When I transitioned from active duty in 2012 and tried (read: stumbled along aimlessly) to land my first corporate job, like so many of my clients, I had no idea how my military skills were going to "work" for me in the private sector. I thought I was at a disadvantage because I had never set foot in an office or had a "real" job. I had a BS in English from the Naval Academy– a major I had chosen to balance out the plethora of science and engineering classes I was required to take in college. Pouring over Hemingway while crunching page-long formulas in Thermodynamics worked great in college but wasn’t exactly a golden ticket to corporate America. Or was it?
Without a doubt, it was for me, and it will be for you.
It – whatever “it” is that you did in the military – will enable you to stand out (in a good way) from other job applicants, but ONLY if others a) know about you and more importantly, b) understand your past accomplishments.
As transitioning veterans, we are more than often ill-advised to "get our foot in the (private sector) door" with the first company that offers us a job- to sign on the dotted line and to figure out the details later. If you are taking the massive step to transition from the military, you should be doing so for a role that meets your needs. Our goal at Boots to Boardroom is to change the status quo through educating our clients so that they can determine where to should go and how to get there.
The majority of veterans who run into problems do so when they jump at the first role that fits what they CAN do, rather than taking the time to explore what they really WANT to do. In my case, it was only once I began to understand my value proposition to companies that I realized I could afford to be picky. I could leverage my unique skill sets gained from the military to find not only a job, but rewarding work that would allow me to grow and work towards my long-term goals.
So how do you leverage your background, translate your skill sets to determine your long-term goals and find rewarding work? Great question! We like break down the search for your ideal next job into a formula. The first step is to understand your value proposition as it applies to the private sector. This requires some narrowing and determining where you actually want to go next, not just where you should and could go next. Once you've targeted your job search, you need to learn how to translate your skills and accomplishments in your resume and interviews so that non-veterans in your targeted fields or companies can understand you. Lastly, you need to become a networking all-star to take your application from maybe to definitely status. For my visual learners out there:
Your Unique Value Proposition + Solid Networking Skills + Translated Resume + Polished Interview = Rewarding and Satisfying New Job
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