Posted on Apr 27, 2014
PO3 Galon Miller
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Identifying the challenges of leaving active duty with the intention of mitigation risks through planning and preparation will give you the needed confidence to achieve civilian employment success.

1) Fear of the unknown
2) Discrimination based on invalid and/or unreasonable perceptions of military service
3) How to best prepare for the civilian hiring process
4) What to say during interviews
5) Leaving the camaraderie that you have grown to appreciate
6) Finding a relevant mentor who understands how to help
7) Being alone and on your own
8) Not having the income that supports your desired standard of living

What other difficulties come to mine?

BTW - The objective of this post is to increase the effectiveness of assisting and supporting veterans in the transition process. Whatever knowledge you can share will be appreciated.
Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 5
SSG Trevor S.
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"Over qualification" seems to be a code word for saying "recognized under value". Employers seem to know they are getting more value for their money than they paying for, and it makes them skittish.
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CW3 Dylan E. Raymond, PHR
CW3 Dylan E. Raymond, PHR
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It is up to you SSG Smith to clearly communicate how you will add value to the organization. Typically a hiring manager will not be sure of themselves if you have not clearly communicated how you would solve their problem.
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SPC Stephanie Oanes
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You pretty much hit the nail on the head! I definitely agree with your list. Another one would be change of work environment. Going from a career where you are on duty 24/7 and you can leave whenever for medical, legal, family appointments and not have to worry about clocking in/out or the number of hours you worked that day. The program the Army came up with to aid in transitioning soldiers is very helpful, but why are veteran unemployment rates still high?
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SFC Christopher Perry
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Good morning,

Understand that we must go way back to answer this question. When I got out the first time (following Desert Storm) I was still young and very inexperienced in the ways of the civilian world. I would have to say that was probably my largest challenge I faced in the transition. They did not prepare us for this transition as they do now. When I hit the concrete running, resume in hand, I did not expect to find I was either over or under qualified in the eyes of those with whom I would interview. IN the end I fall back to being young and inexperienced. Had I better armed myself for the road ahead, I could have easily overcome the other obstacles.
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PO3 Galon Miller
PO3 Galon Miller
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Thanks for your thoughts Chris. Can I ask you about your statement..."They did not prepare us for this transition as they do now"? When I see Veteran Unemployment rates that are double and triple the civilian rates, I question the current preparation being provided by the service. Do you have any insights or prospective as to why veteran unemployment rates are so high?
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SFC Christopher Perry
SFC Christopher Perry
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This is not to say that everything that could be done is being done, or better, that there is no room for improvement to the transition process. However, when I left the service in 1992, I did exactly that, I left. I remember sitting in a class/briefing where they discussed VA benefits and filing for potential disability ratings. But honestly, I believe that was pretty much it. These days folks go through the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP). I am sure each service has their own version of the program. I know the Marines do, because on Okinawa the Army uses their program. Job assistance, counseling and even resume writing are available. A couple of months ago Fort Sill did a massive job fair which all SMs who were due to transition in the next year were required to attend, meaning the CoC was required to let them attend.

I cannot speak to the reason there are so many unemployed veterans out there. That is a question that will require some research. I don't want to just shoot from the hip on that one!
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CW3 Dylan E. Raymond, PHR
CW3 Dylan E. Raymond, PHR
>1 y
I would have to agree with you SFC Perry.
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