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CHART YOUR COURSE TO AN IDEAL CAREER FIELD TRANSITION GUIDE


After years in uniform, it can be tough to know what career fi eld will be the right fi t. Retired offi cers who have moved to government, corporate, and technology jobs have mapped out their experience for your situational awareness. — By Senior Staff Writer Gina Harkins


Government


Do you like to know who's in charge?


Like the military, the government tends to have a clear command structure. Top-level leadership and mission agendas change with every new presidential administra- tion, though.


Corporate


Finding out who has authority and infl uence in a large company can take time. “In the military, you’ve got the leaders’ pictures on the wall,” says Brig. Gen. Carol Eggert, USA (Ret), senior vice president of military and veteran aff airs with Comcast NBC Uni- versal. “That’s not the way it is in most large companies.”


Looking for a chance to continue serving?


A government job might be the right fi t. Col. Carl Gramlick, USAF (Ret), director of the Department of Homeland Security’s operations coordina- tion division, says it’s rewarding to assist Americans during storms or other emergencies.


Is it important that your colleagues understand the military lifestyle?


Are you up for a complicated application process?


There are a lot of veterans who work for federal and state gov- ernments, but it’s still important to explain your skills in ways that connect with civilians.


The government’s hiring pro- cess can be daunting. The key is tailoring your résumé for every new job, Gramlick says. Find key words in the description, and use them in your résumé so your skills match with those the job requires. Veterans do get prefer- ence in some cases, though.


54 | MILITARY OFFICER | January 2018


You might not associate big corporations with com- munity eff orts, but most big companies have an active corporate-social group, Eggert says. “It’s good to feel good about the work they do in the social sector.”


Some corporations have strong military talent programs so people on staff are well-versed in knowing how to talk to and work with veterans, reservists, and military spouses.


Large companies can be mili- tary-friendly, especially those with established veter- an-hiring programs. That can help during the application and interviewing processes because managers under- stand military skills.


Technology


You might fi nd more of a team approach in a tech company. “You have a boss, but ... who you’re actually working with and those grading your work, so to speak, can be 10 diff erent people a year,” says Col. Wyn Elder, USAF (Ret), director of strategic initiatives and business development with Apple Government.


Tech companies don’t always have a lot of veterans on staff , but the jobs do off er a chance at problem


solving. That can be rewarding because the public can benefi t directly from your work.


This can be a challenge in the tech fi eld, Elder says. You’re typically competing against candidates who’ve worked in that industry for years, and there’s not always knowledge about military culture.


For some tech jobs, managers might have little experience hiring veterans. That makes


translating your skill sets on your résumé and in interviews really important. Elder suggests looking at your résumé and asking: “Does it look great for a general audience? Is it going to stump people?”


IMAGES: ICONS, KANATE/SHUTTERSTOCK; PHOTOS, JENNIFER MILBRETT


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