5 Tips For How To Nail Your Military Transition

Marines attend a Marketing Yourself presentation at the Marine Memorial Chapel on Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 15.
Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael Iams

At Hirepurpose, we have a team in the field meeting with transitioning service members and veterans at military bases all over the country. These guys talk to hundreds of service members on a weekly basis in different stages of transition out of every branch. They know what concerns military job seekers have about the civilian world, what mistakes they consistently make, and what keeps them from getting employed. We asked our team to share the most common pieces of advice that they give out at hiring fairs. Here’s what they said.

1. Do not buy a house, set roots, or promise your family anything until you have a job lined up. Read this again. And again. This is the most common mistake service members make when they are getting out. You do not have a job until you have signed an offer letter or contract with an actual employer. An interview is not a job offer. A recruiter at a job fair taking your resume is not a job offer. A job offer is a job offer.

Related: 5 ways being the boss changes when you leave the military »

2. Seek advice from people who have actually transitioned into the civilian world. If you don’t know anyone, start searching on Linkedin. Reach out and ask. Ignore obvious generalizations about transition and the job market from co-workers or others still in the military. They really do not know what they are talking about when it comes to civilian jobs, but they want you to think they do. They are stroking their own insecurities by pretending to know more than you. They don’t.

3. Take advantage of every legitimate interview opportunity you come across. Even if you aren’t crazy about the job or the company. At worst, you’ll come away with more interview experience, which makes you more competitive. At best, you may find yourself employed in a job you love. You won’t know if a job or company is a good fit for you until you have had an interview with its employees and spent time in its environment, so you can see what it’s actually like.

4. Don’t be an asshole to recruiters at a job fair. If they are talking to you, they are trying to help. Check your ego at the door and treat people like you want to be treated. We get this a few times at every event. You may think you’ve got the world by the balls, but if you are still in this phase, you probably haven’t been on the job hunt very long. You will be humbled.

5. Do not throw out your ideal salary number when a company asks your requirement. Say “I’m flexible” or “I’d like to find something commensurate with my skills and experience.” Often, this question is used as a discriminator to knock people out of the running for a job. We’re not advocating that you take a salary that is way too low for your standard of living, but you have to realize that most of the time you will be looking at a small step back as you take your career into the civilian world. It’s temporary.

Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)

Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.

Read More Show Less
In this May 28, 2019 file photo, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group's top political leader, second left, arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for talks in Moscow, Russia. (Associated Press/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.

The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.

Read More Show Less
Joe Heller (Legacy.com)

Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.

"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.

The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.

Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.

Read More Show Less

A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.

William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.

He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.

Read More Show Less
A photograph circulated by the U.S. State Department's Twitter account to announce a $1 million USD reward for al Qaeda key leader Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden, is seen March 1, 2019. (State Department via Reuters)

Reuters) - Hamza bin Laden, a son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and himself a notable figure in the militant group, was killed in a U.S. counter-terrorism operation, the White House said on Saturday.

Read More Show Less