Your transitioning out of the military, employers are reaching out to you based on the skills you have gained in the military; however, you have no desire to continue down that career path, what do you do?
Change your focus. Start by asking yourself, “What do I really want to do?”. Look at your priorities, what is most important to you?
- Job satisfaction
Access your abilities, NOT just your learned hard skills. You have served in the military and have many traits that are so ingrained in you that you may not recognize them, take the time to do so.
- Attention to detail
- Ability to learn quickly
How do you relate these abilities in a real way to hiring managers when the opportunity you’re after has such tight requirements that none of them align with your current skill set?
Find examples during your career that you can highlight that compare! Give them a time when you have shown real leadership in action, show them an event where your quick thinking and “military training” allowed you to make a split second decisions, provide them an instance where your attention to detail really came through, how you persevered, held yourself accountable or were able to pick up a new skill in a very compressed period of time.
Trained recruiters can and will take the time to listen, they want to train their hiring managers to understand your value, you are important and are highly sought after! You will be able to highlight your skills and aptitudes during a conversation with a recruiter… the challenge is getting to have that conversation based on your resume. Which is why networking being a first step on your journey. Your LinkedIn profile is your key tool to network. Spend some time on really showcasing your talent and start connecting with recruiters and veterans in key organizations.
Many major companies have a Veteran Employee Resource Group, they are crucial to teaching the internal acquisition teams and hiring managers across the organization, connect with those former military within the organization and ask questions, but you have to be prepared with your story.
Your due diligence in networking, preparation and having the right attitude is key to your success. Start early, create your strategy and drive.
Research. Do your homework, what is the history of the company? What are the roles within that company that you are passionate about and most importantly, why?
Do they require a specific certification? Did you know that you can gain civilian credentialing while your still on active duty? Gain that certification and start highlighting YOU.
It is important to understand that you must change your mind set before you can change the mindsets of others. Firmly grasp what you bring to the table and how your past experience in both the military and your past civilian life would serve you and that organization.
In summary, you are vital and much needed for everything from entry level to executive roles. You were given great responsibility at a very young age, you were empowered to make life and death decisions in mere seconds, you led teams, individuals and extremely valuable assets not only with the skill set specific training you received in the military but with the on the job, battle hardened experience you gained and were faced with in an austere environment under great stress.
Employers are waiting, they are looking for individuals like you to take their organization to the next level. You have been trained for a specific skill set in the military, but you have abilities that far exceed and outweigh the job title the military service issued you, you are NOT defined by that and a skills translator on a website can never measure up!
Take a moment and consider what your capable of, consider what your spouse has endured and is capable of, now tell your story and show them what a military family can accomplish if provided the opportunity!