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Finding Your Dream Career

As the veteran community grows online, thousands of employers have begun to shift their focus to hiring prior service members. In fact, there are a number of employers throughout the United States that have taken steps to hire veterans based on their MOS, and for good reason:

When searching for a job, it can be difficult to find something that matches your skills and training. How do you know what skills you need to find a fulfilling career and a great employer?

Know Your Basic Strengths

The first thing you should think about is what experience you have in all areas of your life. This not only includes your military training, but all of the auxiliary experiences you’ve amassed before and after your service.

When you were in the military, there were basic skills that every employer looks for that you may not have thought of:

  • Administrative tasks (government forms, etc.)
  • Attention to detail
  • Timeliness
  • Management & leadership
  • Organization
  • Customer Service
  • Teamwork
  • Logistics
  • Public Relations
  • Standards Enforcement

There were many skills that you were required to have and standards that ensured you maintained unit-readiness at all times.

Translate Your Unique Skills

When you sign up for a Veterans ASCEND skills-matching profile, we match employers with your skills. However, you may also search for employment outside of our system, and that’s completely understandable. So, how do you leverage your MOS in such a way that helps you find a fulfilling career?

There are over 1,000 MOS codes across our military and Coast Guard. It can be a bit difficult to understand how your job during your tour of duty might translate into a civilian career, especially if it was extremely specialized (i.e., you worked as a drone operator overseas).

A great way to “convert” your MOS into civilian terminology and applicability is to think about what companies might be using similar systems, technology, and standard operating procedures used in your MOS. Using the drone operator example above, flying a drone into enemy airspace can easily be a translatable skill for surveying aerial zones for different industries such as real estate, auditing crops for farmland, assessing environmental disaster damages, architecture, commercial videography, and much more.

Find Your New Mission

It may very well be that your MOS was a combat-related role, or something that doesn’t easily translate into a civilian career. Many veterans struggle with this, and if you do, you’re certainly not alone.

When searching for a fulfilling career – not necessarily a job just that just pays your monthly expenses – it can be difficult. A “fulfilling” career, for veterans at least, is something that replaces the purpose and drive given to you during your time of service. Many veterans find that they no longer have a mission once they leave the military, and this can cause many to struggle with their transitions.

However, knowing what you love to do is a great start to beginning your journey to a successful, fulfilling career as a military veteran employee. Once you know what you love to do – and how it can give you a new “mission” – will help you find a job that helps others and give you a sense of purpose once again.

It gave you experience across multiple industries.

Many times, employers hire an employee that appears to have experience for the position they were hired for, but that individual was likely hired out of a need for someone to quickly fill the position. The negative aspect of hiring quickly over quality is that the job isn’t performed at the level that it needs to be, and as a result, the employee, the team and the company suffers.

Your MOS in a particular field means that you’ve been trained by specialized professionals, and you were educated with discipline and precision to ensure every aspect of your job was done correctly. Keep in mind that although your MOS may not be directly relatable to a private sector job, it is useful in ways that you didn’t think of before (e.g., “Field 09” Native Language Speaker, Army MOS might be applicable in a unique way to benefit a company as an in-house sales liaison to foreign customers).

Your MOS is only one part of your military experience, however. Just like every other veteran, you’ve been trained to properly fill out paperwork with attention to detail (excellent for administration, customer service, and accounting positions). You were also once required to keep up with physical fitness standards based on your branch of service. You are not afraid of hard work to get the job done.

In short, consider all aspects of your military experience and skills associated with your primary MOS. Don’t underestimate the value you bring to a company and the career path you can follow!