Transitioning from the Military Starts with a Personal Inventory

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The transition from active duty to a civilian career isn’t always easy. Many service members will enter a new career or phase of life for the very first time. During any major transition, I have found it to be extremely beneficial to take a personal inventory of my previous experience and determine how that experience will prepare me for success in the next phase of my life or career.

This analytical process reveals many discriminators. What are discriminators? They can be defined as characteristics that enable things or people to be distinguished from one another. In today’s job market, military service is a distinguishable trait applicable across industries and provides a boost for veteran applicants during the transition process. This especially holds true in technical fields such as cybersecurity, where a workforce gap is estimated to hit 1.8 million by 2022, according to a 2017 Global Information Workforce Study. 

To successfully convey your discriminators, whether in your resume, during an interview or as you refine your elevator pitch, be confident in knowing that you bring a unique set of qualities to a position that would benefit any organization — large or small. Both hard and soft skills matter.

Veterans are widely recognized for their ability to lead, focus, problem solve and improve processes and efficiencies. Each has a diverse and unique story to tell. If you are a transitioning veteran, be sure to inventory and define your discriminators by writing them down and believe in the value they bring to your next role.

As an employer or recruiter, you can benefit from being prepared to associate veterans’ discriminators to roles within your organizations that will align to job opportunities in a variety of fields whether technical or non-technical.

Transitioning from military to civilian life can be overwhelming and the best way to avoid an unnerving experience is through preparation. Start by understanding your unique discriminators and then match those results to companies that value your unique strengths. Veterans have a lot to offer and can continue contributing to the workforce just as they did for national security and America’s freedom. Organizations understand this and seek out applicants’ military service, contributions and vision. 

Omari J. Faulkner (LTJG U.S. Navy Reserves)

ManTech International, Military Ambassador

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