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9 Things that will Help You to Succeed as a Transitioning Military Service Member to Civilian Life

The above picture is of a transitioning military service member shaking hands with a civilian.

9 Things that will Help You to Succeed as a Transitioning Military Service Member to Civilian Life

1. Maximize Transition Assistance. The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides information, tools, and training to ensure service members, and their spouses, are prepared for the next step in civilian life. The DOL VETS Apprenticeship Pilot – launched in April 2020 – will provide counseling and apprenticeship placement services to transitioning service members (TSMs) and their spouses who are interested in exploring apprenticeship as a post-separation career pathway.

Second, The Gold Card is a treatment card that provides you with clinically required treatment for all medical conditions.

You can also access a range of services and support.

The Gold Card has been redesigned and is also known as a Veteran Gold Card or a Repatriation Health Card for all conditions.

2. What are Your Strengths?  Use the Veterans Job Matcher to find civilian careers that might be a good match for your military skills. You’ll get information on matching occupations including wages, education, outlook, and a link to current local job postings.

The National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI) provides specialized training and professional skills enhancement for veterans’ service providers staff. Focusing primarily on training individuals who help veterans secure long-term employment, NVTI is committed to ensuring that those who are tasked with this critical responsibility have the knowledge and tools necessary to perform their jobs effectively. 21 Strengths Arising from Military Experience.

3.What Interests You?  Whatever you do, you want to make sure that you do what you enjoy doing. What interests you. Make a list of activities that you enjoy and that motivate you. Look for work that incorporates at least some of these activities. Transitioning service members should not rush into just anything. At least not right off the bat. Entering the civilian workforce is entering new territory for you. so look at your options.

4. Military Veterans, Research Civilian Jobs. The first thing to do is to identify your interests and skill strengths. Once you have done that, research how your military skills will translate into a civilian job. You don't want to fall into an unfulfilling and unsatisfactory job so make sure you conduct thorough civilian workforce research.

The more you research for the appropriate job for you, the happier you'll be, and the more successful.

5. As a Military Veteran you have Access to Additional Training/Education. Your research may tell you that you are in need of additional training to pursue the career that most interests you. You may need to go back to school to attain a degree or a certification. Can you delay entering the workforce so that you can get the education you need? Only you can answer that. It is a personal decision.

The good news for all military veterans is that there is a GI Bill that provides educational benefits. GI Bill benefits help you pay for college, graduate school, and training programs. Since 1944, the GI Bill has helped qualifying Veterans and their family members get money to cover all or some of the costs for school or training. Learn more about GI Bill benefits below—and how to apply for them.

If you applied for and were awarded Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits, your GI Bill Statement of Benefits will show you how much of your benefits you’ve used and how much you have left to use. View your GI Bill Statement of Benefits.

6. Drop the Military Slang when searching for a civilian job.  This must be done both on your resume and in your interview.

O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more! Keyword or O*NET-SOC Code: Browse groups of similar occupations to explore careers. Check out Military to Civilian Crosswalk, it shows military occupational classification codes to similar civilian positions.

7.Write a Professional Resume. Now that you've gone through the previous steps, it's time to tackle writing your job-search resume.

Your resume is essential, and I even would say critical in your job search. This is it. Studies have shown that hiring managers know if they want to move to the next step with a person after the first 18 seconds of reading their resume. You must be Clear, Concise, and Stand Out to garner the hiring manager's attention. Our organization has a free resume builder that you can access at

8. Conduct research for employers who have initiatives to hire a military veteran. There are plenty out there. Federal contractors who are companies who are contracted with the federal government are required by the U.S. Department of Labor to hire former military members. With this kind of approach, you will have a greater chance of landing that civilian job.

9. How Do You Conduct Your Job-Search?  First of all, you cannot simply use one source. The first place for former military members to go is to friends and family. Networking works well. Your former armed forces buddies may be able to help. Put yourself out there on social media. Proudly display your military service and lets those who follow you and more know that you are a military veteran entering the civilian workforce. By all means, please don't forget transition assistance programs.

Finally, there are job boards. Our Job Board, Job Opportunities for Disabled Veterans, or boasts thousands of new jobs daily from employers who have initiatives to hire military veterans. So what are you waiting for? Register, conduct your job search, and find yourself that civilian job.

10 Tips to Get Back to Work After a Long Absence

The above picture is of 2 men shaking hands. One of the men is a veteran in uniform.

10 Tips to Get Back to Work After a Long Absence

When you sign up for the service, you don't think much about what comes after. You're consumed by the excitement of standing up for your country and the friends and family that you love.

But, no matter how careful people are, many veterans return from military service with an injury or disability that challenges their current lifestyle. Trying to figure out how to get back to work once you have been injured can be very difficult.

But, it is possible. With the right resume that details your work experience and attitude, you'll be able to build the career of your dreams. The journey to your new future starts with taking the first step. Learn how to get back to work here.

1. Avoid Common Resume Mistakes

When you're a disabled veteran who has a primarily athletic military career, it may be difficult to know what to list on your resume. You may need some career advice. After all, your career break did set you back.

But there are so many other aspects that go into any job search. The key is focusing on the parts of the job that you can still do. You can learn more about common resume mistakes here.

2. Let Everyone Know That You're Conducting a Job Search

If you have been taking a career break for a long period of time, then many of the friends and family members who would help you find a job may not know that you are looking. When you're ready to transition to a job in civilian work, reach out and let people know what you're doing.

Call up your contacts from while you were in the service as well as the teachers and mentors that you had before the service. Explain to them your career break situation. You never know where your next job is going to come from.

3. Prepare a Good Pitch

When you go into a job interview with potential employers, you're selling yourself to that particular company. You have to demonstrate to them that you are capable of doing the work that they need.

Try to come up with a sales pitch for yourself that allows you to demonstrate to a company how your skills could add value. Practice this pitch often by yourself. Then, present this pitch to some of your friends and have them ask you follow-up questions so that you can work through any of the sore spots before it's showtime. Take your time with your pitch. It shouldn't be rushed and it should sound natural.

4. Take Some Classes to Increase Your Skill Set

To reach your career goal, you may need to update your skills set. This can take some time so you would want to start as soon as possible. Make sure that any skill upgrade is specific to the work that you want to do in the career of your choice.

In today's world, there are a ton of different ways to learn a new skill. You can take a class in college, pick up a course online, or venture into a classroom in your city to learn with a group of random individuals.

Whatever way you choose to learn, just make sure you're expanding your skillset specifically to the work you want to do. Do not waste your precious time. Working on these skill sets takes time and energy. Take classes in things that will reshape your vision and priorities so that you can head confidently in your new direction.

5. Consider a Part-Time Work

You may not be able to make full-time money doing the job of your dreams, but if you start off with part-time work, you can always work your way up. 

Many ex-military members hesitate to take part-time work since they are used to the stable security of a consistent paycheck that can support their family. But remember, your career is a journey and if you want to be in a competitive field, it's better to be at the first spot on the board than not even starting at all. 

Try to avoid the temptation to take a job you hate just to earn enough hours unless you absolutely have to. Part-time work is a temporary solution that can help you bridge the gap. Working in a position that you love if possible is never wrong.

6. Mentally Prepare for the Job Search Process

The job search process can be a long and stressful one for many people. But, you only need one company to tell you yes in order to be successful. 

Take time during the process to check in with yourself and restore your energy levels. Take the time to worry about your mental health and work through the challenges of the job search with confidence and grace.

7. Get Involved With Professional Career Circles

There are many different professional career groups that will allow you to sign up and become a member. These groups give you access to happy hour events, networking socials, and conventions that will allow you to meet people who are interested in the career of work as you.

By getting involved with a group of people, you will be more likely to come across opportunities in your career choice and hear about jobs before they're officially posted giving you a better chance at having your resume stick out. You will be working the crowd so to speak.

8. Get a Survival Job for the Interim

If you have a ton of pressure to make a paycheck immediately, then go ahead and job search for an interim job that pays well. That way, you will be more able to calmly focus on your true career. If you seem desperate for a job, it can come off poorly to potential employers.

9. Consider Approaching a Business That Hires Veterans

There are many businesses that understand the struggle of trying to transition from the military world to the civilian one. Try to reach out to one of these businesses to see if they have any opportunities. You can find them by doing a local Google search. It doesn't take long to do.

If they don't have anything available now, check back again soon. New doors are opening every day. Working for a company that favors veterans is a good thing.

10. Start Your Own Business

Working for yourself is the ultimate freedom. You don't have to convince anyone of your vision except for you, that is until you go to sell something. 

Consider starting your own business doing something you love. Consider what your hobbies are and the ways that you could make money off of them.

Get Back to Work

When you leave the military on disability, the idea of getting back to work may not occur get back to work 

Check out our listings of jobs for disabled veterans to help you find a position that works for your pocketbook and lifestyle.

9 Different Types of Freelance Jobs for Disabled Veterans

The above is the Job Opportunities for Disabled Veterans Logo

9 Different Types of Freelance Jobs for Disabled Veterans

Roughly 250,000 enlisted service members leave the military every year. If you are among these brave former soldiers, you know from personal experience that transitioning from the military to regular civilian life can be an extremely challenging process.

This is especially so if one happens to be a disabled veteran. The unfair stigma of having a disability is just icing on the proverbial cake.

Having to disclose a disability to potential employees can be the scariest stage of an interview. And while you have a set of very specific skills and values thanks to your military training, civilian workplaces can be insensitive to a veteran's specific needs and can undervalue your military identity. 

So if the idea of signing up for a corporate hierarchy makes you shudder, we would like to provide you with another option - freelance careers. Freelance workers account for more than 16 million workers in the US workforce and its for good reason that the numbers grow every year. 

So here's a roundup of nine types of freelance jobs that have been selected specifically for disabled veterans. 


If you have a way with words, writing may be just your thing. The projects are endless - you could become a copywriter, a technical writer, a ghostwriter, or an article writer. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection and you are set! 

The benefit of working as an online writer is that technical training is almost never needed. If you sign up for a good company, they can train you to fit their standards. Freelancing instead of going through an agency is also a great way to start out. In either circumstance, having a command of the language and having good time management is the key to success.  


Naturally a perfectionist? Then editing may work for you. Proofreading and editing online articles or pieces of writing before they go in for print is a real job available for all levels of skill and experience.

As long as you have a good eye for detail, you will be able to make a success of it! 


Military service has developed some serious leadership skills in you. Teaching will make great use of that skill. Teaching can be for a specific subject matter that you personally excel at - math, science or even musical instruments. 

English speakers also have the opportunity to teach English as a second language to kids and adults.  In either situation, the job pays well and allows you to watch others grow and develop in a skill or field. What could be more rewarding?


More and more businesses are starting to outsource their accounting and bookkeeping work. If you have some schooling in this field and some prior experience, this could be the right job for you! 


Due to the army offering incentives to those who learn or speak another language, many veterans can speak multiple languages. If this is you, translation work is in high demand! 

Anything from legal documents to novels to medical records requires translation, so all that is left is to contact an agency and start typing! 


Transcriptionists are needed for the medical, legal and even entertainment fields. If you can type fast, like repetitive work, and have an eye for detail, this job may be the right fit for you. 

Customer Service Representative 

This is another job where being bilingual is a sought after skill. If you love problem-solving, and if you are naturally outgoing, this is a job you could really enjoy. 

Customer service representatives do everything from providing product information to taking reservations. The job can change with every call and therefore is exciting and rewarding work. 

Travel Agent

Many veterans have been able to travel because of their work with the military. It's one of the many perks that come with serving in the forces. So if you have experience traveling, especially if you are familiar with the languages and cultures of a particular continent, being a travel agent can help you put those skills to good use. 

Planning business trips and vacations from the comfort of your home has never been easier. Knowing that you have personally experienced life in the places you send your clients gives you an added layer of credibility and experience in an industry that can easily cheat people. 


The military life is like no other. It's exciting, and at times terrifying. There are many people who want to know just what it is like. So why not blog about it?

And if you aren't too keen on sharing your personal experiences to the internet - which isn't for everyone - you can blog about literally anything! 

Have a specific skill? Share it. You may be surprised at how you can monetize something as simple as your own personality. 

Why These Types of Freelance Jobs Can Help You

Freelance work isn't for everyone. But for a disabled military veteran, they offer some serious benefits in their favor. 

Freedom of Choice

After years spent following orders, freelance work allows you to set your own pace and choose what fits you best. You can base your work entirely on what interests you. 

Flexibility of Location

Every single one of these jobs requires just two things: an internet connection and an electronic device. That's it! No offices and no commutes to work are necessary.

You can work from anywhere in the world as long as your job is done well and on time. 

Learn More About Freelance Work 

Your military experience has taught you self-discipline and has built up a strong work ethic. Combining these admirable qualities with what is needed to succeed at freelancing - you are already halfway to success! 

The best freelance jobs are out there! Now all you need to do is look for them.

We have created a job board containing many of these types of freelance jobs specifically for vets looking for work. Be sure to check it out today



Starting a New Private Security Job? What to Expect from a Veteran's Perspective

The picture above is a sign with a black background and the letters "New Job" on it. The color of the "New Job" changes from blue to purple and back again.

New Private Security Job? What to Expect: a Veteran's Perspective

Given that there are nearly 400,000 unemployed veterans in the U.S., it's hard for many of them to find the right job for their skill set. However, a private security job is just the thing that could help veterans get a job where they feel like they're able to contribute something special. If you're looking at starting a new job in this field, you might not know what to expect.

Here's everything you need to know about getting a job in the security industry.

The Ideal Candidate

If you're looking for a job as a veteran, there are a lot of options that make use of your skills but few that do so as much as working in private security. Your day-to-day life will depend on the job you get, but if you've had the right training, you can get to the top fast.

While some security guards wear a uniform, others will be seated in an office looking at monitoring and handling security equipment. At a large enough facility, you might be tasked with managing all the security technology needed for watching the comings and goings at the facility. If you're comfortable with this technology, you'll be a welcome addition to the team.

Facilities hiring security desk workers are going to need you to know your ID. You'll have to know the difference between a counterfeit ID and a legitimate one. You might have to work night hours or might be asked to handle busy daytime hours where there are deliveries, metal detectors, and unexpected events.

If you've worked patrols in your military career, you could be well suited for this role as someone who walks the perimeter of the facility. There are solitary shifts perfect for introverted people who like to work on their own.

The Earnings Vary

While many security guards earn well above minimum wage, expect to earn at least $30,000 a year. For positions that require a lot of safety training or take a lot of risks, you'll earn much more.

Given that most of the jobs available don't require you to have a college degree, you won't earn as much as you would with more technical jobs that require specialized training.

The more skills you need for a job and the more technical it is, the more you'll end up getting paid. If you're protecting a valuable facility or a clientele who are high earners, expect to make a little bit more as a security guard.

The salary for many security jobs isn't very high. That's because the barrier for entry is low, and most of the positions don't have you doing too much. You're there mostly as a deterrent to trouble or intrusion when you work at a college campus or at a typical office park.

At the end of the day, much of your job is knowing who to call when things get hairy. Since you don't have the authority or training to act as a police officer, you'll be the one to call them or to call the fire department if something happens.

As you get better at your job or take additional training for certifications, you'll end up making a higher rate, especially if you're willing to work overtime.

What's Expected and What You Get for It

Depending on where you work, you might not get a salary. The few security jobs that offer you healthcare are hard to find and have a high bar to entry. If you're a combat veteran, you get five years of VA health care guaranteed if you weren't injured in duty.

If benefits are essential or if you're starting a family, search for a position where benefits are offered.

Speaking of family, you'll have to look carefully for the right job if you want to spend time with your family. Some jobs require you to be out of the house from the time your kids get home from school until the wee hours of the morning. Ask about shifts when you're in search of a position to fit your lifestyle.

The more training and experience you have, the more you'll be able to determine your own schedule.

Site security doesn't often require you to travel. However, if you work as part of a team contracted to work for a private company or the government, you might be asked to leave home for a while. Thankfully, most labor laws require you to be paid for even those hours you spend in transit.

Moving Up

One of the best ways to move up in the world of security is to get licenses and certifications. Starting off as an entry-level security guard is challenging if you've got a lot of training. It's frustrating to know that you could be doing more than you are but with the help of certifications, you'll be able to prove you know what you do.

Get a permit to carry a firearm, and you'll find that your private security jobs are going to open up wider. You'll unlock high paying positions when you're able to defend yourself, a facility, or a person working at the site. Being a bodyguard or working for an armored car company is a much better paying job than sitting behind a desk and checking IDs.

However, you need to be prepared for anything with a job like this and if you're looking for something relaxing following your military service, consider carefully.

A Private Security Job Offers a Lot

Depending on the kind of private security job that you get, it could be a challenge for you to ever feel bored. You could be running around a facility all day putting out literal or figurative fires. You could be traveling the globe to protect a high-powered CEO or public figure.

If you're still in the resume writing process of your job hunt, check out our tips to get the most out of your experience on paper.

Experience As an Asset: How Your Military Experience Can Help Your Civilian Job Search

The above picture is of the same man. On the left, he is dressed in civilian clothes and on the right, he is dressed in military clothes.

How Your Military Experience Can Help Your Civilian Job Search

You've fulfilled your duty to your country. Now, you're ready to go home, spend time with your family, and turn your military experience into a rewarding civilian career. 

But for veterans looking to join civilian industries, it can be tricky to figure out how your military experience transitions into employment terms that an ordinary person can understand. 

Here's how you can make your experience an asset in your civilian job search, and how to translate those skills into your job interview.  


One of the biggest traits employers look for? Teamwork. 

Guess what the military has in spades? 

There's no greater team out there than the military. Without working together, supporting your team members, and relying on your fellow soldiers to have your back, the military would fall apart. 

You can use your military experience to show that you have proven skills as a team player. Regardless of the position, you're looking for in the civilian job market, being able to work in a team is an invaluable skill

Being able to show that you're a reliable team player is one of the best ways you can set yourself apart from a pack of applicants. 

Leadership (Described in Civilian Terms)

Another great skill that you can show through your military experience is leadership (so long as you express it in civilian terms). 

Any hiring department or future boss wants an employee that goes above and beyond their basic tasks. 

As a member of the military, you're responsible for expensive equipment, budgets, performance, and other people's lives from a young age. That requires a high level of leadership that's hard to find elsewhere. 

After all, how many 24-year-olds can say they've managed a team of eight and millions of dollars worth of equipment in high-pressure situations? 

The key is to translate those leadership skills into civilian terms--help an employer understand how your experience would translate to a comparable experience at their company. 

Quick Learner

Another trait that the military (and civilian employers) value is the ability to learn quickly. 

Think of it this way: you're thrown into a situation most people have never encountered before. You're asked to think on your feet in delicate (and dangerous) situations, and you're asked to change jobs quickly if necessary. 

That shows an employer that you can learn almost anything they set in front of you, which can work to your advantage if you don't have as much relevant experience. 


As a veteran, you know that becoming a member of the military is no easy task. 

Every new servicemember is broken down so that the military can build them up again. Then, they're put through incredibly difficult situations as part of their day-to-day job. 

Most people would turn tail and run at the prospect of that kind of challenge. But not you. 

This is a great quality to show employers because they want someone who will grow alongside the company and continue to make themselves a valuable employee. As a veteran, you're familiar with continual improvement--after all, no one starts with a high rank. 

Knowing that you need to work hard to earn the recognition you get is a trait any employer can respect. 

Security Clearance

Depending on the type of career you're seeking, another benefit of your military experience is a security clearance.

Most military positions require a security clearance of some kind. For you, that might just be part of the job. For a regular employer, not necessarily. 

Government agencies and contractors know that they need to get security clearances for their employees in order to have them do the necessary work. However, this is a lengthy process that requires a great deal of commitment on their part. 

As a veteran, there's a good chance you already have an active security clearance. This opens you up to jobs requiring clearance and makes it easier for you to get a higher clearance if needed. 

Alternately, if your industry doesn't require a security clearance, having one makes an important statement to your employer. 

Basically, an active clearance shows an employer that you're already a worthwhile (and trustworthy) investment. If the United States government entrusts you with its secrets, an employer certainly can. 

Performance Under Pressure

Finally, your military experience shows a critical skill that employers love: the ability to perform under pressure. 

Few people can comprehend the amount of difficulty and stress you face each day as a member of the armed forces. You're thrown into complicated, often dangerous situations and asked to act with efficiency and integrity to carry out your mission. 

To an employer, that shows that you're able to perform well under pressure, regardless of the circumstances. It's difficult to find that skill in everyone, so when a hiring manager spots it, it makes you extremely valuable. 

Ready to Use Your Military Experience?

If you're ready to turn your military experience into a lasting, engaging civilian career, you've come to the right place.  We offer all kinds of tools and resources to help veterans prepare for life in the workforce, regardless of the circumstances. 

Check out our blog for more helpful posts to boost your new career, like these seven mistakes to avoid on your resume (and these seven skills you should definitely include). 

Looking to kick off your job search? Click here to check out all of our available job categories, from accounting to nursing to broadcasting to federal positions and more. 

You've already served your country. Let us help you find your next calling in life.