Veteran Employment – Combine Soft Skills with Expertise Outside the Military

A study recently came out for veterans on civilian employment. It was conducted by the Center for New American Security with interviews from 150 businesses and companies.

The main results can be summarized as follows:
– Civilian employers are, and will continue, hiring healthy military veterans.
– Employers want to hire veterans because they believe vets possess important soft skills they need to succeed.
– Companies will not hire vets who don’t have the education or skills needed to do a civilian job. This is less the case for entry-level work and more of a requirement for senior positions and higher-paying jobs.

Why does all of this mean for veterans who are leaving the military?
1.) You earn practical competencies and soft skills in the military. These have value in the civilian world and include some of the following skills: management and leadership, negotiation and conflict resolution, focus and discipline, the ability to work on a team, ethics and loyalty, communication skills and the ability to gather intelligence. To these soft skills, I would add practical competencies such as time management, resourcefulness, being opportunistic and having street smarts. Promote these skills, and your overall health, with relentlessness to all employers who interview you. 

2.) You gain specific, occupational skills and subject matter expertise outside the military at a college or university that can validate your knowledge with a certificate or a degree. You can come equipped with a degree or certificate before applying to a job, earn a degree before you look for employment or agree with an employer to complete your degree while being employed by their company.

Please keep these facts and advice in mind as move past the military and embrace a new civilian career. 

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