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Finding the right job after the military can be hectic. Everyone struggles to switch careers but ex-military members often find this change more challenging then others. Finding the right job is a hassle on another level.
After leaving the military, veterans possess a wealth of valuable skills. The military invests countless hours and resources in up-skilling military members. But despite your potential, these skills usually go to waste. Transitioning from military to civilian life is one of the most difficult struggles that job seekers can face. What causes this struggle? Being unsure about where to begin the job search and finding a civilian job where you can thrive can really affect how long it will take to find a job.
Job hunting skills that are typically used for civilian jobs are not always known by those leaving the military. Writing a great resume, finding jobs, making a good impression and networking, competing with civilians that have had years to perfect this process, the odds are really stacked against veterans. There are often complications related to the type of job you want or the type of jobs that are offered. Looking for help in the right place is not always easy.
But worry not! We are here to help!
8 crucial steps to finding a job after the military
1. Start looking
The first and foremost step is to get going. Sitting on your couch wondering what job to get won't get you one. The right job won't come to you. You have to go for it. Go for every opportunity you get. Use the internet to search for jobs. Do your research about what kind of jobs would suit your skillset.
Figuring out what career you want is an excellent help. If you have chosen a career, then taking the next step becomes easier. What you need to research will be lessened. You will be one step closer to finding the right job.
There are several ways to figure out the career you are suitable for. Take self-assessments, learn about different careers, and finally plan your own. Ask yourself what interests you. What appeals to you and the pros and cons of it. Plan your steps if you decide on a career.
Surfing through the web can be very helpful if you are struggling to decide. If figuring things out on your own seems impossible, then find information about where to start on the internet. There are numerous organisations and articles available online, waiting to help you.
2. Refresh your LinkedIn
Technology today has touched every part of life now. In the modern day, it has become essential to have an online resume. An online resume can offer a recruiter a lot more than your hard copy resume can. LinkedIn is the best way to create this online resume. Trust me, I have been involved in the recruitment process from the recruiters perspective and one of the first things we do is search for your LinkedIn.
LinkedIn allows recruiters to see your connections, a more in-depth look into your employment history, see how you communicate with your connections and your interests. The Job Search function on LinkedIn is second to none, it is a great way to look for jobs in your chosen field/ companies you like/ with people you know. It broadens your network around the world. Finding a job becomes super comfortable with a refreshed and up to date LinkedIn profile.
Finding the right job on LinkedIn will be easier if your current and refreshed skillset and experience are available. What further helps is preparing yourself pre-transition. Start working on your LinkedIn almost a year before transition. Find your targets. Focus on 2-3 career paths and plan accordingly.
3. Have a simple but convincing resume
Even with the advancement of LinkedIn, a hardcopy resume is still essential. It is vital to have an updated resume that is easy to read and translates your military skills to civilian work.
Include in your resume all the major and minor skills you possess. Describe your responsibilities and job experiences. Describe how your military roles and skills can be translated into the civilian workforce.
The resume should be the way to getting you an interview. Do your research on how to build a good profile. Ask for help from colleagues who have succeeded in finding the right job after the military.
4. Reach out to your network
Reaching out to your network is one the most essential steps. Look for people around you who have worked in the same industry that you are interested in. Prioritise your connections and be more specific about the information you want. Use your contacts to have yourself recommended by them in your choice of field.
LinkedIn is one of the easiest ways to broaden your network, but there are several other ways too. Find people in person. Talking to someone and getting their insight on a specific job is very helpful. Reach out to your family and friends. See if they can help you or know someone who can. Look for people who are stuck in a similar situation and learn their coping mechanisms.
Be careful of coming off needy or naggy, remember they are doing a favour for you.
5. Get Help!
Getting help is really important. Where to look for help? WithYouWithMe is currently working to find the right jobs for people. We have helped 700+ military veterans and others in finding a meaningful career since December 2016.
What's different about us is that we don't look at your CV. We look at you. Talent is given an absolute priority and we try to dig deeper and show your true potential. We also work to translate your military skills into civilian terminology to allow you to hunt for jobs more effectively.
We also offer Jobs and training programs. Moreover, it provides you with the opportunity to attend beneficial job events. Working against the norms of companies today, giving priority to talent is the right way to go. Just simply open the website and make an account!
6. Figure out what you are suited for
Not figuring out what you are suited for, will most probably end you up at a tedious or tough job. Once you are set with an active LinkedIn and resume, it is time to crosscheck your skillset with the types of jobs available. This will help you figure out what career options you have. Narrowing down the spectrum will save time as well as get you the right job.
If figuring out what you are suitable for becomes difficult, then here are some civilian jobs that have been found to be highly suitable for veterans. These jobs range from government and contractor jobs, Construction supervisor, personal trainer/fitness instructor, cybersecurity, customer service representative, logistics and aircraft technicians. But don't let these jobs stop you from branching out.
7. Attend job fairs
How will this help you? Attending job fairs with everything else will strengthen your chances of ending up in the right job. Attending such events brings you under the attention of the right people.
You broaden your networking by interacting with new people. Have discussions regarding the ideas you have in mind. Grasp what the market is offering and what you can offer to it. Make new contacts in the industry you are looking to work in.
8. Manage your expectations, the right job won't fall into your lap
The last point should be in your head since the beginning. Managing your expectations is essential. You need to realise that finding the right job is going to take a lot of effort and struggle. To get through this phase, lower your expectations. The higher they are, the higher the discouragement is if you fail at something. You need to keep going on.
Finding the right job after the military has always been a hard job for veterans. However, there are several vital steps to lean towards. If your struggle is overwhelming, then look for support in family and friends. Moreover, there are certain support groups for retired veterans that you can go to.