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Employment gaps and issues


Chi Sun Jacksonville, FL

Since I was medically discharged by the USAF in 2014, I have worked various jobs in the quality and process engineering realms. Fuyao Glass America, Air Force Medical Services Integration, Jinko Solar, and Parker Hannifin just to name a few. I am currently in Jacksonville, FL and find myself lost and in transition again as the new year 2020 approaches. I do have an interview with KLS Martin coming up. KLS Martin is a German company making surgical equipment in Jacksonville, I am looking at entering as a quality inspector. Any suggestions or advice?

I think I am definitely set on quality and process engineering career. I was looking at exploring my strengths through Career Scope provided by the VA to see what is a better fit. I think we are all looking for Purpose and Mission in this world and one life we have. Hope I can find some help and advice here!

11 December 2019 13 replies Mentoring



Po Wong Orlando, FL

Hello Chi,
Thanks for your service! Four jobs in five years is really challenging.

Attached link lists all Florida jobs from Johnson & Johnson. It updates daily. In fact, Vision Care is a $ billion J&J company located in Jacksonville. There is a associate process engineering job listed.

Feel free to contact me on our private message if you think it adds value. I like to understand more about your background and career goal.

Good Luck!

27 December 2019 Helpful answer


John Volpe Seaford, NY


I am not familiar with the Career Scope program offered by the VA but if this program provides you an opportunity to explore your strengths and clarify your direction, then please avail yourself of this service . In the interim you may want to confine your work efforts to temporary endeavors.

You’ve listed four companies you worked for ( to name a few in your words) in the last five years . As a prospective employer I would be hesitant to hire someone with such a history of short-term employment. Obviously, you are very talented or you would not have been employed by these companies to begin with . However, the last thing you need is to add a fifth employer to your short work history.

Purpose and Mission are important of course but with all due respect I don’t know if the for-profit world is the best path for you to pursue at this point . Perhaps you may also want to examine opportunities in the non-profit world which would better align with your values but of course will not provide you with the salary and benefits you may need. I think Gerald gave you excellent advice “to volunteer, meet people and expand your network”. Doing so may help you clarify your objectives and narrow your job search .

Best of luck to you .


12 December 2019 Helpful answer


Gerald Mannikarote Houston, TX

Hi Chi,
First thing I would suggest is to get involved with your local community. Volunteer, meet people, expand your network. You can also join Toastmasters and network with other professionals.
In regards to employment gaps, I would suggest you be very open about your situation. You can speak to your volunteering during your gap and also discuss other things you were doing to improve yourself, like taking a course, reading books, etc.
I hope this helps.
Warm regards,

11 December 2019 Helpful answer


Mark Tegtmeyer Sylvania, OH

Chi, I've interviewed folks a lot and have run into this a couple times. Some folks will just honestly dismiss your resume if they have a lot of qualified candidates. That's just the truth of it. But, if there are fewer candidates or your experience matches well, you'll still get an interview. Here's the clincher, there has to be solid objective reasons for your frequent roles. I've had "left due to mass layoffs" to "was injured and it was likely to occur again because the safety wasn't taken seriously" and even "left to take care of sick family member." In those cases, I never questioned it. But major red flags were things like "didn't get along with the department head" (apparently no other department wanted the candidate either) and "I took a chance and it didn't work out (after only 2 months)". Is there anything in your personal life that you have been committed to for long times? Member of a professional organization for multiple years (to show you commit to things)? If there's some medical reason for leaving roles, be prepared to address why now is different.


Chi Sun Jacksonville, FL

Thank you for the responses Chris and Gerald! I currently engage the community through medical interpreting assignments with Chinese Mandarin. It is my native tongue and I have learned to translate for people who have limited English. I might try getting into more freelancing and tutoring when possible. I also drive for GrubHub and help out with OneBlood by donating my blood. I am staying active and busy as much as I can!!! I appreciate everyone and everything. I am also exercising regularly which helps a lot with my mood. Thank you!


Chris McFarland Toms River, NJ

As one disabled vet to another, I understand your question completely. From me to you, consider what you're asking is a question able bodied folks may not fully appreciate.
The majority of people I've met don't understand us disabled vets have an uphill fight, both coming and going, not unless they're a disabled vet themselves.
While you've got a lot of great answers in reply, I think the best answer to your question is what Gerry said, volunteering for community charities, charitable events, joining Toastmasters, and doing that for years, becoming a fixture within that world, so I like Gerry's answer a lot.
All the best, and keep pushing, you've done great, and you'll do just fine, better than most, even.


Richard Filippi Rye, NY

I hope you were successful in your endeavors, if not try setting up your resume as a contractor for quality and process engineering and highlight your accomplishments. Expanding your network is crucial to get a human being t to look at your resume, as most job sites have AI that seeks to eliminate as many applicants as possible. LinkedIn is a great site and Toastmasters and local volunteering, especially in local or national political campaigns is great for expanding a network of contacts. One of them might just lead you to a position.
Best of luck.


Wayne Randall Conyers, GA


Wish you well in your search. There is a company in Norcross, Ga I can share with you that has a Quality position.(If it’s still available I’m not sure.)
I use to work there, from my transition from the military I notice the private sector is a bit different.





Les Hankinson Saint Johns, FL

You have received excellent suggestions from others. I hired literally hundreds of people during my corporate “life”. Preparation is important, learn all that you can about the company, and possibly the person who will be interviewing you, well in advance. If the company is not a military contractor avoid speaking about your background in terms of mil speak ... focus on what you bring to the table in terms they will understand. You have had a lot of jobs in a short period of time, so deal with that head on, tell them why. The key is to come across as someone who learns and adjusts ... flexibility and adaptability are key attributes. Your resume got you the interview, a positive attitude (and a little luck) will get you the job.

Also welcome to Jacksonville ... I have lived here for 13 years ... great town, many great companies!


Kent Watson Monticello, FL

Good afternoon Chi Sun, Thank you for your service on behalf of a grateful nation! One of the ways to fill gaps would be paid or unpaid internships, quality volunteer work, and network at every available opportunity. You might want to consider joining what you can in the area of logistics or supply chain management. Those in logistics will know the importance of quality control/quality assurance. An excellent organization would be the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA). NDTA is comprised of logisticians, transportation subject matter experts, professional development training, annual conferences, great networking opportunities, and global in scope. You are in a good location, because Jacksonville, Florida is the hub for logistics and transportation. Most of the members are management in either logistics or transportation at the Vice-President level and above. This is contact information: NDTA, 50 South Pickett Street, Suite 220, Alexandria, Virginia 22304-7296 (703) 751-5011 or Fax (703) 823-8761. When you have an opportunity please claim Veteran's Preference and Service Connected Disability while serving our country. Do not forget about supply chain-management as a stepping stone. Here are some organizations in Jacksonville or Florida: Crowley Maritime Corp, 9487 Regency Square Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32225 (904) 727-2200; Landstar System Inc., 13410 Sutton Park Drive, South Jacksonville, Florida 32224 (800) 872-9400; Western Global Airlines, 9260 Estero Park Commons Blvd, Estero, Florida 33928 (941) 725-5503; CSX Transportation, 500 Water Street, HQ, Bldg, 3rd Floor, Jacksonville, Florida 32202 (904) 359-3200; PODS Enterprises, LLC, 5585 Rio Vista Drive, Clearwater, Florida 33760 (727) 538-6418; and TMM, Inc., 8445 Western Way, Jacksonville, Florida 32256 CMSgt Tim Vandagriff, USAF (Ret.), Senior Program Advisor Contact immediately and they should have a complimentary one year membership. Best of Luck, Chief Warrant Officer Four Kent T. Watson, US Army, Retired, over 34 years of US Army. Now Southeastern Region Fraud Prevention Inspector - Healthcare (parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina) Equally important, Life Member of National Defense Transportation Association.


Sam Hoffman Roslyn Heights, NY

4 jobs in 5 years is a lot, but transitioning from military to civilian is also difficult, especially when it was unplanned.
Your best chance to show employers you can still be a valuable asset would be to explain how your attitude towards civilian life has changed in the last 5 years and how you have worked through those feelings of resentment


Karen Shockley Marietta, GA

Congratulations, Chi on the interview! I hope it went well. My suggestion, in regards to the resume, is to focus on how you improved the quality of each job you were at. Did you save the company money? Did you introduce a best practice that improved production? You are interested in being a quality inspector, inspect yourself! How did you improve the quality of the job? If you didn't, then think about how you could have done so. Challenge yourself in 2020. The key word is BETTER!!! In everything you do, make it BETTER! Good luck, my friend and Happy New Year!


Chi Sun Jacksonville, FL

I appreciate all the answers in advance. Thank you Jerry for your volunteering tips. I will definitely look into that and work on myself to be stronger mentally and help others by engaging in the community! -Kindest regards, Chi H. "Micah" Sun

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