As a veteran transitioning into the civilian world, it is critical to begin networking. Networks are comprised of your friends, coworkers, peers, leaders, and acquaintances. Begin by reaching out to your current network and ask them how they reached that point in their career. Also, be sure to attend networking events to see the variety of opportunities for your career.
- In transition let's talk about networks. Networking is critical, and I don't mean just leveraging the technology in networking but I mean the social aspect of networking. Think about the people that you've worked with in the past and think about where they are. Reach out to them, ask them how they got there. I mean, for me, I started out as an infantry guy, I reenlisted and became a signal guy, and fast forward, now I run a non-profit and my own business. How did I get there? Well, you know, I was standing there working as a contractor one day when a guy who I used to know in the military pulls me aside and says "Jared, you have a skillset that's "valuable, you should start your own business." Man, how do you start your own business? And he said "Aw, it's easy.
"This is how I did it." And he writes down some websites to go and look at and do some research. Well, it wasn't so easy but it's doable. - Every single person you come across in your life is a piece of your network, whether it was just a friend, a parent, a friend's parent, a co-worker, a peer, a leader. Anybody you've met, whether it's someone at a bar you had a beer with, and I guarantee you at some point you've met someone at a bar where they're doing something and you're like "Man, I wish I could do that!" Ask them for their information, keep in contact with them.
- If you're still in, it may be tough to go to a lot of networking events but I would try to attend as many networking events as you can just because you never know whose business card you're going to take and where that road may end up. You know, I sat down at a dinner, the guy to my left is now my boss and I had no intention of ever really working in the cyber security software realm and that's where I am now. - Go to these networking events. Get your face out there. Get a couple business cards, get your resumes, get your elevator speech, you know, your pitch.
Get that ready and don't make it cheesy. "Hi my name is," no, tell them who you are, what you bring to the table, get out there, meet people, it's the only way that you're really going to be able to help yourself is by getting yourself out there. If you think that you're going to be able to sit in your basement and go and drop 150-200 resumes in a five-day period and think that you're just going to get your dream job? Umm, nope. That's probably not going to happen. - You can accomplish so much if you're just willing to go and do the research, go spend some of the time, commit the energy into learning what it is that you want to go into.
There is no limitation on what you want to do. There's no limitation. I mean, how could I have gotten to where I am if I believed that I was limited to being an infantryman or even a coms guy. Everybody has unlimited potential if they're just willing to put the energy and time into it. You as a veteran are already head and shoulders above the average person. You need to learn how to leverage that. It's not entitlement, nobody owes you anything. But you've got to figure out how to use that to become something more. And you can, you should.
It's your responsibility to do so, not just for you, not just for your family, but for your country. You need to take those experiences of service and go out and do something great. You need to take those experiences from service and you need to go out there and become a future leader in industry, a future leader in business, a future leader in politics. Just be good at what you do. Let it reflect upon you. Make it mean something.
Discover how to understand your strengths and value, where your skills fit into today's job market, and how to translate your experience into a solid resume. Learn how a mentor can help you navigate the transition and open up new opportunities. With Flo's advice, you can find a new purpose and continue the journey you started in the military—bringing your talents to bear on a whole new mission in life.
- Taking initiative
- Understanding your value
- Translating your experiences
- Building your resume
- Using a mentor
- Setting realistic expectations
- Building a network
- Transitioning into a new job
- Bonus videos featuring stories of transition from veterans