6 Reasons Vets Will Be Successful in a Civilian Job

Career Advice

Your time to leave the military is fast approaching and you have concerns.

Will you be able to find a good civilian job?

Will employers be interested in your unique talents?

Transitioning minds want to know….

Now is the time for a reality check. What exactly are your marketable strengths?

It’s no secret that you haven’t been working in a highly technical military career field that translates easily into the civilian job market. Still, you have your good points.

For example, you may not be able to mitigate system security threats like an information security engineer or fuse operational and intelligence information seamlessly like an intel analyst, but no one can diffuse an IED or effectively secure a perimeter as quickly and as skillfully as you.

You’d think savvy employers could appreciate your ability to quell the rising insurgency of hostile staff meetings. You’re fairly certain, however, the whole bomb- diffusing skill set won’t translate as well into Corporate America.

You, gentle job-seeking warrior, are wrong.

Many employers today are attracted to those who have worn the uniform honorably, whether they have easily transferable skills or not. Here are six good reasons why.

Reason #1: You are a leader.

Many employers believe you can teach someone to do a job but you can’t teach someone to be a good leader. Thank the military for making you The Leader sooner than your civilian counterparts might experience in their world. As a result, you are less likely to make those costly newbie mistakes leading programs, dollars and people.

Reason #2: You have proven abilities.

You can make things happen whether it involves relocating for the job or upping the battle rhythm of a major project mid-stream. You’ve been trained to do so. You have abilities…adaptability, flexibility and, you know it, likeability.

No one is as able as you having worked under such varied circumstances as the duress of live fire or utter mind-numbing mediocrity. You can honestly say that you’ve been there, done that, killed the cliché and got the t-shirt to boot.

Reason #3: You have a government security clearance.

You, savvy seeker, are reading this on ClearanceJobs.com so clearly (pun intended) you already know how valuable your clearance is to the outside world.

Having a clearance shows employers that you can be trusted and it could potentially increase your salary anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 or more.

Think about it. If you don’t have a clearance and you are hired into a job requiring one, the employer has to wait throughout the application, investigation and adjudication process to see if you will even be granted one. From beginning to end, that process could take up to one year or longer.

In the mean time, you can’t do the job you were hired to do and are most likely relegated to menial tasks. No worries, though. Most employers won’t even interview you for positions requiring a clearance unless your resume says you have one the first place.

You, of course, have one and it is listed predominantly on your resume.

Reason #4: Your work ethic is outstanding.

You show up to work on time and do your job plus. You make good decisions and are fiscally responsible. You are honest. Your colleagues like and depend on you.

Don’t assume that the work ethic you learned in the military is one familiar to everyone outside of it. It isn’t. Employers know that and it makes you highly marketable to them whether you have lined up satellites in the sky or driven trucks across the middle of the desert.

Reason #5: Global is your middle name.

You’ve been around the world and have skillfully worked with diverse others. You may speak other languages. You understand how to resolve conflicts, armed or otherwise or how to prevent them altogether through cultural awareness.

You are someone who understands that the world is one big place filled with endless opportunities and you know how to work it.

Reason #6: You are teachable.

Make no mistake about it. Your game is ever so on even if you haven’t lived in the high-tech fast lane military life. You are teachable and that, coupled with all your other unique talents and strengths, makes you marketable indeed.

Janet Farley is the author of the Quick Military Transition Guide: Seven Steps to Landing a Civilian Job (Jist Inc, 2012). She writes the JobTalk column for the Stars and Stripes newspapers.

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