When a member of the United States armed forces decides to leave the military and enter into civilian life, the transition can be difficult for a number of reasons.
Civilian life is very different from military life in many ways. As one example, military members have their food and clothing provided to them, so coming back to civilian life and needing to worry about basic necessities can be stressful. There are many benign tasks that need to be completed day to day that would not have been a factor in the armed forces. In addition, the emotions that come from reuniting with family and trying to fit back into the way things used to be can be difficult.
These issues are especially prevalent regarding employment and career pursuits after the military. For instance, the workplace dynamics that are prevalent in the civilian world are very different from the teamwork and comradery that are experienced when in the military. The competition and independence associated with most jobs can feel isolating and strange after being a part of such a strong group dynamic.
In addition, there may be skills that former military members did not need to practice while serving, and the lack of those skills when searching for a job can be a hindrance. Also, some veterans chose to serve the United States instead of going the traditional college or trade school route and may be at a disadvantage in regard to education compared to other job applicants.
Thankfully, there are many different organizations that are dedicated to helping veterans transition back into civilian life and find good career opportunities. Some organizations focus on the mental health of the veteran while others focus on helping him or her to write a resume, gain job training and apply for jobs. All assistance is beneficial and can make a big impact in the lives of veterans by helping them to provide for themselves and their families.
Some of the groups are sponsored by the federal government while others are considered non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). A few of the programs administered by the government that veterans should look into include the following:
Hiring our Heroes – This program is sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and is designed to help veterans and their spouses find employment opportunities. The group organizes job fairs and expos while also updating an online listing of current job opportunities that veterans can access.
Vets.gov – This website is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor and it serves the purpose of offering employment resources to employers that wish to hire veterans and veterans seeking jobs. The website provides resources to veterans such as job searching assistance, help with building a resume and more.
CareerOne Stop Veterans ReEmployment – This project is also sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. It is designed to be a one-stop shop online for veterans. The website is linked with the American Job Center and helps veterans get information on the government benefits they are entitled to. In addition, the program helps veterans decide what career path they are most suited for.
The Women Veteran Initiative – Former servicewomen can benefit greatly from this program as it focuses on helping female veterans with resources for employment. The Department of Labor also administers this organization and funds many different programs that provide resources such as coaching, professional guidance and mentoring.
The Veterans Employment Center (VEC) – The program offers many different educational opportunities for vets. One of the many informational benefits this program offers are helping former servicemen and women to prepare their resume and prepare to enter the workforce.
The Office of Veterans Business Development – Veterans who are interested in starting their own business can find valuable resources in this program, which is overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This program helps veterans by providing information and training regarding starting their own entrepreneurial endeavors.
There are many different programs that are not sponsored by the government that are dedicated to helping veterans find work. A few of the popular programs include, but are not limited to:
America Wants You – This organization has many partnerships with businesses and corporations throughout the United States and helps to foster connections between those companies with veterans seeking work. This organization also aims to help bring more manufacturing jobs back into the U.S. so that more veterans and other workers can find employment. They also have an online job listing board and skills training center that veterans can access.
American Veterans (AMVETS) – Veterans can become AMVETS members to learn more about transitioning back into civilian life. The program provides veterans with volunteer opportunities that allow them to connect with their communities, and they also provide educational and job training activities as well. All services are completely free of charge to former servicemen and women.
The Veterans Support Organization (VSO) – This organization helps veterans who are facing homelessness and/or starvation due to unemployment. The VSO helps these veterans to gain necessary skills for getting a job while also helping them by providing shelter, food and other basic necessities. The program even has emergency funds available for certain veterans in dire situations.
The Wounded Warrior Project – Veterans that became wounded or disabled due to their time in the armed forces can find assistance through this program. However, this popular program also provides resources to non-wounded veterans as well. The organization has a Combat Stress Recovery program that can help veterans connect with other veterans in their area and learn how to process their current and past issues. Other programs, such as the Alumni program, helps veterans to get more involved in the community and help other former-service members.