Transitioning from the military to the civilian world is full of difficult challenges, but probably the most difficult aspect is the job hunt. How do you explain what you did to civilians when they’ll have no clue what any of what you did means or its value in the military?
Bottom line: Your service is one of the biggest differentiators and a primary advantage that a lot of companies highly value. Leadership, integrity, and the tenacity to get the job done are some of the prime examples of ‘soft skills’ that can be applied when you exit. And if you have technical training combined with these soft skills, you have the background necessary to excel in any workplace situation. Below are a few industry-agnostic skillsets and career opportunities to look into.
Here are some top civilian job options for veterans when you get out:
Operations Manager/Team Leader – You’ve been in operations from the day you got out of Basic Training. Whether it was a rifleman in a line company or as a mechanic fixing vehicles, the basics of timelines, priorities, and leading a team is core to the military experience you have. Applying it as an Ops Manager or Team Leader is one of the key career opportunities you can jump into. There are too many industries that have operations roles, but if you can think of the industry, chances are they will have an operation that you can jump into.
Project/Program Manager – For those of you that have worked at HHC or higher levels leading a staff or as a staff NCO, you may have what you need to be a Project Manager. Getting a Program Manager certification is pretty easy now that there are both free courses as well as programs offered online. For those in the Army, remember MDMP? This is Project Management. The key focus with Project Management is being able to break down the timeline and think strategically in understanding the key tasks and team members who will each handle different tasks. Keeping the team focused and on timelines is key to this as well as reports.
Sales Manager/Business Development Manager – Ever briefed the commander on a possible course of action and what’s needed to make things happen? Ever had to get the buy in of your team or leadership that this new way may improve the team or operations? Do you like to extend your influence outside of your command structure, building relationships for a more smoother running organization? Guess what: you’re already exercising everything you need to be a great sales or business development manager. The key here is understanding customers as well as building relationships for long term business relationships. If you’re a people pleaser, natural networker, and someone who enjoys high-intensity (as well as high payoff), consider a career in Sales.
Business Intelligence Operations – Intel Analyst? Or an S2? Maybe you’ve had to research local enemy operations in theater or are just really REALLY good at research and intel gathering. Business Intelligence is somewhat hand-in-hand with sales and business development. Being able to research competition, industry trends, as well as potential business partnerships for the company and industry you’re in are all valuable skills.
Technical Fields – Fixed a tank? Worked on a nuclear submarine? Underwater welding? These are all valuable skills that are highly specialized (Read HIGH PAYING) jobs that require a good amount of training. Thankfully, you’ve been given the technical skills by Uncle Sam to go into these jobs and excel in them with your leadership and work ethic that are prized by the industries that you apply to.
The first and most crucial step is translating your military job experience into something that your civilian counterparts and hiring managers can understand. Spend less time on your veteran resume and get a head start on your civilian transition NOW by subscribing to our blog to stay on top of the latest tips!