In working with Veterans and having many of them in my family, I have seen varying degrees of success in translating the skills of a person's military career into their civilian career.
With so many adjustments taking place in a relatively short time frame, it can be hard to think outside the set boundaries of one career path to explore other options. A few of my favorite job search tools for the military to civilian career exploration process include:
- CareerBuilder: Instead of entering a job title into the search bar, enter your military occupational specialty code (MOSC) or military rank to locate jobs that might be a good fit.
- O*Net Online’s Military Crosswalk Search: Select the branch of service from a drop-down menu, then enter your AFSC, MOS, or rating and a list of civilian occupations that require comparable skills will appear. From there, you can view a summary report that details the following information for each related civilian occupation result:
- Tasks and general work duties commonly performed
- Technology skills required
- Knowledge and formal education needed
- Abilities needed (e.g. deductive reasoning, oral expressions, etc.)
- Work context (e.g. indoors, email communication, telephone, etc.)
- My Next Move for Veterans: An interactive website designed to learn about career options. The site has tasks, skills, salary information, job listings, and more for over 900 different careers. Veterans can find careers through keyword search; by browsing industries that employ different types of workers; or by discovering civilian careers that are similar to their military job.
To ensure a successful job search, you should be able to express your relevant experiences, strengths and skills in civilian terms on your career documents and in your interviews.
Doing research on jobs before you apply, talking with your network to gain insights into various careers, and connecting with veteran resource groups will set you up for a successful transition into the civilian workforce.