How to Figure Out What Kind of Job You Want After Military Service



Time and time again, you hear people talking about how tough it is for Veterans to figure out what kind of job they want. Is that you?


Why is that? Is it the fact that every military job has a specific name and you cannot seem to figure out the civilian equivalent of that job? Do you struggle with translating your skills into terms employers will understand? Maybe you just haven’t given much thought to what you do well. Or, maybe you just don’t know enough about the non-military work world to make a career decision.


Let’s look at 5 things that will help you figure out what kind of civilian job you want after your military service:


  1. What keeps you awake at night? Do you find yourself thinking about better ways to perform tasks at work, increasing efficiencies, or creating a new method or tool that will make your job easier? Which parts of your job make you do the “mental gymnastics” that you enjoy?
  2. What tasks do people approach you for assistance? Are you the GO-TO Person for something at work? Do people say, “This is a job for ______________(fill your name in the blank).” People depend on you for something, and that something might be a clue as to what you might be extremely good at in the civilian world. Could you find a job that plays to your natural strengths, keeping in mind that job might be different from your military position?
  3. What do your friends and family say? If you’ve ever gone on leave or vacation and spent some time with your buddies or relatives, you’ll probably get asked if you plan to make the Military a career OR they’ll ask what you plan to do once you get out. Listen closely. If you’ve ever hinted that you’ve always wanted to be a __________, they’ll certainly remind you. People who care about you want the best for you. They pay close attention to you and can offer suggestions based on things you’ve said that you might not remember. Bounce some ideas off them too. You might find clarity in discovering the perfect job by talking to those who know you well.
  4. Get in front of someone who’s doing the job you think you want. You can read job descriptions all day long and well into the night. You can submit resumes until you get carpal tunnel. In many cases, until you actually talk to someone who is currently doing the job you’re interested in, you won’t know enough to make an informed decision on pursuing that career. Most people would be more than happy to help a Veteran learn more about a particular career field. Just ask! Then listen up!
  5. Do an internet search for “Veteran Jobs” and explore what’s out there. Do a search for “Military Skills Translator” and see what these tools can do. Go to the Transition Assistance Program at your military installation. Find a recruiter that helps companies hire Veterans. These are just few things you can do to zone in on the right job.

Lastly, the time to start thinking about this is NOW! If you want to figure out the right job for YOU, now is the time to get started!


I hope this list of five things helps you generate some ideas as to what meaningful civilian career is best for you.


Don’t delay, make plans today.


Related story:
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Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank You for reading, commenting, and sharing!

I am not trying to sound like someone who have a high level of vanity, I feel I am too smart for my own good! the hypothetical questions that were asked in the beginning of this article are questions I ask myself often. I always say to myself that I want a job that fits my personality; rather than a job I must tolerate. I went to see a therapist regarding my son; I realized that being a therapist could be good for me because I am a systematic, opionionated, and a analytical person. Right now, I am taking college to work up to that. Thanks for the advice on here and feed back is welcomed!!!!
Community Manager
Community Manager

sansoo: Thank You for your comments and sharing on Going Civilian! You just never know when or where that moment of clarity will come from - the instant you know you've found the job or career that fits perfectly for you!


Great to hear you've asked yourself the right questions in order to arrive at a path that works best for you! 


Well stated sansoo! Thank You for being a part of the Community!