After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career

Making the transition from the military to a civilian career takes plenty of planning. As the adage goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Here are three routes to get you where you want to go:

    Return to school. One option is to obtain — or finish — your degree or professional certifications, whether at college or vocational school.
        As a military veteran, you can take advantage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which pays for all in-state tuition and fees at public colleges and universities.
        Under the federal Yellow Ribbon Program, you may be eligible for additional funds to attend a private school that costs more than the maximum $20,235 per academic year covered by the GI Bill. Participating schools may waive up to half the tuition and fees not covered in the basic benefit, then Veterans Affairs will then match the waived amount.
        Similar benefits are available to those who want to train for trades that take advantage of your military-specific skills, such as aviation and auto repair.
        If you're interested in computers, USAA's VetFIT (Veterans for IT) program trains accepted veterans and military spouses in software development then offers them a 10-week internship with the organization.

        Get on a path to launching your next career move with a tool that will help you build a resume and match your military skill set to the civilian workforce.
    Work for someone else. In the military, you wear your experience on your sleeve — literally. In the civilian world, however, your resume carries this message.
        Online skills translators can help you remove jargon in your resume to more clearly explain your military accomplishments so they relate to the corporate world. For example, instead of saying, "Executed night raids into occupied territory during Operation Iraqi Freedom III," your resume might read, "Led an organization of 16 individuals in a successful military campaign without the loss of life."
        If you want to continue to serve your country in a different capacity, consider joining the Reserve or National Guard. For a minimum commitment of one weekend a month and two weeks of training annually, you could continue to serve while pursuing a civilian career. Drill pay plus benefits such as health insurance and a savings plan might make joining the Reserve or Guard a good option to ease the transition back into civilian life.
    Work for yourself. Starting your own business is a common desire among veterans who want to take advantage of the leadership skills they developed in the military.
        The Small Business Administration's Veteran-Owned Businesses page contains a wealth of information on writing a business plan, finding financing, hiring employees and other considerations for aspiring entrepreneurs.


After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career — Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA —