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Finding Work After a Military Career
For the men and women who serve our country bravely, civilian life can be a daunting place. Nearly 5% are currently unemployed, struggling to translate skills learned in the military to civilian workplaces. In 2015, three veterans discussed their very different approaches to finding work with Money Magazine. Here, we share their insights and experiences.
With a Business Management BA and experience coaching at the National Training Centre, Command Sergeant Major Buckner had no reason to suppose finding a non-military job would be a challenge. His inexperience in the business world meant that he was just too big a risk for a civilian employer, and even military contractors refused to give him a chance.
Already in his mid-40s, Buckner made a courageous choice; he opted to go back to school and re-train. This year, he graduated from Syracuse University with an MBA. The University’s Veterans Training Program is a specialist course designed to adapt military credentials to the needs of civilian workplaces; you can discover more information about the course here.
After four years in the Navy, Petty Officer Williams struggled moving back in with her parents. As a disabled person, the San Francisco native had more obstacles to overcome than most, and it was a full year before she got a job and was able to leave her mother’s house.
For Williams, self-sufficiency would not have been possible without the Veterans Assisted Shelter and Housing (VASH) voucher program. A lot of people aren’t aware of the scheme – Williams only discovered it because she was receiving treatment from the VA clinic – and most assume it is a provision exclusively for homeless veterans.
Any vets without a mortgage or lease agreement are eligible. The program caps rent at 30% of their income (whatever that may be) and covers the rest, so veterans don’t have to rely on family or worry about keeping a roof over their heads.
Juan spent eight years in the Marines and, like many veterans, struggled with debt once she left. With no investment experience, she learned the hard way that leaving a military career without savings is perilous.
It took her a year to save enough to fund a marketing qualification, which she is currently studying alongside her work for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “I wish someone had hit me over the head when it come to investment and saving more,” She told Money Magazine, a sentiment echoed by veterans across the country.
Don’t think twice hire a vet.