9 Areas Veterans Should Master to Find Gainful Employment

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(U.S. Air Force/Mauricio Campino)

The following is an excerpt from "Voyager/Veteran: The Journey to a Successful Job Search Mindset."

The journey to a successful job search begins with confidence. Simply stated: a certain frame of mind or mindset. The "Veteran Basics" series is designed to teach, inspire and instill confidence in veterans as they embark on their job search journey.

Today, American Job Centers aim to offer veterans a sense of empowerment while identifying meaningful job and career opportunities. Especially so for those veterans with specific barriers to employment. It's a place where a vast array of viable options and qualified staff are made available to all those who have served our country honorably -- turning military and life experiences into promising futures.

As a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialist, or what is commonly referred to as a DVOP or Vet Rep, I work exclusively with veterans who have significant barriers to employment. It is my job to prepare, motivate and show them how to conduct a contemporary job search in order to secure meaningful employment. It begins with the simple basics: cover letter, resume (how to market and promote yourself to prospective employers), preparing for the interview and follow-up.

For veterans who have experienced considerable difficulty in navigating the job search process, they share in common a self-perpetuating blind spot: the inability to realize or accept the fact they already have within themselves the means to be successful. Yet, they lack the appropriate disposition to tap into that resource.

There are a significant number of veterans who fail to realize that unless they have a vested interest in the outcome of learning how to conduct the job search process, they stand little chance of ever becoming self-sufficient and sustainable. Furthermore, veterans who think it is the responsibility of someone else to find them a job are good examples of inappropriate mindset.

To rely on someone else for your future is counter-productive to the previous training and experience, uncharacteristic of the disciplined ways that things are accomplished in the military. It reminds me of the words spoken by a former mentor of mine who said, "To avoid creating obstacles to clear and intelligent thinking and decision making, we need to guard against the ongoing and many times misdirected self-talk that takes place in our heads."

When asking veterans, "What kind of employment are you seeking?" a typical response is, "I'm just looking for a JOB. I don't care what it is!" One of the most significant lessons I've learned over the years assisting veterans, is that life circumstances can impact incentive. Like everyone else, things aren't always what they appear to be. Veterans are no different, and they are not always forthcoming. What is revealed, is the fact that outlook determines outcome!

Based on, and drawing from real-life stories of veterans facing personal barriers, it is my hope that the Veteran Basics series will help to instill self-value, self-esteem and self-confidence in veterans to activate the creative genius within. The Veteran Basics are designed to help establish and maintain a productive job search mindset, inclusive of the following authentic situations:

  • Dealing with The Past
  • Shortcuts
  • Preparing for the Future by Accepting Change
  • The Value of Learning to Network
  • The Application Challenge
  • The Federal Application Process
  • The Reality of Resumes and Cover Letters
  • The Necessity, Value and Method of Saying Thank You
  • Manifesting Success -- A Never-ending Journey

In summary, consider the Veteran Basics series as a valuable "How To" guide to a successful and contemporary job search for today's veteran. Now, let your job search journey begin.

 

-- Pete (P.D.) Pritchard is a Certified GCDF (Global Career Development Facilitator), a graduate of the Lila Atchison School of Community Service and Public Affairs at the University of Oregon in Eugene, where he received master's and bachelor’s degrees. He has an associate degree in Criminal Justice Disciplines from Shasta Junior College in Redding, California. Pritchard helps veterans develop and marshal the self-motivational skills needed to move forward with their lives after serving their country.

His book, "Voyager/Veteran: The Journey to a Successful Job Search Mindset" is available for pre-order now and hits bookshelves April 6, 2021.

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