In the Military? How to Prepare for a Great, Post-Service Civilian Career


“Thanks for your service” is more than just a phrase that Americans say to express patriotic gratitude. The United States has a comprehensive resource structure in place to help veterans adjust to civilian life. Some programs are managed by the government while others are handled by the private sector. When the time comes to rejoin the civilian world, veterans can take various actions to improve their outlook in life. Here are some tips on how to make a smooth transition:


Master the Art of Networking


Active duty members who have a few relaxed weeks before the end of their enlistment should take time to learn about business networking. Those who do not have a LinkedIn profile should sign up before getting their discharge papers. It is easier to get good jobs through networking opportunities than by emailing dozens of resumes.


Attend the Transition Assistance Program


While most units these days make TAP mandatory, some service members are known to either skip it or pay little attention to the three-day workshop. Tap these days is nothing like it used to be in the 1990s; it goes beyond learning how to write resumes and actually provides actionable career advice. The entrepreneurship material covered in the TAP workshop has been considerably upgraded to include real-life situations instead of just general information.


Think About Education Ahead of Discharge


Many active duty members make plans to attend college after leaving the service, but a better option is to attend an online university for military personnel before getting discharged. Let’s a soldier is transferred from her operational unit to garrison three months prior to discharge; this would be an ideal time to start taking classes. The advantage of online education while still in active duty is that schedules can be easily adjusted to future civilian schedules.


Connect with the Right Recruiters


Just like military recruiters specialize in finding the right MOS for young Americans, corporate recruiters who specialize in placing veterans in positions where their skills are critically needed. Corporate recruiters who are veterans themselves tend to be very effective in this regard. It is better to connect with veteran-friendly recruiters right after discharge than to do so after working a few jobs.


In the end, returning to civilian life should be viewed as a great opportunity to pursue a truly fresh start. The idea is to put the resourcefulness acquired during active duty to work in the civilian sector.


By: Hannah Whittenly



Hannah / Freelance Writer
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