Pursuing a Career Different from your Military Occupation

From the Battlefield to the Boardroom Podcast - Episode 34

Some military to civilian transitions are more clear-cut than others.

If you are a technician in the military transitioning into a technical role in the civilian workforce, there's likely to be less of a learning curve.



According to a study conducted by Syracuse University, more than 50% of veterans have a desire to pursue a different career than what they did in the military. If you are transitioning from the military soon and are wondering how to find a career that may not align with your military occupation, Mike Wood, Orion's Southeast Recruiting Manager, offers some advice on how to do just that, including how to network, build your resume, and additional interview preparation.

Mike first outlined the importance of knowing how to network. "This is the best way to go to learn about different careers and industries," Mike explained. He urged military veterans to use informational interviews as a tool to help determine the type of career that would be the best fit personally. Online training and certifications, such as Six Sigma, can also be helpful to learn about the field, and also qualify you for any potential positions, he added. "Get the word out that you are willing to learn, and be humble," Mike advised.

The next step in securing a job for military officers or military technicians that are different from your military occupation is to build your resume. Focus on your strengths, which may not necessarily be linked to your military occupation. "This will help you figure out what you're best at," Mike stated. Highlight your achievements and performance, no matter the military occupation. "If you are consistently a top performer, hiring managers will notice that," Mike explained.

Once you have secured an interview for a position widely different from your military experience, Mike advised that you need to fully understand the role you are interviewing for, and be very familiar with your own background. "From there, you can connect the dots between your strengths and accomplishments, and the key roles of the position," he explained. Highlight your relevant experience, have confidence, and focus on the fact that you are a fit for the role, even if you do not meet all the requirements," Mike added.

Mike offered some lasting advice for junior military officers and military technicians looking for a change from their military occupation as you navigate your transition into the civilian workforce: know your key skills and strengths, understand how those will align with the position, and present yourself as a top performer.