Transitioning Out of The Military? Now Is Time for The Job Search

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By William Blanken

The transition from the military to a civilian job can be difficult. Fortunately, you can follow a few key steps to make the process as smooth as possible and help find a job that is financially and professionally rewarding.

At the beginning of your search, you will want to reach out to your local Transition Assistance Office to locate resources that can help you with your job search, which includes a mandatory five-day workshop tailored to assist you with every step of the job search, from writing resumes to understanding veterans’ benefits. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website at www.dol.gov/vets.

When time for discharge, you will be receiving an over abundant amount of paperwork. That pile of paper will contain items and documents much needed for resume building. You will also want to have many copies of your DD214. In addition to hard copies, have a digital copy in a transition file.

Next, consider whether you will need additional education and training. For instance, will you apply for jobs that require a two- or four-year degree? Do you need a license or certification to work in a particular field? When you choose which path you’ll take, be sure to investigate whether there are veterans’ benefits available to help pay for further education. If you would rather match the skills you gained from your time in the military to a civilian job, get started with an online search. One example of a website that caters directly to military members looking for civilian employment is USA Jobs at www.usajobs.gov.

You will also want to make sure that your finances are in good shape during the transition process. This means creating or building an emergency fund you can tap into in case the job search takes longer than anticipated. In the meantime, you might consider temporary employment to provide a source of income. Think carefully about the pay and benefits associated with a job before you accept an offer. That way, you’ll know whether it suits the needs of both you and your family.

Important note when being discharged: Please ask many questions about benefits that you are entitled to. There are numerous benefits available to military and veterans. So, it is advantageous you ask how they can work for you.

Along the way, make sure to protect your personal information. Because members of the military are major targets for identity theft, avoid any job sites that seem questionable. Looking for civilian employment is stressful enough without having to worry about financial fraud.