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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

A Veteran’s Perspective on the Job Search

Written By: John Durfee | No Comments

When I left the military, just about everyone I knew that was making the transition to the civilian job market felt exactly how I felt. While I did end up finding a well paying job that I enjoy and can support my family with, I still know quite a few people I served with who haven’t found anyone that would take them on after their service to the country. While there is no real military ‘training’ to find a great job post-service – there are resources for you to make of them what you will. There are job postings at your transition office, along with a whole host of other things. The transition office will have everything from classes that you can attend to help hone your interview skills—to resume writing and networking.

What I really want to communicate to new veterans (and business owners, too) is not to sell yourselves short. In the military, things like respect, dignity, leadership skills, punctuality are all things we have ingrained in our very beings. These might be attributes that you don’t even think of mentioning on a job application, let along in a face-to-face interview. But do it. This alone sets you leagues apart from the other applicants. These aren’t qualities or ways of living that other people have or abide by, and you need to make that known to your potential employer.

As I mentioned above, resume writing is something you can do at any transition office and it should be one of the first things you do. Make sure to write a ‘flexible’ resume, so you can mold it to the position you’re applying to. Now, I’m not saying flexible so you can be a CEO with years of experience one minute and the best darn sales associate the next—not to lie, but just paint yourself in the best light possible and go in depth on attributes you might have for specific jobs. Give yourself the best chance!

Some jobs will be a bit easier as far as transition goes, to land than others. Most military personnel will find it both an honorable and seamless transition to into any department in law enforcement out of the armed forces. Plus, this is an industry (along with any division of security) that actually looks for military experience. But, you do have to sit down and really think about what you want to do with your career from now on. Some find it easier to get entry level positions and try and work their way up into something more desirable while others, myself included, preferred to set their eye on the prize of where
they really wanted to work.

Here are a few things that might just help you apply your training to the search for a job – it helped me:

  1. Follow through – in the military, you were trained to follow through with a direct order or completing your personal workouts to be the best you can be. You must take this concept to job hunting. Always follow up with employers after interviews to see if there is anything else you can do for them to make their decision easier. This shows the prospective employer that you
    are eager and you care about your future.
  2. Dedication – you have trained everyday for the last four years (or more) of your life. You always pushed yourself to be a stronger person than you were last week. Keep that momentum going in your job search. Work hard at searching, 30+ hours a week and that job will come around faster than you think. Work hard and stay dedicated!
  3. Research – I think we covered this a bit, but I’ll mention it again as this can be a valuable action to take when applying for a job. When you know what kind of job you want to pursue, get out and learn about what employers are demanding and expecting so that you can bring it to the table. No doubt, you will be seen as a very well rounded and valuable asset.

 

The gist of it all is this: you are more qualified for any job out there than you and probably even some employers think you might be. Even if you don’t have the literal, transferable experience that they may be looking for, you are a highly trained and trainable person. You show persistence, dedication, great follow through and have perfected your interview skills and cared enough to buy sharp, new clothing for the interview – you’ll be swimming in job offers.

Article written by John Durfee
John Durfee works for Airsplat, the largest retail dealer of Airsoft Guns and Airsoft Green Gas. John is an Operation Freedom War veteran.