I. Apply for and enroll in one of VETTED’s programs (see vetted.org)
—–VETTED provides the most comprehensive transition program ie. Industry: Knowledge, Experience and Network all in one package.—–
II. Or, You can try to do it on your own. We do not recommend going it truly alone but if so, here is a recommend path: PLAN –> Get clarity for the road ahead –> Find the right career path for you –> Grow and leverage your network –> Launch your search, in this order.
-Start up to 24-36 months prior to retirement if you can in order to take advantage of active duty education assistance, complete any certifications you are interested in and develop a practical plan. Start no less than 6 months from Terminal Leave.
-Make this your full time after-work endeavor. Remember, this is your next “Great Thing!”/career.
Execute this path by doing the following (there are many terms and programs in the following recommendations that you’ll need to find by googling which results in many more resources):
A. Corporate Track / (B. Entrepreneur Track-TBP, C. Higher Ed)
- Build your Transition/BackwardsTimeline/Calendar. ((includes: medical appointments/documentation, certifications, VA briefs, Troops to Teachers, Entrepreneurship, Higher ed, all SFL-TAP has to offer (Ft Hood SFL-TAP newsletter has a fairly comprehensive list)…, centurion military alliance, texas veterans commission and american dream u workshop (google these)… as well as **fellowship/internship** very important)
- Create an all-encompassing RESUME. Define what you did in civilian terms. Lots of free tools. Google ”free resume builders military to civilian” And “best resumes for 20xx”. Or return to your alma mater career services office for help. Other options: Google now has an MOS translator as well as COOL. Take your time and do a good job. You’ll go through many many drafts before you are comfortable. (Other sample option: register for Hire Heroes USA they will build your resume for free with your OER/NCOERs, SRB & Awards (not for everyone). We do NOT recommend paying anyone to help with your resume.
- Create your LINKEDIN profile from your resume. Your local USO is the best place to get a high-resolution, free, good professional picture. Sign up for LinkedIn Premium approximately 8 months from retirement (Premium for service members is free for 12 months (google it). Take your time. Check other related service member’s profiles to make sure you are maximizing your profile. [Let your friends and network know you are looking for work. Leverage your Alumni and personal network].
- Complete any version of the CLAMS to figure out what your career priorities are and what you don’t want to do post transition. Challenge, Location, Advancement, Money, Security (google it for definitions). https://www.hireheroesusa.org/discovering-dream-job/ or https://core.tonyrobbins.com/wheel-of-life-4
Also consider (+): benefits packages, stock options, culture, attire, flexibility etc. Rank your CLAMS + to figure out what your priorities are post retirement and what you REALLY think you want to do.
Do your RESEARCH. Research companies you may be interested in based on the above. Use the companies website. If you are not sure which company to research google “best companies for ______”. You can use Indeed, Glassdoor, Fairygodboss and theladders.com (google-em) to learn more about companies as well as their Social Media, their LinkedIn (includes jobs, company information, people you may be connected with who work there), Google/Google News, themuse.com etc.
- Enroll and attend other helpful workshops: USO Pathfinders, American Dream U and Centurion Military Alliance. /// Fourblock if you’re going to school.
- Register for WorkInTexas, Veterans.gov, veteranrecruiting.com, USA Jobs, mynextmove.org/vets/, Indeed, ziprecruiter, careerbuilder, monster etc. You can select location and type of work to setup notifications. Look for job titles you think you’d like and can do, then pull down their description to refine your resume and LinkedIn profile. Don’t limit yourself by your MOS. If you had any additional duties in the military and you have experience in those areas you can apply these to your resume and LinkedIn profile as well.
- “Google” Free Training for Veterans and you’ll find some of the links below plus many many others: https://hireourheroes.org/training/ …Institute of Veterans and Military Affairs (IVMF), https://www.hireheroesusa.org/training-programs/ https://www.gijobs.com/free-program-helping-veterans-become-it-ready/ Veterans4Quality, VetsinTech,
Salesforce vetforce training, Cisco Cyber training (https://blogs.cisco.com/csr/cisco-offers-military-veterans-free-cybersecurity-training ), BreakLine Education (Tech) http://breakline.org, Deloitte (CORE) https://Inkd.in/dEMVAe4
Veteran Career Transition Assistance Program (VetCTAP) https://www.vetctap.org
Patriots Path, Inc. https://patriots-path.org
Veteran Transition Support https://Inkd.in/dd2XA-2
Hope for the Warriors https://lnkd.in/drUbYJQ
Rebuilding Our Heroes https://lnkd.in/ehsVS3g
The Honor Foundation https://www.honor.org/ -Navy Seals & Spec Ops
USO Pathfinder https://lnkd.in/eRhSPHC
SOF for Life (special operations personnel) https://lnkd.in/ewhUprp
O2O https://lnkd.in/e75kz5T and Skillbridge
- Sign up for mentorship programs: American Corporate Partners, and Veterati (there are no dumb questions and every engagement can result in success). There are multiple veteran mentorship programs including: veteranmentornetwork.org/ , ementorprogram.org/veteran-ementor/ , standbesidethem.org, MilitaryCivilian-Career-Coaching-Connection-MC4-, https://www.commitfoundation.org/
- Select your top 5 companies or StartUps based on your CLAMS, Company research and Job research. Connect and follow them on LinkedIn and Social Media. Setup calls, coffee and informational interviews just to get to build a relationship and or understand the company or job they do. Google “Veteran Resource Group” to identify companies that have VRG and are most veteran active and friendly, not just paying lip service.
- Apply for veteran program opportunities: Delloite U, Delloite CORE Leadership Program, Bank of America military transition, Johnson & Johnson military veteran leadership development program , Disney’s heroes work here, JPMorgan Chase & Co. military and veterans programs, etc. also check “texvet.org” for a good list of transition, education, employment and business opportunities here).
- Get an ***Internship or Fellowship in order to start your reintegration into the Private Sector (don’t call it “civilian sector”). –Career Skills Program- Or: Idealist.org SimplyHired.com Careershift.com USAJobs.gov GoAbroad.com Student Conservation Association Experience.com
- Be REALISTIC and HUMBLE with your expectations. You spent xx number of years becoming an expert in _______ as did the person at company X that is a domain expert that you will be working for, interviewing for or competing with for a position. Your best chance at employment is being able communicate your value to them by relating your experience to the position or problem sets that company is having**
- You have to NETWORK to GET Work (LinkedIn, Informational interviews, Calls, Let your friends and family know you are looking, Go for coffee, (Meetup and Eventbrite in the city you want to work). Work on your elevator pitch without it all being your military background. Make sure to capture your volunteer events, community involvement, family, extra-curricular activities & hobbies. —————————————————————————————————————————————– ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
B. Entrepreneur Track… TBP.
For 40 year olds and over also checkout the following which have great career tools:
Lastly, remember, “The possibilities are endless but, they are not free.” – Dr. Melgar-C’De Baca