Ease the Pain of Transitioning Into the Civilian Workplace

Ease the Pain of Transitioning Into the Civilian Workplace

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by Ron Kness on November 18, 2011

 

If you recently transitioned from the military into the civilian world and are looking for a career, you may be interested in the job programs and career tips offered in this article.

Troops To Teachers

Established in 1994, the primary purpose of the Troops to Teachers (TTT) program is to recruit quality teachers to teach in schools that have moderate to high populations of students from low-income families. This program helps students by filling a significant shortage of teachers in math, science and special education. The program gives you a chance to use your mentoring skills to help underprivileged children – many who do not have a role model at home to help them learn life skills.

Depending on the availability of funds, you may qualify for a $5,000 stipend, to help with training costs, or a $10,000 bonus, based on your chosen location. Veterans receiving either the stipend or bonus have to commit to teaching for three years in a targeted school. If you are interested and want to know if you qualify for the program, check out the TTT requirements or contact a DANTES office.

Helmets to Hardhats

Started in 2003, the Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) mission has beent to help veterans with job trade skills connect with employers looking for those skills. Though the program is Web-based like many other job search engines, H2H employs several Regional Directors that serve as your advocate for helping match job openings to your trade skills.

While H2H is not an actual training program, it does offer apprenticeships in addition to offering jobs to already skilled tradesmen. Their posted jobs not only cover construction-type work; they also offer construction-related jobs in administration, engineering and management. If interested, start the job application process by visiting their Home Page.

Top Career Fields for Veterans

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, three of the top career industries having the most potential for employment opportunities, salary and wage growth between now and 2018 are in:

– health care

– technology

– consulting

In healthcare, the top jobs are registered nurses, radiation therapists and medical assistants. If you are more inclined towards the technology field, then look for jobs as a network systems analyst, computer software engineer or database administrator. For work in the consulting field, look at jobs as a personal financial adviser, substance abuse counselor or a social services counselor. You can also read about five other great employment career fields to consider by reading previous blogs.

MBAs for Veterans

If you interested in the business career field, consider using your Post 9/11 GI Bill to get a business degree and continue on to a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Many colleges now offer MBA programs online, in addition to on-campus programs.

While there are thousands of MBA graduates looking for jobs, what sets you apart from the crowd is your previous leadership training and experience. Civilian MBA graduates have the business education and training, but lack the leadership experience. According to a recent survey, veterans with MBAs earn an average annual salary of $109,720, up 6.8% from an earlier survey.

If you have recently transitioned out of the military, or soon will, use these programs and career tips to help ease the stress of transitioning into the civilian workplace. Not only will you find a job quicker, it will help you earn what you are worth.

 

Photo thanks to solarnu under creative commons license on Flickr.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron Kness November 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Hi Clay. Besides writng blogs here, I also write resumes for military personnel transitioning into the civilian workplace. Many times veterans get overlooked by hiring officials is because their resumes do not accurately reflect how that persons’ skills, accomplishments and abilities will benefit the company having the job opening.

It comes down to a company has a need to fill a job and they will hire the best person that shows them how s/he would accomplish the mission for them. If your resume does not show them how you can do that, most times you will never make it to the interview stage.

You have industry-wide transferrable skills that most companies desperately want – organization, teamwork/team building, management, communications, ability to make decisions under stress and leadership, just to name a few. You have to “blow your own horn” on these skills when writing your resume.

If you are not comfortable doing this, hire a professional resume writer. S/he has the writing skills necessary to market you in the best light – show how your skills, experience and training will benefit the company having the job opening.

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James March 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Hi Ron!
This site has some very helpful information! I wanted to ask you a couple of questions.

I transferred my educational benefits to my dependents and those are almost exhausted. I retired in 2011 and am currently in a bachelors degree program. I have not received my disability rating yet because my claim is still under review with the VA. Do I have to wait until I get my disability rating to apply for Voc Rehab?

Secondly, do you do professional military resume writing as an occupation or just to assist veterans?

I am glad that I came across this blog because I am trying to maneuver the civilian world as well as obtain employment as a veteran.

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JR November 18, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I think the average Veteran leaving service realizes the importance of having that piece of paper called a Degree. Some don’t and thats what the GI Bill is there for. To give you…the Veteran an opportunity to marketable. I’ve had the opportunity to work with veteran in a various applications, homeless, disabled, incarcerated, and under developed. One think I can say is, because you are a disable Veteran, you are NOT ENTITLED to have everything handed to you on a silver platter, and if you didnt get that in the military, you didnt learn a lot. I am a disabled veteran I served 27 yrs and three tours to the Gulf, I AM NOT ENTITLED. I earned my way in the civilian sector. 2 degrees and working on my Masters in Voc Rehab Counseling. So, don’t cry about not being qualified…go get the paper that says you are, and empower yourself to join the ranks of the employed based on knowledge, skills and abilities….with qualifications.

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Ron Kness November 19, 2011 at 7:29 am

Amen JR!

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Gina Strickland November 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I got to experience separation twice, the first time was in 1992 when I was ETSing from the Army from Germany, I was a Psychiatric Specialist and an Aircraft Fire Control Technician. TAPS was pretty much non- existant, All I knew was I better copy every little piece of paper from both my personnel and medical folders and report to your hometown VA Office. I was lucky to have the GI Bill and I was able to qualify for a Board of Governors Grant for College. So I used the GI Bill for Books and the Board of Governors Grant for the tuition. Whats really bad is neither of my MOS’ qualified me for any job in CA because CA has their own certification process. I ended up signing up for unemployment and qualifying for the CA retraining program. For those that are facing the outside for the first time may want to see if their state offers that program. Also for extra money see if your local VA has a work-study program. During your off time you work at the VA and you get paid for every 50 hours (this may have changed) this is also a good way to get your foot in the door for a GS Job.

Now Fast Forward to 2008 there is the TAPS program, I took advantage of it and transistion was much easier. However, I put in over 100 resumes with so called Military friendly companies, out of that 5 offered an interview and 3 offered me a job 2 were commission based and 1 was a GS Job with a Federal Agency. This was a no brainer I took the federal job and have been with them since.

Good Luck
Gina Strickland
US Army 1985-1992
US Coast Guard 1995-2008

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Ron Kness November 19, 2011 at 7:35 am

Yes Gina, it is tough on the “outside” right now and there are no guarantees. However with that said, veterans have to do everything they can to put themselves in the best light. All of have skills we learned in the military. Show an employer how your skills relate to the job you are applying for. While most of the new college graduates have the skills required for a position, most of them lack the experience and the “soft” skills veterans have. Capitalize on those skills when applying for a job.

General resumes don’t work. No longer can you write up one resume and use it to apply for 100 different jobs. You have to “tailor” your resume to each job that you apply for.

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BT1 ronald magill (sw) RETIRED SCHOOL November 18, 2011 at 11:26 pm

AS A BOILER TECH, MY TRADE IS VARIED, PIPEFITTER,BOILERMAKER,ECT I WENT TO THE TURNAROUNDS AT REFINERYS, OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY, LOVE BT AND MM`S BUT THEY WILL UNDERPAY YOU AND WORK YOU TILL YOU QUIT.THE TRAINING AND SEA TIME UNDERWAY, 13 YEARS SEA TIME,HELLO, IN THE REAL WORLD THERE ARE WAY TO MANY SLACKERS, THEN YOU SPEAK UP AND YOUR PUT ON A LIST,SCHOOL AND MORE SCHOOL,PUBLIC WORKS IS A GOOD JOB THATS WHAT IM DOING NOW AND I LOVE IT AND JOB SECURITY, EVERY CITY HAS A WATER AND SEWER DEPARTMENT, CHECK IT OUT. GOOD LUCK!

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Ron Kness November 19, 2011 at 7:40 am

Great Ron! I’m glad you were able to use your skills and get a job you enjoy doing. Getting a job is a job in itself and it must be treated as so. Work it intelligently every day. I hear far too many veterans that send in resumes and then wait for the phone to ring. That strategy doesn’t work. Work smarter, not harder. Send in a resume “targeted” to the job.

Network with anyone that will listen. Networking and job fairs are two of the best job-search strategies in the 21st century.

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Ed Fleming November 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I heard a lot good advice on this site… I am retired with 21 year back in 02. I went back to Iraq in 04 as a government contractor. I spent a couple of years overseas as a contractor. I came home without a Job and I didn’t know what to do. I went to my local VA and since I had 20% service connected diability went back to school under the VOC Rehab. Many states in the comments about school they are right without a education it hard to get a good paying Job. I also join some Local and National Vet Organizations to get status Vet issues. One of the good organization is a National organization called GI forum. But there many other organizations.

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Ron Kness November 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Hi Ed. I’m glad things worked out for you. One important part of your success is you made something happen – you went to your local VA and then found out you qualified for Voc Rehab. Without ever taking that first step, you might not have ever known that you qualified for it.

As you found out, there are many sources of untapped benefits, but it takes some work to uncover them. Good job!

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