For military personnel, the prospect of leaving active service and transitioning back into civilian life can be incredibly daunting. These individuals do not have to navigate this process alone, however. Whether they are looking online or offline, military personnel and veterans can find a vast array of resources that will help them as they separate from the military and pursue civilian careers.
Here are five of the best resources for a successful military-to-civilian transition:
Since its inception in 1999, Military.com has grown into one of the most prominent military networks on the Internet. With more than 10 million members, the site helps connect active and retired military personnel and provides them with any resources that they may need. One such resource is veteran career assistance, which helps veterans during and after their transition out of the military.
To this end, Military.com offers job tools that assist veterans with everything from finding the right career path to discovering which employers hire former military personnel. However, one of the site’s most popular tools is its military skills translator. This resource allows veterans to match their former military titles and type of service with civilian jobs that will best complement their existing skills.
Military.com is also well known for its Veteran Career Network, which encompasses more than 1 million veterans. Through this network, retired personnel can find other veterans and learn about their various areas of work. This data can help guide them through their own career transitions.
Veteran Employment Center
As part of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Employment Center (VEC) provides a comprehensive career toolkit to military personnel as they are transitioning back into civilian life. Developed with the help of the Departments of Defense and Education, Labor, and Veterans Affairs, this online tool is the only one of its kind offered by the federal government.
The Center can also work with veterans who are looking to assemble effective civilian resumes or build professional profiles on the Internet. This prepares transitioning military personnel to search the VEC Veterans Job Bank, which features more than 1.5 million available job positions.
For those looking to gain an additional leg up in their career search, the VEC has developed an online platform that readies them for the civilian workforce. Known as VetNet, this tool delivers weekly content to veterans who are seeking basic workplace training, information on entrepreneurship, and more.
Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (DoDTAP)
As military personnel begin to separate from active service, they can ease their transition by seeking help from DoDTAP. Not only does this program supply veterans with their Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) papers, but it also provides them and their families with a number of key transition resources.
The transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success) curriculum is one of DoDTAP’s most famous initiatives. By creating learning objectives for active military personnel, this program enables them to formulate ideas for their future careers and accumulate the skills that they need to fulfill certain Career Readiness Standards (CRS). This, in turn, ensures that military members will be prepared for civilian employment before they even begin their transition out of active service.
DoDTAP also offers an array of other online tools that connect veterans to VA benefits, assist them with skills translation, and teach them about finance. Personnel can also use the program’s website to access transition resources in their specific military service area.
GI Jobs provides virtually all the resources that military personnel need to ensure the success of their transition back to civilian life. In an effort to simplify the separation process for all separating military members, the website has created a number of transition guides on such topics as how to find employment and which jobs are best for veterans. Moreover, GI Jobs connects its users with educational opportunities that will enable them to earn their desired degrees.
When it comes time for veterans to seek practical career experience, GI Jobs can supply information on apprenticeships and business ownership. The site also hosts a unique online calculator that allows personnel to determine how much money they will need to make in their civilian job if they wish to match their military salary. By offering these resources and more, GI Jobs helps personnel make the most informed decisions possible about their lives and careers after the military.
Even after seeking assistance from online resources, some military personnel may find that they still do not have enough tools to successfully navigate their career transitions. In these cases, mentoring can help fill any remaining gaps that are hindering their progress.
Not only can mentoring help veterans during their job search, but it can also pave the way for better success down the line. This is because mentoring helps guide military personnel through one of the toughest kinds of transitions. These individuals are not simply moving between careers, but rather between two very different ways of life.
Mentors can assist transitioning military personnel in a number of ways. These individuals can help veterans expand their professional networks, translate their military resumes into civilian language, and even determine what type of work schedule would be best for them. This outside perspective on their careers helps veterans to navigate their transitions more effectively.