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The transition from military employment to civilian employment is not as easy as one would expect. You need to treat the job search itself as an actual job and work hard at it to successfully land a position in civilian employment.
Have more than one Resume and Career Choice Ready
Brian Holden had been in the Army for 7 years and was ready for civilian life. His job classification in the military was the equivalent of an Emergency Medical Technician. However, when he began investigating potential career fields, the annual salary of an EMT was much less than he would need to continue to support his wife and two kids. Brian began his job search by preparing several versions of his basic resume. Each version targeted a different career field. With the help of the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP), he received professional assistance with his resumes. The ACAP program also provided job leads and information about local job fairs.
Begin Your Job Search as Early as Possible
Brian’s last official day of work was February 28. He had over four months of leave accumulated. The Army would consider him on leave until June 30, 2010 and continue to pay his full salary through that date. By using the four months constructively, Brian could have conceivably had money coming from both the Army and a new civilian job if he had begun his job search immediately. Like most military transitions, however, Brian took the time off to spend with his family and to go home on vacation.
Target Resumes to Jobs Openings When Searching
When June 1st arrived, he suddenly realized he needed a civilian job immediately. He knocked on doors and filled out applications at every conceivable place he could find. Finally, he was able to obtain an entry-level position at a manufacturing plant. The hours were horrible, the pay was low, but it was a job and it would provide health insurance. However, this was not what he wanted to do for the rest of his career.
Use Transitional Programs Such as “Helmets to Hardhats”
There are a number of transitional programs for military personnel to use when looking to enter the civilian workforce. One of those programs is “Helmets to Hardhats.” This program assists those exiting military service who want to enter the construction industry. There are similar programs for other industries as well. With the help of the Helmets to Hard Hats program, Brian was able to successfully enter the union as an apprentice and is on his way to earning a degree as well as a good sustainable trade that will support his family. “Without the Helmets to Hardhats program, I would still be on a waiting list.”
Take advantage of all of the resources you have when transitioning from military employment to civilian employment. Talk to everyone you come across, both military and civilian. Discover what career fields interest you and study what you will need to do to obtain a job within those career fields. If you know what you want to do, you will be prepared to find the perfect civilian job during your military transition.
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