak about your military service

Not all employers are used to hiring military veterans. Here are some things to keep in mind when you meet with an employer to ensure a successful interview.

  • Don’t use too much military jargon. Use everyday language so that your potential civilian employer understands what you are saying.
  • Discuss your accomplishments, the skills used to achieve them and how those skills can translate to the job you are seeking.
  • Employers value skills such as a good work ethic, punctuality and the ability to follow directions. Highlight how the military instilled these in you and how you would apply them to your new job.

Looking for a civilian job can be stressful, but by understanding your skills, seeking jobs that match them and being prepared to discuss how they benefit your new employer will set you on the road to a successful career after your military service.

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