In the military, we change jobs every 2-3 years. Sometimes this means a different role in your specialty and sometimes it is in a completely different field. We adapt, bond with new teammates quickly, and learn the new job rapidly. We are experts at on-the-job training. But, job advertisements want specific experience...they don't seem to allow for someone who can learn quickly.
Keep in mind 0.5% of Americans will serve in the military and our veteran population continues to shrink. The transition from an O-6 to a civilian role will be different and disappointing if you look at scope of responsibility "command" and potentially salary. I would recommend connecting with Michael Quinn on LinkedIn, and follow his networking and other transition advice. He is a former E-9, who tells about his transition from hell, as he was looking for much more than civilians would offer up.
I would highly recommend some mentoring with ACP and also some general Informational Interviewing with some corporate individuals you feel comfortable with, speaking specifically about career objectives. Over the years the civilian market place has flattened out and you will not find positions, over seeing thousands of employees, in fact middle management and much of upper management has narrowed their scopes and roles. Again, a better understanding of the civilian market place will give you a better idea prior to starting a job search with objectives that may not be obtainable out of the gate. Thank you for your service and God Bless. Here are a couple of short articles about preparing.
It's true that many civilians "just don't get" the unique skills and experiences that veterans bring to organizations. Being thoughtful in your networking, and leveraging that network effectively is key. Given your seniority and experience, responding to job postings is probably not the most effective way to secure your next opportunity.
I'd be happy to discuss this further with you...
Brian, I am now on my fourth ACP mentorship. Each time the military person didn't think that their experience aligned with the civilian world, but each time we found lots of alignment. May I assume that you've taken advantage of ACPs mentoring program? If you would like another viewpoint, you may send me your resume, CV, etc. and I can give you a few thoughts.
Gabe Hoffman (US Air Force - 1977-1987)
Thank you for your question. This article has some great tips and resources on translating military experience to civilian terms:
I hope this helps!
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