As many of you know, I am closely involved with the military in both my professional and personal life. (I guess my blog title gives that away!) Yesterday, I posted about something extremely personal to me, but today’s topic is significant not just to my future, but to many in the military and their family members. I have been given the opportunity to work with fellow blogger, Emma Banks, who is studying to be a Career & Life Coach. She has written an excellent piece as a guest blogger on finding a civilian job after the military. This is important to so many of my colleagues and friends because in the next year or two many are preparing to make this transition from the military to the civilian sector, including my husband. I would like to thank Emma for her help and the excellent resources she is sharing with us. Make sure you visit her blog and show some love! -Alyson
Life Outside the Uniform: Finding a Civilian Job After the Military
By Emma Banks
Leaving the military to enter into civilian life can be daunting. With so many challenges in front of you, finding a great job on top of everything else might seem impossible. I’m here to assure you that you can find your dream job as a civilian, no matter how many years you have served in the armed forces. Keep in mind that job searching takes time, and you’ll meet several myths designed to hold you down. Ignore them. I’ll outline four of the most common job hunting myths and the reality behind them so you can enter the civilian workforce with confidence.
Myth #1: No one is going to hire me because I have a service-related disability.
Truth: By law, an employer cannot discriminate based on disability, and there are many organizations willing to defend your right to work. If you’re worried that your disability will hold you back from performing your dream job, then rest assured that there are services to help you. For example, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers programs designed specifically to work with individuals with service-connected disabilities. These programs offer job training, counseling and other services to help you find a great job and keep it.
Myth #2: It’s time-consuming and difficult to apply to jobs.
Truth: Back in the old days, companies relied on paper resumes and a physical application process. Recognizing the need to meet the demands of busy applicants, many top companies today have streamlined the application process, making it much easier and faster to submit resumes and other documents. Mobile recruiting platforms like JIBE allow you to upload resumes, cover letters and more right from your smartphone. It’s never been easier or more convenient to apply to jobs.
Myth #3: My spouse is on his or her own when it comes to finding a job.
Truth: While there are a lot of great resources for you as a veteran, there are actually many services available to help your spouse find a rewarding job. A new program called Joining Forces works to find steady employment for military spouses, especially those who have to move a lot due to constantly changing orders. They offer career development services and work with companies to enhance the experience of military spouses.
Myth #4: The “hidden job market” contains all of the best jobs.
Truth: The so-called “hidden job market” allegedly contains all of the jobs that are never posted, the ones that people really want but have to know someone to get. In reality, companies hire people who qualify whether they know someone or not. As a veteran, you’ll be attractive to a wide range of companies and industries so don’t sell yourself short. Develop a strong resume and excellent interview skills, and you’ll land your dream job. The hidden job market might exist, but it doesn’t hold a monopoly on the best jobs.
Emma is a mid 20-something year old with a passion for life, love, fitness, and helping others. She loves to be active and get involved in as many sport and community activities as possible. Emma is currently studying to become a Career & Life Coach, and loves to network with people from around the world! Check out Emma’s blog at http://smileasithappens.blogspot.com/! You can also follow Emma on Twitter.