Looking for employment can be stressful for anybody. If you’ve been working in the armed forces, you might find it particularly challenging to make a transition into a civilian career. The good news is that as a veteran, you have unique skills and training, and can bring these to just about any job.

But where do you even begin?  Here are some tips to help you with the process and ideas to consider:

Unique Transferable Skills

Veterans have acquired unique training and many of these are transferable skills. Think about the work you did in the military. Perhaps you had a leadership role, or set up procedures, or were trained in international law and foreign languages. These can be used to a great extent in civilian jobs. Once you start thinking about how these skills can be used, more ideas will come to you.

Avoid Military Jargon

Be conscious of using military jargon and body language. It’ll take getting used, to but it’s important to adapt to civilian norms when transitioning into a civilian job. For example, avoid addressing others in the workforce as Sir or Ma’am. Refer to the time of day in civilian terms (6:00 vs. sixteen hundred hours). Other things will pop up that you’ll catch yourself doing and being conscious of it is the first step.

Transition Assistance Program

Look for a Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The TAP program helps with training and employment for armed forces personnel within 180 days of their military retirement or separation. Their workshops cover tips on job searching, careers, and resumes. MassHire can help you with your transition with individualized services designed to help you market yourself.

Military Friendly Employers

Seek out employers who are military-friendly. There are definitely employers out there who admire the abilities of ex-military personnel. Learning a task is one thing. But bringing qualities of leadership, integrity, and responsibility to a job are not easily taught. Your MassHire Veterans Employment Representative is in constant contact with employers looking for these qualities.

Recruiters who have experience with Veterans

Connect with recruiters who have experience working with military personnel. They’ve got your back. They’ll work with you to hone your skills. They have experience placing former military personnel. They’ll work with you through the entire process. Contact MassHire Cape & Islands Career Center’s Veterans Representative, Mike Swaney at 508-862-6127 or mswaney@masshire-capeandislands.com.

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