What is your next mission?

What is your next mission?

Something that most military personnel are used to hearing. However, can we translate that into our civilian careers as military personnel? That is the real question and I want to have straight talk on the real answer.

First, every mission counts. That is something that all military personnel need to get into their head. Every position, rank or duty assignment they have held counts toward their future. Whatever you did got you experience towards something that will come into play at your next assignment, mission or even civilian job.

What do I mean by this? It’s simple. Not everything that we are told to do in the military is what we want or even what we planned. However, it can be something that we can use. I am going to use my own experience to help this make sense.

I lived in CA after active duty but was offered by first civilian federal position in ND. Yes, ND. So, I moved. A year and a half later I came back for a federal civilian job transfer that I had applied for and that was approved. I remember thinking when I crossed back over the CA border “thank God I’m back”. However, there is a lot the I learned in that year and half that I was away.

Short Story – in a year and a half I took my first federal civilian position, picked up a secondary MOS school, deployed for a year as a activated reservist with a engineer detachment to Kuwait and Iraq and I completed my masters degree. All of which can be applied to my current career path in more than one way.

Conclusion, the opportunity I left CA for was worth it. Sometimes it is very hard to try something new especially when we are so used to being told what to do all the time.

The civilian work force can be scary but it does not have to be. We are hear to help you. We provide resume writing, interview skills and job referrals. Veterans are our priority. We believe in no man left behind.

Contact us to help you make that next step!

– Chris

Military Words vs. Civilian Words

Understanding the Transition: Resume Writing

What is one of the hardest aspects of coming back into the civilian world after serving on active duty?
Truth is, that is a pretty loaded question and the answer will more than likely be different for every person.
However, one of the most challenging parts of the transition stage is finding a job or even more importantly, finding a career.
Why is this so challenging?
Well there are a lot of reasons why it is challenging but let’s start with some of the basic explanations.

Communication between veteran applicant and hiring manager

That seems like a simple fix. Well, sure if you know how to translate your military experience into something that a civilian hiring manager with no military experience or background will understand.
Look at this example below:

Military position: First Sergeant

Duty Description: 20 year Army Veteran responsible for the care and welfare of 50 Soldiers. Held timely formations for accountability and daily reports to higher command. Increased Soldier physical fitness requirements by 90%. Receipt holder for over $50,000.00 worth of electrical equipment. Conducted weekly meetings with squad leaders for training and mission planning.

Civilian translation: Operations Manager

Duty Description: Operations Manager with over 10 years of experience. Managed the care and welfare of 50 military and civilian personnel. Fostered a positive career advancement atmosphere by increasing physical fitness standards by 90%. Responsible for the management, maintenance and accountability of over $50,000.00 of electrical equipment with zero loss. Held weekly meetings with subordinate leaders to develop and implement training, time lines and company objectives for employees.
Let’s break it down
Here are a few questions that a civilian hiring manager is going to want to know if all they get is the military example.
  • You have been a manager for 20 years?
  • What is a formation?
  • Who is higher command?
  • What is physical fitness? (is that a standard)
  • What is a receipt holder?
  • Who are squad leaders?
  • What is a mission?
Can you really say 20 year veteran when you are applying for a management level position? From day one in the military were you a manager? Possibly, but not likely. It depends on your position, rank and experience. It is important to clearly and accurately speak on your military experience.
Most people know what a Soldier is, right? Well I hope so. But, we have to still speak in terms that civilians will understand. Saying military personnel is more understandable and still the truth. In the above example we added civilian personnel as well, because based on past military experience most 1SG also manage/direct a Family Readiness Leader, who are civilian. So we are able to add both.
Having a high dollar amount of equipment on a piece of paper with your name on it means that well if you get out of the military and anything is missing they are taking your pay. But, what does that really mean? It means you are accountable for that equipment by actually taking care of it and covering anything that is lost. In the civilian world that is a BIG deal. If you have been responsible for any equipment as any rank in the military and not lost anything, you better have that on your resume.
As leaders in the military you are responsible to lead junior leaders. It is imperative that we stress leading supervisors on your resume as professional meetings held for strategic and detailed planning.
This example of one of the challenges of veteran resume writing is not to scare you or at all discourage you. However, for veterans it is to help you understand why some companies are not calling you back for an interview. For hiring managers it is for you to better acknowledge the reason you cannot understand all veteran written resumes.

ONE in TWENTY veteran written resumes is understandable by civilian hiring managers.

Together we can make a difference, we can have more veterans in the work place and less homeless veterans.
-Chris