Combat to Career: How Veterans Can Successfully Transition to a Civilian Profession

Wednesday, 08 November
Carpenter wearing leather tool belt with hand tools in front of American flag-cm

Active duty members of the military face immense challenges that the rest of the citizenry will never fully grasp. However, one of the most difficult of these obstacles doesn’t even take place in battle. For millions of veterans, the transition back to civilian life is fraught with feelings of uncertainty, isolation, and hopelessness. Having a plan when you leave the military can help reduce those struggles and support a successful transfer from combat to a career.

Find a career that matches your skills.

Some returning service members mistakenly assume they’re starting from scratch when entering the job market. No matter what position you held in the military, you developed a valuable and in-demand set of skills. The trick is finding a sector that prizes those abilities. This is one of the main reasons the construction industry is an ideal career path for veterans. Construction staffers prize technical prowess, physical endurance, and a hard work ethic which veterans have in spades. Finding a role that matches your current capabilities advances your career from the get-go. Sure, you might have to brush up on a few new skills but don’t assume you have to restart from zero.

Follow the lead of fellow veterans.

There’s an undeniable sense of camaraderie among veterans. At the end of the day, your brothers and sisters in arms are the only people who truly understand your experiences. When you transition to the civilian workforce, you don’t have to give up on that connection. Simply following in the footsteps of fellow veterans when choosing a career is an excellent strategy. Below are some of the most popular industries for veterans along with their representation as a percentage of the entire workforce:

  • Manufacturing – 12.1%
  • Transportation & Utilities – 8%
  • Construction – 6.2%

Source: Statista

As you can see, some of the most common positions held by veterans are in the industrial sectors. These roles are some of the most military-friendly craftsmen careers. These numbers prove that service members can thrive in these careers. Plus, there’s a high chance you’ll be working alongside another veteran!

Make use of all available resources.

While there’s no way to fully repay what service members have sacrificed, the government does provide a wealth of career resources to veterans. A crucial first step when making the jump between military and civilian life is to tap into all of these helpful tools. The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) provides a vast array of workshops, counseling services, training programs, and other practical support to bridge the gap between combat and career. The stated goal of the program is to “enable all veterans, service members, and military spouses to reach their full potential in the workplace.” You can avoid a lot of wasted time, money, and energy by taking full advantage of these resources.

Work with an industrial staffing professional.

Veterans looking to transition into the industrial sector don’t have to make that change alone. An industrial staffing specialist who knows the ropes can help retired service members streamline the job-seeking process. These experts take the time to understand your unique skills, experience, and preferences before recommending matching professional opportunities. This way, you can rest assured the position you take aligns with your goals. While it’s possible to tackle the job search alone, veterans understand the importance of teamwork and expertise better than most people. Working with a staffing expert is one of the smartest choices you can make when transitioning to civilian life.

Further Reading: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Looking for a New Career

How Madden Craftsmen supports veterans.

For 35 years, Madden Cratsmen has been helping veterans find rewarding and well-compensated jobs with some of the country’s leading industrial employers. Whether you’ve recently retired from the military or you’ve been out for years, our highly experienced staffing team can support your transition in a smooth, personalized, and professional manner. Check out our job search to see immediate job openings in your area.

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