› Are you a veteran looking to change or enhance your career? Listen to the voices of these vets as they tell their career stories in their own words:
Retired Lieutenant Colonel
I discovered that when looking for a civilian job, it was hard for the interviewer to understand how my experience would be useful for their company.
Work on translating your military experience and skills to sound as civilian as possible on your resume. Going to the TAP course is a good start, but also have several people—preferably without military experience—to review your resume, and see if they understand what you are trying to say.
The military is very helpful in my job and career endeavors as compared to my peers. First veterans and in my case disabled veterans often get preferred status in the hiring process.
The one subject that schools should teach is personal finance. Teaching children at an early age of fiscal responsibility can mitigate a lot of the troubles we see today.
The biggest misunderstanding is the government just wastes our money. While this may be true for certain government decisions I can say that I am doing everything I can to save taxpayers money.
Transitioning from my military career to the civilian world was a lot harder than I thought. I do know of guys who just sort of fall into a great civilian job after their military career, but they are mostly officers. In my case, my military skills did not transfer so well into the civilian world.
Looking back now, I realize how unprepared I was for retirement and the transition to civilian life. If I had to do it all over again, I'd go to more transition job fairs and I would spend more time networking.
Many of the guys that I work with are former military, so we all understand each other pretty well.
I was a finance specialist and our finance division was responsible for distribution of payroll to the entire American military forces in West Germany, before the Berlin Wall collapsed.
I am quite proud that I served my country even if it wasn't in war.
Human Resource Manager
The last position I had required me and the staff I supervised to make sure all records were complete for all the officers on the base.
If you can make it through boot camp, you can make it through anything. This is also where you learn to be invisible and to toe the line.
I enjoyed doing my job and doing it well. I felt proud to be in the service and every time I earned a new stripe I felt good because I was being recognized for doing a good job.
It is a good career. You get training, you can take college courses that are paid for, and at the 20 year point you can retire and collect half your salary for the rest of your life.
I am a Sergeant at the Northpoint Penal Institution and Training Center in Danville, KY. I transitioned to this job from my career in the United States Air Force, where I retired after 30 years. I began working with prisoners in the USAF and have been a prison guard for over 40 years.
I am very proud of my accomplishments, considering my roots. I came from nothing and I served my country well. I now serve my state and federal government.
By serving as a prison guard, I guarantee that for at least eight hours every day, the prisoners on my watch are treated with kindness, dignity and respect. I make sure they are not a danger to others or to themselves. I am proud to be of service.
Currently I am a senior engineer for Virgin Airlines, in the commercial airline industry. I have 5 years of civilian experience in this field, and 26 if you count my military experience.
Just telling people that I have served in the Air Force on numerous tours seems to change something in their eyes when they talk to me. They respect me and the opinions that I have much more.
This job does move my heart, because every time a plane goes up and lands successfully, I feel a sense of personal accomplishment that I did my job right. Our team is able to accomplish such a miracle that people take for granted these days - getting them hundreds and thousands of miles away from where they were in only hours.
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