When you leave the military, you may be thinking you are looking for a job, and you may well be.  It may be better to look at your search in a broader view. You should begin developing a career plan. Your first job after leaving the military should help you in your long-term goal of developing a career. 

If you start your transition plan long before separation (18-24 months), you have time to focus on where your interests lie, what skills you have or may need training in to get into your chosen career field.  If you bring the skills with you for your chosen field, you are fortunate. If not, you may be able to get further training through the Post 9/11 G. I. Bill, www.gibillva.gov which provides on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and non-college degree programs.

Depending on your particular situation, there are several other VA sponsored programs that you and your family may qualify for including the following:

  • TheMontgomeryGI Bill – For Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
  • TheMontgomeryGI Bill – For Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
  • The Reserve Educational Assistance Program – (REAP)
  • The Educational Assistance Test Program – (Section 901)
  • The Veterans Educational Assistance Program – (VEAP)
  • The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)

The Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program, www.VetSuccess.gov is another option if you have a service-connected disability.  This program’s primary function is to help veterans who have service-connected disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment, or achieve independence in daily living through education and or vocational training.

Information on these programs can be accessed at your installation educational center or at www.va.gov. There are limitations to the time within which you can use these benefits.

The Department of Labor (DOL) www.acinet.org,  is also a place you should consider because you will be able to find out about local and state employment opportunities.  The DOL  can also tell you about other training opportunities like the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

When interviewing for positions, employers may ask you why you are applying for a particular position or how it ties in with your career goals. Having a proper answer to this question may make the difference between getting a job offer or not. Employers look to the long-term and want to know that you are looking at a long-term commitment that aligns with the corporate mission and goals.

One last note, before separating, request a copy of your transcript, showing the military schools, courses, and training programs you attended. Many colleges and other educational institutions will asses your transcript and give you college credit which saves you time and money.

Go to www.TADPGS.com to view our job openings and join our LinkedIn group, Veterans Hiring Solutions for Veterans and Companies at http://linkd.in/Sg346w for more articles.  If you have specific questions about issues affecting you, your benefits, your dependents etc., feel free to send them to me personally and I will try to help you. If you have questions about compensation and disability benefits or VA health care benefits, ask the First Sergeant at randymayer7@hotmail.com.