Finding a Job in the Demilitarized Zone
"Leaving the well-defined confines of the military life for civilian life can feel daunting and intimidating for the most confident of military personnel. Remember your training and experience. You chose the military lifestyle because it challenged you personally and professionally. You are highly trained and tested and you persevered in circumstances that most civilians can’t even imagine. Very few civilians have the edge on you in that regard.
Start by remembering that you are not alone. There is a vast network of caring people and employers who are committed to your successful transition to the civilian workforce and life. Apply the analytical skills you acquired by studying your new environment and make the necessary adjustments. There are many websites and support services that can help you to make the transition to the civilian job market. There are translators to convert your “milspeak” service record into a resume that will resonate with civilian hiring supervisors. There are veteran advocates, many of them who have also served.
Zoomdojo’s Veteran’s Resource Initiative is a great starting place to browse for advice and opportunities. Check out the local Cooperative Extension office near you ( http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/ ). Cornell Cooperative Extension has a very strong program to help military personnel at Ft. Drum transition to the civilian workforce. I like the Real Warriors (http://www.realwarriors.net/veterans/treatment/civilianresume.php ) site for advice on smart, healthy strategies across a whole range of veterans’ issues. Consider an entry level job at an institution of higher education. Many have free tuition for employees so you can pay yourself with your GI Bill benefits for working two jobs. Finally, use your social networks for support, advice and leads. Join LinkedIn for a professional network where you can hang your resume and the kinds of work you seek."
Bob Stundtner, Director, Capital Project Management and
Former Chair of the Veterans Colleague Network Group at Cornell University