Skip to main content

Building a Career After Military Service

Hire Dynamics’ Staffing Professionals are Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) on helping people find post-military careers.

About 200,000 men and women separate from the U.S. military service each year. Some of them have served the United States for decades, others for just a few years.

Regardless, it can be difficult for veterans to find civilian work if they never worked as one before. It may have been years since they looked for work outside the military and/or find it challenging to navigate the far-from-straightforward world of job searching as a civilian.

The military, after all, has rules about jobs: personnel is usually given a military occupational specialty (MOS). The assignments are often dictated by a person’s talents as evaluated by different tests such as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and their military trainers, and what the branch needs at the time.

Service members can – of course! – move up in rank and, therefore, into higher-level assignments as time goes on. But their jobs are often something they know they will be moving towards far in advance.

There’s far more career uncertainty when transitioning from a military career to a civilian one…

 …and it can be something of a jolt for service members who have never gone through the civilian world job search gauntlet.

We are available to talk and walk you through the process. We will give you guidance on what to do above and beyond applying online. Let us help you navigate through the uncharted waters of post-military career opportunities.

Many employers roll out the red carpet for former military personnel.

The reason is simple: military veterans almost always possess:

  • determination
  • leadership capabilities
  • a teamwork ethos
  • cool demeanor under pressure
  • respect for rules, processes, and procedures
  • considerable focus
  • loyalty
  • a “get it done no matter how long a job takes and no matter the obstacles” mentality
  • and more

In fact, one of the best reasons that companies look for veterans is because they tend to be quite trainable.

How to build your post-military career

  • First things first: decide what type of career you’d like in what industry.

Most vets understandably look for something related to their MOS positions over the years. But don’t automatically assume that what you did then is what you need to continue now.

Many MOS assignments translate to different industry sectors. Electricians with an automotive mechanical bend, for example, may be interested in learning how to work on electronic vehicles and or move into mechatronics.

Logistics is a broad MSO category in the military. Logistics/supply chain/e-commerce companies definitely could use your help, especially for those with semiconductor or other high-tech skills and backgrounds.

  • If you’re moving to a sector different than the one in which you worked, start researching.

Let’s say you want to move from transportation logistics to retail logistics. This could be a relatively easy move as they both entail transporting goods and equipment. So you’d need to start researching companies with large logistics operations.

If you’re moving to something unrelated to what you did in the service, you also will need to do some researching and…

  • …look at how your current skills transfer to the new industry.

This shouldn’t be too difficult, no matter what industry you’re looking to enter. You do need to discover which of your tech skills will transfer to the new industry.  For example, someone who worked as a radar/sonar technician will need to learn how their attention to detail, analytics insight, sonar/radar maintenance skills, etc., will translate to the new industry.

For example, these skills would prove invaluable in positions working with electronics or computers. It’s your job to research how your skills will transfer and then “translate” them for a civilian employer.

  • Minimize your “military speak” as you interview.

You’ll need to adjust your communication style during your job search.

  • 3 pm vs. 1500 hours
  • First names vs. Sir/Ma’am
  • NEVER be shy about playing up those highly sought-after military attributes mentioned above.

For example, if the position entails working in an environment where your tasks will change at a moment’s notice, mention how you thrived in an ever-changing environment (and aim to give concrete examples).

  • Look for companies that welcome former military as candidates.

Innovative companies understand how valuable veterans’ “hard” (tech) and “soft” (excellent work ethic, etc.) skills are to their company and often are happy to help former servicemembers transition to the civilian workforce.

Hire Dynamics is one of those companies. We can even help you try out different positions and industries through our many temporary.

Take a look at our current opportunities and apply to any and all that look interesting. We’re consistently receiving new assignments from our clients, so if you find nothing today, register with us so that if something comes up that matches your skills, needs, and goals, we’ll be able to contact you ASAP.