Transitioning from military to civilian life is a challenging endeavor. Not only must retiring military personnel rejoin a life and community that they have not been part of for years, but they must also embark on the journey toward finding civilian employment. For those who have never had experience searching and applying for civilian jobs, this can be quite the task.
Thankfully, there are near endless resources available to military personnel as they begin the transition from a military to civilian career. Mentorship is one such tool that active members and veterans alike can use to move toward their professional goals and make the transition process go more smoothly.
Here are seven resources that help military members connect with mentorship opportunities during their career transitions:
1. American Corporate Partners (ACP)
ACP is a nonprofit organization that welcomes currently and recently serving military personnel as well as their spouses. Through this outlet, individuals can apply for a one-year mentoring program. ACP will assign a protégé to a mentor from one of the top corporations in the United States. Not only is this experience tailored to the individual’s unique career goals, but it is structured to guarantee one-on-one assistance.
In general, the mentorship program covers all facets of the military to civilian transition. Protégés and their mentors go over topics such as preparing a resume, balancing their careers with home life, and applying their leadership skills to their new career. ACP can even connect protégés to resources that will help them identify their ideal career and more.
2. Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE)
For many military veterans, the path toward securing a career in the civilian sector requires them to obtain an education first. The PAVE program assists those pursuing college degrees by connecting them with other student veterans on campus. A facet of the Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN), PAVE serves students on nearly 40 campuses nationwide.
Whether incoming students are facing challenges, need to access educational resources, or simply need support, PAVE’s mentors will be right there to help them. The organization aims to foster a sense of community among like-minded military veterans, ensuring a more seamless transition between military and college life and promote more successful outcomes.
One of the first programs of its kind, eMentor connects retiring military members, veterans, and their partners with mentorship opportunities. The mentors who sign up for the site work with these individuals, helping to connect them to job opportunities and offering assistance with securing civilian employment.
From those who are looking to start their own business to those who are anxious about transitioning between military and civilian careers, eMentor has services for everyone. With advice and guidance from a mentor, users can more easily overcome career challenges and move toward success in their civilian lives.
AcademyWomen works with women who are retiring from the armed services, providing them with mentoring to help them address all of their career needs. Those who become members of the organization gain access to a diverse network of military women all sharing in the same experience, which enables them to make important career connections. AcademyWomen also provides its members with unique representation, helping more in the community see the value of their service.
Women looking to kickstart their civilian careers can also engage with AcademyWomen’s mentorship program. Facilitated through eMentor, this program helps them develop career goals and work toward achieving them.
5. Boots to Shoes (BTS) Foundation
BTS is an organization with the goal of helping “21st-century veterans” transition successfully from military to civilian careers. The foundation welcomes volunteer mentors from all walks of life, providing them with the training required to assist transitioning military personnel. Each mentor commits to six months of service, during which time they work one-on-one with veterans both in person and on the phone. In addition to resume development and career planning, mentors help veterans monitor their progress and learn the civilian language that they will need during their job search.
6. Military Talent Partners (MTP)
In collaboration with entities such as Bunker Labs and American Corporate Partners, MTP helps drive career success for retiring veterans through mentorship, coaching, and more. The organization’s mentorship program helps veterans maximize their potential by connecting them with mentors who can help them discover civilian careers and work toward obtaining employment.
On either a weekly or monthly basis, veterans meet with coaches who guide them through the entire interview process. Each mentorship plan will differ depending on the individual’s career objectives, but it is MTP’s goal to identify their talents and find them meaningful employment. To this end, the organization regularly works with businesses looking for veterans to fill available roles.
Billed as “America’s mentoring network for the military,” Veterati allows both active and retired military personnel to work with career mentors. The organization’s mentors are not just military veterans—they are also job recruiters, CEOs, and regular civilians.
Veterati is unique in that it allows its members to handpick their mentors. Most veterans work with four mentors, though some have had more than 25. This network of mentors offers job search advice and other coaching that helps mentees move forward in their civilian careers.