Combating Veteran Unemployment

Chazz Pratt
Occasional Contributor



Each month, Americans hear the news of the current Unemployment Rates. For those of us who served, those numbers take on added meaning. Recent historical unemployment numbers show Veterans spending much more time in the Unemployment line than their Non-Veteran peers.


The good news is that the Unemployment Rate for Veterans appears to be dropping. How long this will last is anybody’s guess, but here’s a list of things you can do that might help you remain in the ranks of the EMPLOYED.


What You Can Do To Help Combat Unemployment


  1. You take full advantage of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).
  2. You learn to speak plain English again. (Or other languages other than military jargon as required by the employer.)
  3. You quantify the information on your resume in order to show the impact you’re capable of making.
  4. You start networking now! Get outside your normal circle of military buddies and meet some civilians who can help you land a great job.
  5. You successfully transition into your own business and create jobs.
  6. You convince your chain of command to support your transition.
  7. You figure out a way to juggle mission requirements and job interviews.
  8. You discover the job that’s best for you and not necessarily follow the crowd.
  9. You get certified in order to meet the requirements of the job you want.
  10. You get the education you need in order to remain competitive.
  11. You learn how to fit in at your new company.
  12. You decide whether you want to repeat things you did during your military service or not. (Example: You were in charge of successfully leading many. Now you want to be an “army of one.)
  13. You figure out that the entry level position you’re applying for actually leads to a promising career path.
  14. You join the reserves so you can still do what you love.
  15. You decide to take a job at a place that hires lots of Veterans so that the transition will be a bit easier.
  16. You decide to take a job at a place that hires very few Veterans, but you’re ready to assimilate.
  17. You make the mental shift from life in uniform to life as a civilian.
  18. You overcome negative perceptions of Veterans by way of consistent outstanding performance.
  19. You decide to fully understand what civilian life is all about by keeping an open mind to unfamiliarity you’re going to face.
  20. You set realistic expectations for yourself in your new job/career.
  21. You figure out how should AND if you should draw upon your military experience. (More on that in a future article.)
  22. You find a person at your new job that can help you carefully manage your career.
  23. You get acquainted with the promotion systems at your new job and how different they are from your military experience.
  24. You consider how your new career decisions affect you AND your family.
  25. You commit to always doing your best, seeking advice, and making wise career choices along the way.

What other things do you think Veterans need to do in order for Veteran Unemployment to reach zero? Whose responsibility is it? What other considerations must be considered besides the Veteran?