Careers for Your Skill Sets

I’m coming home, I’ve done my time…

SCC Leaving MilitaryNow you’re faced with integrating back into the civilian work force. That can be an intimidating task for some strange reason. But you have to ask yourself: “Why is that a problem?”

You’re an expert in so many ways; you have training that exceeds most available in the civilian world. In important measurable ways you are a superior candidate for just about any job available. The last thing you should lack is confidence!

The biggest stigma holding veterans back is the belief that military experience does not transfer to the business world. This is simply untrue. […] They have exercised dedication and commitment; worked as a team toward a common goal; supervised and motivated people; and developed the confidence to lead and make calculated decisions. Their experience is highly applicable in the business world.–John A. Meyer, Chief Executive Officer, Arise Virtual Solutions Inc.

Careers for Military Experiences

You probably have experience supervising and directing troops. You could be a training and development manager that pulls down a salary of almost $100,000 a year in air-conditioned comfort. Certainly a Production Manager in industry is well within your skill set for $90,000 a year, and you get your own office!

Were you in the Corps of Engineers digging tunnels, building bridges, and putting up housing? You could be a Construction Project Manager that pulls down over $80,000 a year. Your organization skills are superb; managing work schedules, completion dates, and organizing deliveries of materials would be right up your alley.

A […] key aptitude for a great project manager is strong coordination skills. Not only must they be able to budget and schedule their own tasks, they must be able to keep everyone involved in the project focused, on budget and on time. Precise attention to detail allows a great project manager to complete phases of a project on time and on budget.–

Another kind of engineer makes software, and in the civilian world that’s worth about $85,000 a year. Even as an Administrative Services Manager you can pull down over $81,000 a year—pretty good for the company clerk, right?

If you spent a lot of time installing communications equipment in the field, wouldn’t it be nice to do a similar job in an air-conditioned building, wearing a clean business suit that will never see a speck of mud? Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers collect about $55,000 a year for that.

It goes on. If you’re the hands-on engineering type, you can still get your hands dirty for almost $51,000 per year as an Industrial Engineering Technician.

And there’s no doubt that you’re a paperwork expert! Anyone who’s been in any branch of the service is a paperwork expert. If you know how to file and you’re terrific with following procedure, you could be a Paralegal pulling down $47,000 a year.

SCC Truck DriverIf you need some alone-time to gather your thoughts and make some plans, the trucking industry needs 100,000 new drivers each year with an annual salary of $40,000. That’s a nice low pressure job where you get to see the country.

But if you need action, if you need to be on the go and ready to help, you might consider being an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) working with the county rescue service, an ambulance service, the fire department, or even in a hospital emergency room, trauma center, or triage. You should easily make over $30,000 a year, and in some cases much more.

Your Experience and Skills Do Translate

Whether you’re a helicopter pilot or a jet fighter pilot with a crystal clear career path ahead of you in civil aviation, or from some of the more conventional services mentioned above, there is very little standing in your way between a long and successful (and profitable) career in the civilian world.

If anything, you’re overqualified, which should make many of these jobs uncomplicated and simple for you. Your real challenges come from another area.

Fitting In

I’ve worked with military personnel before and you know the greatest difficulty I’ve faced? Getting them to relax and not reverting to staring straight ahead whenever they feel a bit out of their depth.

Seriously people, the one habit you have to break from being in the military is that the business world works on input from everybody. It’s far less of a top-down structure, and more like a group of reasonably intelligent people reaching a consensus. It’s a much slower process than you’re used to, so give it some time to work, and be prepared to participate. It may feel strange at first, but your particular perspective is valuable; you have a lot to contribute and a great deal of knowledge to share.

I hope I’ve broadened your perspective on the possibilities that exist. There are many, many prospects out there for you, and they’d all be lucky to have you.

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