Making a Military-to-Civilian Life Transition? Follow These 3 Tips
Since the recession, starting in 2008, there has been increased awareness on veteran employment. This awareness and focus has not gone unnoticed by employers and veterans alike. Employers are having a very difficult time recruiting veterans because of a variety of reasons, including: difficulty translating military occupational skills to a civilian position, recruitment strategies, and the veterans’ job seeking knowledge.
Many times, the transition period for transitioning service members is a very uncomfortable time because it is the very first time that they are conducting a civilian career search. The service member has not had the same job seeking experience as other individuals within their same age bracket because they have made a career in the military. The transition period can last between six months and a one year for some service members, which is not enough time to launch a career search in the civilian job market. For these individuals, the career search should start 36 months before their date of separation.
These service members must go the extra mile to define their skills, knowledge, experience, and even define their military experience so that civilian recruiters and hiring managers have a clear image of the soldier’s experience, and how to translate that experience to vacant positions within the organization. In today’s job market, many of the jobs that are available are only found in the hidden job market, which is not located on CareerBuilder, or any other online job board; however, these jobs may be found in professional associations through networking and even found at career fairs.
Building an image and a professional brand is crucial to attaining a job in the current job market; therefore, for your first 12 months of your first civilian career search, which should start three years from your separation date, you should be branding yourself through social media and other professional association avenues. You can easily accomplish this branding through completing the following three steps:
1. Answering questions on LinkedIn and being labeled a Subject Matter Expert
2. Being an active and contributing member of professional associations
3. Being active on discussion boards or relevant professional groups, which allows you to share your professional knowledge with civilian professionals within your field
Grantham University was awarded a $5,000 grant on Thursday to develop a “Veterans in Transition” awareness program from the Aurora Foundation.