Posted on Nov 27, 2013
CPL Jay Strickland
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I am a prior signal technician, I decided I wanted a more people friendly job so I became an attorney. However most of the other veterans I know either stuck to something related to their MOS or took the generic military experience is a plus job such as police officer, security, or middle management.
Posted in these groups: Job_fair_logo Civilian Career
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Responses: 24
LtCol Dann Chesnut
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It has been my experience that if you are looking for civilian employment in the same type as your MOS, then you have severely limited yourself. Maybe an aircraft mechanic will find themselves in the same job, but for the vast majority of the rest of us.... we need to expand our base. What I do now-a-days in my subsequent career is almost entirely different in location, type work, structure, and skills required. In my view, one needs to take a good hard look at the civilian job market well in advance of end of service, and make preparations toward being employable.
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SSG Mike Angelo
SSG Mike Angelo
5 y
The biggest challenge is conditioned behavior in the current DMOS; duty mos. No matter how hard you look and can picture yourself doing those civilian jobs. Conditioned behavior must be reconditioned to fit in society. There is no quick fix or short term ... military reconditioning to civilian society is long term.
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TSgt Jackie Jones
TSgt Jackie Jones
5 y
Sir, I don't think looking for employment in a similar field "severely" limits you in a negative way. If you LOVE what you do, then why look to change that? Obviously some employment is better than NO employment, but don't settle in a different arena because it's "easier" in the civilian side.

Example: I was AF Security. MP. I left the service and finished my education. In Business Management. Because I thought that would make me more "marketable" to the masses. I worked here and ther, doing things completely unrelated to both MP duties and BM duties. I did NOT like it. I came back to looking for a new job and ended up in probation. A cross between the MP and social worker. I absolutely love it and am kicking myself for not going for it sooner. My co workers laugh when I tell them what my degree is in. My degree got me through the hiring criteria, but my military experience got me the job.
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SSG William Patton
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When I returned from Viet Nam I was a fully trained meteorological observer and was job ready to go to work for the National Weather Service or any airline that had meteorological sections.  I applied for a position with every NWS office in the US including Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam without success.  I even had the regional manager for the midsouth tryting to help me gain employment.  He finally admitted that if I were a minority without any job knowledge or experience he could hire me on the spot, but I was the wrong ethnicity.  As a result, I ended up going to work with my dad in his trucking  company and did that until I got married.  A long haul trucker is no job for a newly wed, at least for this newly wed.  Eventually, I ended up as a cop and later an investigator for the state social services department where I ended up retiring.  No complaints for the way things worked out, but initially I was very discouraged for not being hired to do a job I was well trained to perform.
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CPT Jack Durish
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In my second career following my release from active duty, I became a consulting computer systems and applications architect (which was related to one of the occupational specialties which the Army introduced me to). Once while visiting the computer room of a client, I was struck by the precision with which all cabling was laid and commented that the system administrator must have had military experience. He had, in the Navy, as an electronics specialist. It showed. It really showed.

No, not everybody follows a career path laid out for them by the military. Indeed, few will remain on the same career path for an entire lifetime, not in these times of rapidly shifting technologies.

The most important things that the military teaches (or imbues in people, especially young people) is discipline and willingness to work hard, to be good team members and good leaders. These are attributes that will stand them in good stead regardless of their career path.
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