Military Transition Resources for Entering the Civilian Workforce

military service member shaking hands and discussing transition resources
Category: Military Support

By Matt Rowley
Posted on

In a Pew Research Center study, 95% of veteran respondents answered that they looked for a job after leaving the military. It’s a common challenge, and there are plenty of resources available to help veterans make the transition, but it may feel overwhelming.

Finding the tools and programs that are the best fit for you is a good first step when preparing for your transition. In this article, we’ve compiled some of the most helpful resources for veterans entering the civilian workforce.

VA Resources

A good place for veterans to start is the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Service members can begin the program one year prior to separation or two years prior to retirement. TAP participants receive information, resources and tools to help them and their loved ones prepare for the move to civilian life. To listen to stories from veterans who have benefited from TAP, view the following video produced by the VA.

The VA also offers its Personal Career Planning and Guidance (PCPG) program through Chapter 36. If you're leaving active service soon or have been discharged within the past year – or you’re any veteran or dependent who qualifies for VA education benefits – you can receive counseling to help you decide on a career or training program and overcome any issues that may get in your way. The following video details the VA’s Chapter 36 services.

Related: Take Advantage of VA Career Counseling to Make the Most of Your Military Benefits

State Resources

Another potential source of helpful information for your area may be your state labor office. For example, the Alabama Department of Labor website posts job listings and information about training programs and career centers throughout the state.

Contact information for each state labor office is available on the U.S. Department of Labor website.

Personal and Professional Relationships

When it comes to transitioning into civilian life, both personal and professional connections are valuable. Think about the relationships you’ve built throughout your life – family members, college friends and instructors, fellow military service members, and more – and how those people may be able to help guide you in the right direction.

If someone helped you by reviewing your resume, connecting you with a hiring official at a company, or anything else, find a way to thank them. Then, when someone asks you for something similar, pay it forward.

Related: The Importance of Mentors for Veterans in College

University Resources

Finally, if you’re already a college student or graduate, you probably have access to a university career services team. In some cases, career services professionals at your school may have the exact knowledge or connections that you need to get your foot in the door in your industry. Many universities also offer resources developed specifically for the unique challenges faced by military-affiliated students.

Here at Columbia Southern University, our dedicated military support staff is comprised of current and former military members who understand your unique needs. Whether you pursue a military studies degree – offered by our recently-launched College of Military Studies and Leadership – or another of our popular degrees, our Veterans Center is available to work with you to help you get the most out of your education.

For more information about our online degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels, visit our website.

Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes. CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.

Any reference to United States Department of Defense (DoD) personnel, products or services does not constitute or imply endorsement by the DoD. Paid ad. No federal endorsement of advertiser(s) intended.

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