Many veterans returning from the military struggle with the transition of the day-to-day challenges of the civilian workforce despite the number of years and/or areas of experience they may possess. Although many may have put in five, ten, fifteen or more years in the field they don’t have a college degree or certificate showing their credentials or expertise. Applying the skills attained while in the service cannot always be easily applied in the outside world as this shift is fraught with confusion, fear and a lack of knowledge.
The process of finding a job or developing a career is tough for anyone; never mind those returning from combat or other military environments where they may have been in a supervisory role, worked as a medic or operated heavy equipment; yet have no “resume” to show for their efforts. Preparing a resume, or having the time and information to accurately complete one that truly reflects his/her abilities and skills can be daunting.
The majority of veterans are loyal, committed, skilled, talented, and accustomed to working in high stress environments. Despite those attributes, they often don’t have the actual skills or training that one receives from a college or other educational institution, nor the written documentation to support their skills/training. The main problem is that the two simply don’t mesh – in other words, the two sides don’t know how to communicate with each other.
In 2014, First Lady Michele Obama and Dr. Jill Biden worked on an initiative to launch a new employment tool designed to connect veterans with employers. It was designed to help with the translation of military skills into the civilian workforce. This on-line tool that is open to all veterans, as well as their spouses and beneficiaries looking for employment in both the public and private sectors, is referred to as the Veterans Employment Center. Veterans can simply log on to ebenefits.va.gov on their computer. This resource was the first inter-agency tool designed to provide public and private opportunities, a resume builder, military skills translator, and training resources all in one location. According the 2015 State of the Union address to Congress, President Obama encouraged employers to “hire a veteran if they wanted to get the job done”. Having these tools is a plus; however, many veterans and civilian employers must find a way to interconnect their differences as they relate to job experience, credentials, personalities, and more.
What are the best jobs for veterans? Well, according to CareerCast, a career information and job listing website, the top ten best jobs for veterans include:
- Administrative Services Manager
- Construction Program manager
- Emergency Medical Technician
- Industrial Engineering Technician
- Paralegal & Legal Assistant
- Personal Financial Advisor
- Registered Nurse
- Software Engineer
- Training & Development Manager
In my next blog, I will be exploring a more in-depth look into the transition of veterans into the workforce, their current level of experience, communications made with potential employers, and the resources available for all veterans.