Note: I may earn money or products from the companies, products, or links mentioned in this post.
Searching for a new job is never easy, particularly if you’re transitioning from a military career into civilian life. You might feel overwhelmed with how the job market has changed or unsure about how to get your foot in the door. Rest assured that you’re not alone when it comes to making this transition. Many have gone before you, and lots of organizations exist to help make the process as smooth as possible. Your first step is to avoid falling for the misconceptions that exist. I’m going to go over some of the most common myths concerning the job hunt and the reality behind them. By overcoming these obstacles, you can find a great civilian job.
Myth #1: No one wants to hire veterans specifically.
Truth: In realty, certain companies do give preference to veterans and want to fill a certain amount of their positions with veterans. They receive incentives and other bonuses from the government for hiring veterans, not to mention the fact many employers value the skills and services you can bring to the table after a great military career. If you want to find out more about connecting with these types of employers, check out sites like VeteranJobListings.com. This site allows you to browse companies that need veterans on staff, and you don’t even need to sign up for the site in order to find a great job.
Myth #2: I shouldn’t bother looking for a company that cares because practically no one appreciates their employees.
Truth: This might have been true in the old days of unfair wages, poor working conditions and unregulated business practices. But we live in a world where employers now value their workers because they recognize that good talent leads to better business. Companies have been offering more and more incentives for new talent like flexible schedules, telecommuting and sign-on bonuses. They’ve also made applying to jobs easier by using platforms such as JIBE, a mobile recruiting company. This technology allows you to upload a resume and supporting documentation right from your smartphone while on-the-go.
Myth #3: I understand that there are organizations out there to help me find a job, but I won’t be able to speak with an individual person for help.
Truth: After 9/11, the government realized that veterans needed access to personal, one-on-one counseling and career services so they established a program called the Gold Card. With this service, you can visit a One-Stop Career Center to find help on all aspects of the job hunting process. Whether you need skills testing, interview practice or an Individual Development Plan, you can find what you need on an individual basis.
Myth #4: If the company asks for my salary requirements, I should present a low-ball number to get my foot in the door.
Truth: Many employers are shying away from asking direct salary questions until much later in the hiring process. That said, if a company asks you for a salary requirement, then give an honest answer even if you think it’s too high. Contrary to popular belief, companies aren’t playing a game when they ask this question. They want to know how much you’re worth, and if you give them an unrealistically low number, then they know you’re just playing games. Instead, offer a range based on what others in your area with your level of experience are making. That way, the company knows you did your research and can accommodate your request.
Emma is a mid 20-something year old with a passion for life, love, fitness, and helping others. She loves to be active and get involved in as many sport and community activities as possible. Emma is currently studying to become a Career & Life Coach, and loves to network with people from around the world! Check out Emma’s blog at smileasithappens.blogspot.com