Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Eight months after leaving active duty, I still hadn’t started a salaried job. I was working two internships and a number of side jobs, but I after sending out dozens of resumes, I hadn’t yet found an honest-to-goodness full-time position. I had left the Army as a captain, making very decent money once you factored in BAH. That was in Texas, where not only is the cost of living is extremely low, there’s no state income tax. Now, living in New York City, where rent, food, transportation, and taxes are near the highest in the U.S., I was making minimum wage. The internships were always meant to be stepping stones — a brief interlude in my career transition — to a decent-paying job in my chosen industry.
There are plenty of routes to go once you leave the military. For many, it means going back to school. For some, it means stepping straight into industry. Manufacturing is often an attractive sector for veterans for a number of reasons. For one, jobs in this category can offer you the satisfaction of creating something, or being in charge of people who are creating things. Secondly, you generally don’t need to go back to school for those type of jobs. And, it’s a sector that includes a number of union positions, which come with benefits.
For one of the many hats I wear, I work as a counselor at a veteran employment center. There I attempt, with limited time, staff and monetary resources, to help veterans find jobs, with varying degrees of success.
Haven’t written your resume yet? Or is the resume you’ve written not getting you the results that you want? It’s understandable – writing a resume is difficult for everyone, and if you’re a veteran it’s likely that you haven’t needed a resume for the civilian job market for a while, if ever.