Many veterans have the financial resources for higher education with benefits ranging from Tuition Assistance to the variations of the GI Bill. Where they need assistance is finding the right colleges and universities that truly deliver successful outcomes for their students. 

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Transition is defined as a process or period of changing from one state or condition to another. There may be no greater challenge than transitioning from a life in the military to a life in corporate America. While many of us relish the opportunity and look forward to the change in lifestyle, there are many challenges. There are multiple avenues to take in your transition aside from utilizing a recruiting firm. A solid, simple, and structured strategy will help a Junior Military Officer navigate the complicated and stressful path to a new career. I have read numerous helpful plans on LinkedIn and other publications that have helped me in my transition. Using the knowledge I have obtained from my experiences. I think that these five steps of self discovery, building your corporate knowledge, connecting your knowledge to your unique skills, networking, and targeted job hunting are a blueprint for a successful transition. I hope this article helps simplify the approach a Junior Military Officer (JMO) takes to transitioning and enable veterans to have a smooth, efficient, and enjoyable transition to a new life in corporate America.

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Veterans! I’d like to introduce you to a new program designed specifically as an entryway into technology sales. Tech Qualled is an innovative program that places veterans in the technology industry. Fueled by a passion for the tech industry and assisting transitioning military members, the four co-founders of this organization have created a unique job placement platform that trains and places vets into high tech sales. In this article, I’m going to review the program and explain why it could be a great fit for your transition.

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If you are in a career transition, before you do anything else, you must first answer this question, “Who am I?”

 

Transitioning from any position into a new one, unless you are going to be doing exactly the same thing, requires getting this question answered first. Spend time figuring out who you are before you start looking for that next great career step and you will be much happier during the search and especially afterwards. Yes, being unemployed is an awful feeling, however nowhere as bad as how you could feel if you jump into a job you really don’t want.  Here are four tasks that will help you answer the question, “Who am I?”

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For many transitioning veterans discovering what industry to pursue a career in can be a complicated and frustrating endeavor. You are not alone. Common questions that probably run through your head are: what would I be good at in the civilian world? Where can I make the most money? What industry has the best opportunity for career growth? What if I choose something I hate?

 

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We live in a world where certifications, degrees, and titles have been developed for almost every profession and skill set imaginable. Although these designations may or may not mean you are the best at what you do, it does put you a step ahead of your peers.

 

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  1. Who are your mentors? How did you meet them?
  2. I am attempting to accomplish x, but I have not yet achieved it. What am I doing wrong / what am I doing right?
  3. What are you most proud of professionally / personally?
  4. What is have been your greatest inspirations and what is currently inspiring you onward?
  5. Knowing what you know now, Would you do anything differently in your career?
  6. Given our discussion, Who else would you recommend I connect with?
  7. In the future, could I reach out to you for advice, guidance?
  8. Humbly, is there any way great or small I could be of assistance to you on your end?
  9. Would love to hear about some of the disasters you ran into during your career and how you navigated them.
  10. What was the biggest mistake you made? What did you do to recover?

 

Please respect our community: absolutely no solicitation. Veterati is a safe place for authentic, honest mentorship conversations. If any mentor or mentee reports solicitation, Veterati reserves the right to remove offending users. Veterati Terms and Privacy Policy apply.

  1. Have you had a mentor before and if so what worked/didn’t work?
  2. Why did you decide to join the military?
  3. What were your proudest moments in service?
  4. Why did you decide to exit?
  5. What do you want to accomplish next? What is it that you really want to be and do (bear with me here, it’s hard to know the answer to this but helps me think through how to help you)?
  6. Tell me about highs & lows of 2015 in terms of career. What are your goals for 2016?
  7. What are your top priority challenges to accomplishing these goals?
  8. Let’s brainstorm— what are actionables we can take to meet these challenges?
  9. What are the questions that keep you up at night?
  10. Do you have current perceived weaknesses that you would like to work on?

 

Please respect our community: absolutely no solicitation. Veterati is a safe place for authentic, honest mentorship conversations. If any mentor or mentee reports solicitation, Veterati reserves the right to remove offending users. Veterati Terms and Privacy Policy apply.

  1. BE A MIRROR. Hone in on your mentee’s actual challenge by mirroring it back to them: “Based on what you said, the challenge I understand you’re facing is …. , is this accurate?”
  2. CHECK IF YOU’RE ON TARGET. After giving advice to your mentee, to gage whether your advice is on target, say: “Out of all that advice, what sounds helpful to you?”
  3. ATTENTION IS THE RAREST AND PUREST FORM OF GENEROSITY. We get asked all the time, “Who are the best mentors for Veterati?” Answer: The men and women who volunteer to serve our country are as diverse as any random slice of the American population. So the best mentors come from an equally diverse background, with sole qualifications being compassion, empathy, and a genuine desire to serve those who have served us. Thank you for being a Veterati Mentor!

BONUS. BE A SUPERCONNECTOR. Since 80% of jobs exist in our personal networks, introductions are critical to networking into the right job. After your call is complete, we’ll give you your mentee’s email for direct introductions and also give you our auto-generated referral email for any mentors you want to bring into the platform.

  1. SET A PURPOSE. What knowledge would you like to acquire? Express your goal in the first 5 minutes of your conversation.
  2. BREAK THE ICE. Break the ice by asking your mentor for his/her story. Listening builds camraderie and context. Your mentor has taken time to be here for you, get to know them on a personal level. Life is too short for just transactional relationships, build authentic friendships.
  3. GIVE THANKS. And finally, mentors all love a thank you letter. All our mentors are volunteers and here for you, and they treasure hearing from you.

BONUS. Want more? This article gives you 18 tips on building strong networks and mentors.