Acquaintances are those people to whom I have been introduced at some point, perhaps a meeting, seminar, volunteer function, or online event. We share something in common as the basis for starting our connection – membership in an association, attendance at the same university, a volunteer activity or the same soccer team for our kids. I view these connections as informational relationships which, over time, can move into another category, but many will never progress beyond this category.
When I left the military, I began to dedicate some of my free time to volunteering with non-profit organizations. I started out giving one day each week to one of the non-profit organization that supported causes I was interested in. Taking a break from the job search to support their efforts enabled me to maintain the sense of purpose that I felt while in the military.
volunteering lets you continue to contribute to something worthwhile and helps you from feeling down about how your job search may be going.
Especially important, was the need for a traditional civilian resume – something most military members have never had to accomplish. To achieve this end, he utilized OperationMCP (Making Careers Possible), which provides free military resume translation services, skills inventories, and interview prep to help transitioning veterans land that perfect job. In fact, he was so impressed with OperationMCP’s efforts that he now sits on their Board of Directors. Together, these organizations help ensure that entrepreneurs and transitioning veterans are set up for success.
a professional social media profile can be a complement to a well prepared resume. A growing number of companies look at prospective employees’ social media profiles to learn more about applicants. Crafting a professional social media profile allows you to leverage this fact to provide more information to interested employers in a manner that shows you understand today’s social media platforms and are comfortable with technology.
part of your search is to look for what military intelligence professionals call indicators. Indicators are those critical pieces of information that are necessary to confirm or deny a particular action or event.
The connections you make at your current location can help you identify items that may make you more marketable, such as professional certifications, to add to your resume before you begin to actively see a position in the company at your final destination. There is value in building a local network, but it is only the first step.
a civilian mentor can help you navigate the unfamiliar terrain and language of the civilian job market. While you were serving, a civilian mentor was working his/her way up the corporate ladder or building a business. They have first hand experience with the challenges you are just becoming aware of.
the decision to join the military is one with pros and cons. However, a career in the service carries with it a unique set of responsibilities. While I still recommend a career in the military to young people, I do so with the caveat that each person should fully understand the unique nature of the military before they join.
There are other routes, such as finding an agency to look over your resume or write it for you. While many will charge you for the service, there are a few, like Operation MCP (Make Careers Possible), who will help a veteran work on a resume for free. If you have never put a resume together before, they can assist you in translating your military skills into something a civilian employer will better understand. In the end, your resume will get better, but it will still need to be tailored to the position you want to apply for, so be prepared to make changes.