(StatePoint) Navigating the job market is tricky for any job seeker. For U.S. military personnel in transition and military spouses, finding your professional niche can be even more difficult.
From frequent relocations and child custody considerations to prejudices on the part of potential employers, transitioning military personnel and military spouses face many obstacles that can negatively impact their civilian careers.
According to US government sources, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 200,000 and more service members transition from military to civilian life each year. Currently, over 650,000 military spouses are in a state of transition. To improve their career prospects, advocates emphasize the importance of mentoring.
“Military life teaches discipline, a strong work ethic, teamwork, communication skills and adaptability, all of which are highly valued by employers,” said Christopher Plamp, senior vice president of operations , programs and entertainment at United Service Organizations (USO). “This lack of jobs is not a reflection of a lack of talent, skill or drive. Much of this is about making connections between the military community and civilian employment opportunities.
As part of its mission to strengthen members of the U.S. military service, the nonprofit USO recently partnered with Veterati, a digital mentoring platform for the military community, to launch the USO mentoring offering. . In a rapidly changing world where 80% of new jobs come from a personal connection, this resource connects transitioning military members and military spouses with volunteer mentors in their area of interest.
These mentors are successful professionals who provide essential career advice on interview skills, career paths, personal branding and building a professional network.
As part of its Pathfinder bridging program, the USO also supports professional development in the military community, in addition to this mentoring offer. USO Transition Specialists help create individualized plans focused on employment, education, financial preparedness, and increased access to relevant benefits for veterans in their communities. The USO also hosts career-focused webinars and live workshops on topics such as mastering LinkedIn, creating a federal resume, and pursuing graduate school.
To learn more about military spouses, the military-to-civilian transition, or how to volunteer as a Veterati mentor, visit uso.org/mentorship.
The military community faces many obstacles in achieving its career goals in the civilian workforce. However, new mentoring resources can help bridge the employment opportunity gap.