PHASE 1 - PREPARE
- Schedule to attend, along with your spouse, a Transition Assistance Program (TAP) course at least 6 months prior to terminal leave. All Transition GPS courses and curriculum can be viewed here.
- Some of the Services have their own transition programs like the Army’s Soldier for Life program and Marine Corps' Marine for Life. These websites have a library of resources and benefits that can aid in the transition.
- Search for “Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits” for your state, city, or county when you are deciding where to move. Many have extensive websites to lay out all of your benefits.
- The location of VA health care facilities may be an important factor in your decision-making. Visit their guide here.
- Many Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) like Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion, and Disabled America Veterans (DAV) can help you with your benefits.
- Find a veteran service organization to help you file your claim here.
- If you have disabilities, review the Institute for Veterans and Military Families’ (IVMF) guide here.
- A Joint Service Transcript will be important in translating your skills and obtaining college credit. Click here for a free transcript.
- Several online tools translate military service into civilian terms. Those tools include Hiring Our Heroes’ Resume Engine, Military.com’s Skills Translator, and the VA’s translator. In addition to using these tools, ask a civilian mentor or career coach to assist you with skills translation.
- Understand your interests and how your skills may translate to the civilian sector. Complete an “Interest profile” at mynextmove.org or hirepurpose.org.
- The VA and DOL also offer free career counseling. Click here to locate your local VA office or American Job Center to schedule an appointment.
- Consider whether you are better suited to own your own business. IVMF has tremendous opportunities for entrepreneurial minded veterans including training programs and other resources.
- The VA’s Veteran Employment Center is the government portal for transition planning and resource guide
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s 100,000 Jobs Mission has a “Transition Field Guide” that serves as a deliberate planning guide.
- Research jobs by industry and location at Hiring Our Heroes' Fast Track and mynextmove.org. Other resources include USAA’s Best Places for Veterans.
- Connect with one of the nearly 2,500 American Job Centers (AJCs) nationwide to assist you in in researching a specific job market. Find your local AJC here.
- Organizations like Hire Heroes USA provide employment transition workshops, personalized career coaching and employment preparation counseling.
- A mentor is essential to the planning and transition process. Organizations like American Corporate Partners can connect you with civilian mentors at no cost.
- Higher education is a great option for veterans with the GI Bill. You can review your educational needs at the DOD MWR Library and/or look for schools using the VA GI Bill School Locat or. Join a Student Veterans of America chapter once you get on campus.
- VETNET is a platform developed by Google and provides three tracks of information for transitioning service members: basic training on resume development; career connection and industry specific information; and entrepreneurship.
- The DoD Skillsbridge also connects employers with transitioning service members.
- Make sure that you are financially ready. Companies like Bank of America, Capital One, Citi, First Command, and USAA provide financial planning tools for service members and their families. Conduct an internet search for “financial planning” and “military transition” for good information.
PHASE 2 – TRANSITION
- The key to a successful transition depends on a veteran’s ability to brand his or her service in civilian terms. Programs like Hiring Our Heroes’ Resume Engine can help you make that translation.
- A good resume also plays a key role in establishing your value proposition. Resume tips are available at Military.com, the VA’s Veterans Employment Center, and DOL’s CareerOneStop.
- Some non-profits and government agencies provide great one-on-one career guidance and support. Organizations like Hire Heroes USA and Corporate America Supports You, as well as DOL’s American Job Centers, can help you build your personal brand.
Marketing and Networking
- Build a profile on LinkedIn and connect with those you already know. For good advice on how to create a powerful LinkedIn profile, search for “LinkedIn military profiles.” Use your LinkedIn profile to search for employees with whom you share common experiences. Those experiences may be related to your military service, personal relationships (friends and family), and educational institutions. Don't be afraid to ask others for advice.
- Find and recruit a mentor to assist you in crafting an effective resume, building your personal brand, networking, and marketing yourself to potential employers. American Corporate Partners and e-Mentor are great no-cost resources.
- Use online networking platforms such as RallyPoint, LinkedIn, UniteUS, or Facebook to find veterans in the geographic region in which you want to live. Contact these veterans and request their assistance in helping you to build a broader network.
- Consider joining a member-based veteran serving non-profit organization such as Team Red White and Blue, Iraq-Afghanistan Veterans of America, or Team Rubicon, among others. Explore and utilize the multitude of tools these organizations offer and talk to fellow members about how they navigated their transition.
- Search for jobs online at the VA’s Veterans Employment Center, Monster.com, Idealist.org, and Indeed.com, or usajobs.gov for government positions.
- Search veteran-specific sites like the 100,000 Jobs Mission, Blackstone, or Military.com. Leverage DOL Job Centers, state and local chambers of commerce, and state veteran employment initiatives.
- Attend hiring fairs hosted by Hiring Our Heroes, and follow up with the recruiters you meet.
- Recruiting firms may also be a good option for junior military officers (JMOs) and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) with strong academic credentials. Firms like Cameron Brooks, Bradley-Morris, Orion International, and Lucas place thousands of transitioning JMOs and NCOs each year.
- Use Glassdoor to understand what it is like to work at certain organizations – pay, culture, employee satisfaction, and that can help inform what questions to ask in an interview.
PHASE 3 – LEAD
- Some skills training programs integrate education in the “valued” skills necessary to succeed in the corporate environment. IVMF’s Veterans Career Transition Program is another great resource.
- Many companies have veteran affinity groups, like Disney’s Heroes Work Here, designed to bridge the transition gap and provide mentors inside the company that can be invaluable in your journey.
- Some non-profits can foster a sense of purpose and community connectedness – VFW, the American Legion, Team RWB, Team Rubicon, and Mission Continues are a few. Find veteran serving non-profit organizations in your community at UniteUs.com.
Lead and Succeed
- Some employers provide employees an annual budget for professional development workshops or you can use your GI Bill for additional courses to continue your professional development.
- The National Resource Directory and UniteUS can help connect you to a complete range of transition resources and services for you and your family.
- Consider serving as a mentor or volunteer with non-profit organizations to help fellow service members during their transition.