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Is it easier to get a starter job first or try to wait for a better job ?


Trevor Kackley Lancaster, OH

I’ve had a few calls for interviews for insurance companies, but it’s not what I want to do, but also in need of money, so wondering if it’s best to just use that as a started job.

1 July 2019 4 replies Military to Civilian Transition



Matthew Disher Milford, OH

Hi Trevor - if I am reading this correctly, it sounds like you may be having some frustration with getting connected to the right thing that's not just a "job". Am I right?

I'm not sure what kind of role you are looking for, so what I write below might not matter. But as a recruiter by trade, and as someone who specifically sources military for a huge company, I can give you my perspective.

If you are only getting insurance calls, it's likely that you've got your resume out on some public job boards where insurance agencies look for new salespeople to join independent agencies.

I looked you up on LinkedIn and found a fairly general profile with just a few connections. LinkedIn and social networks are the new "job application". Most jobs are found, connected to and filled because of networking and relationships, not because someone put in an anonymous application. Use the LinkedIn job search function to proactively apply and connect to people at those companies that may be decision makers for hiring.

Applications - if this is ALL you're doing to get connected to jobs, it's not enough. Every.Single.Job I've had in the last 10 years was because I knew or connected to someone in the organization; and not just applying to the job. So what I am saying is that your network, your personal worth and your persona will put you at the top of the stack when you start reaching the right people.
Applying to jobs is like the steam engine of transportation. Alone it's outdated, but it's still a necessary predecessor to way things are done today. Applications are still required for compliance in many cases, but otherwise, the recruiters and hiring managers will notice you better when you make an impression. Applications also house like 100 other people who want the job - it becomes a lengthy process to find the right ones.

All of this said, remember that you have to start somewhere. If you are an E-4 applying for the CEO job, you wont get it. Lower level military leadership doesn't translate to corporate management, necessarily. And companies still want you to know their business before you can move up the chain. So, if you can identify a company that can tell you that you'll have growth opportunities in a specific timeline, try to take a close look.
Technical experience from the military DOES translate. Companies are seeking maintenance, vehicle, aircraft, facility...etc maintainers. Being mechanically inclined IS a transferable skill and companies will pay for it.

Hopefully helpful. Reach out if I can offer anything else. Semper Fi.


yasmin wilkinson Houston, TX

Hi Trevor,

A starter job is always good to build basic foundational skills within the corporate world. This allows you to also start building a professional network, as well as resume build. I started my career with a starter job, and the networks I developed helped me land an interview in an industry sector I wanted. At the same time, do your due diligence on any company that approaches you to ensure the culture and mission of that company aligns.

I am here to offer any additional support. In the meantime, ensure you have created a LinkedIn profile, and network with potential recruiters on there.

Good luck!


Patricia Sanderlin Hempstead, TX

Hi Trevor!

Thank you for your service!
It is definitely okay to use it as a starter job! It will help develop skills, build your resume and you never know where it will lead you from there. Take it seriously, even though it is not what you want to end up doing, but if you can get great references for being a driven, diligent and trusted employee who has proven skills in being a self-starter and owning 'projects', shown people and team working skills, it will be transferrable anywhere!

For the future, you can state "I felt this insurance job was a great way to interact with people, show that I can work independently, and prove myself as being a great team player" or whatever you want to get out of it. I highly recommend the book "60 seconds and you're hired". It can show you how you can then take the skills and use them to your advantage for landing the job you really want.

Good luck and all the best!



Yasmina Madeira New York, NY

Hi Trevor,

Thank you so much for your service and for submitting your question. From my own experience, I can say that I’ve taken jobs that I felt weren’t an ideal fit, when I thought the skills were transferable. At that time, I also didn’t have much work experience, so it helped to build my resume. At the end of the day, if you think it could help with your long term career goals and bring in much needed income, I think it’s something worth considering.



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