Military veterans often face a particularly arduous job search process, because employers do not typically know how to translate military experience into private sector jobs. While ex-military professionals offer exceptionally high management, technical, and team-building competencies, they are often overlooked in the competitive job market when the specific military-related skills and training have limited transferability to the available civilian jobs and careers or when prospective employers are not aware of or do not acknowledge the transferability.
This kind of mismatch can create a painful dilemma and irony for employers and veterans alike, given the superb personal and professional traits, such as self-discipline, loyalty, toughness, courage, responsibility and dedication military service requires and encourages. On the other hand, the transition to civilian employment may be challenging for veterans dealing with combat-related PTSD, exposure to battlefield toxins, injury-related pain and disabilities or financial or family pressures stemming from discharge from military service.
In support, various veterans' organizations collectively provide full-spectrum services and assistance, ranging from employment and health to social reintegration and education.
Military jobs and employment after military service are often difficult to come by. Employers are often reluctant to translate military experience into their organization's labor force. Ex-military personnel have, as of this writing, a much higher average unemployment rate than their equivalent demographic groups in the private sector. It is, therefore, an imperative for ex-military job-seekers to understand the difficulties that they may encounter and for employers and recruiters to develop a sophisticated understanding of the specific skills of military personnel and the job search challenges that they often experience.
Although some civilian careers, including very lucrative ones in elite security services, are a natural niche for veterans, e.g., with backgrounds as military police, special forces or combat infantry, many, if not most, are not, because of the disparate skill sets required by military and civilian employers.
Compounding the challenges veterans face is the problem of negative stereotyping-especially and mainly when dealing with a prospective employer who either has issues with preconceptions about veterans or is unsympathetic to the role a given veteran or military personnel in general are perceived to have played during their service.
Worse, given the stunningly slow pace of processing of veteran claims for health benefits, a veteran may find himself or herself in psychological and financial limbo waiting for assistance, a decision or even acknowledgment regarding the submitted application and request. For example, what is a veteran to do if the rehabilitation services [s]he may or may not be granted are not available anywhere near the location of a prospective job? [Note: the link above is to an interactive map that provides data about veteran file-processing wait times for specific locations in the U.S.]
If you are or know a veteran stymied by the long delays in getting a VA claim processed, there is advice available regarding what to and not do about it.
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