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How to get into the HR or management fields?


Maximus Layman Imperial Beach, CA

I'm Maximus, a 17yr medically retired Navy Veteran located in the San Diego area. My issue is every job posting I come across "requires" specialized industry experience, and most of the postings I come across do not count the military experience in HR, management, or leadership as actual experience. So how does one get industry experience in the HR, management, or leadership field when every job posting I come across requires experience to begin with? Even entry-level positions require experience and do not count the military experience as any sort of experience. How does someone get their foot in the door of the fields?

actively looking for a new professional home to work in.

12 March 2021 7 replies Leadership & Management



Joel Wilson Palmdale, CA

Hello Maximus, I'm a retired Chief (subs). I can tell you that Northrop Grumman is a very veteran friendly company, and there are 2 HR positions open in San Diego right now. There are also several management positions open.


Michelle Delanty Norfolk, VA

Hello Maximus, IVMF Onward 2 Upward, a program sponsored by Syracuse University, offers free PHR training to veterans. Here is the link:

Good luck!


Raymond Biskner Norfolk, VA

Like Hank said, it seems like the way to get anything done out here is the same way we got anything done on the ship.

Find a guy who knows a guy.


Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!


Maximus Layman Imperial Beach, CA

@Henry Stevens,

Thank you for that answer, I do appreciate it. I have applied for a few healthcare HR positions, however, every HR position I see open in healthcare always requires a minimum amount of time and experience in the healthcare field. Although, I will take another look at such a field.


Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

Just a simple thought for you to consider . . . . I have spent decades in Military and civilian H-R and found a home in healthcare human resources. There, I would always step on the ropes for a fellow Vet - and many of the other co-workers I knew who were also Vets, did the same. The point is A) look hard and long at healthcare human resources (as it is often overlooked) and B) find fellow Vets who are in human resources.


Jim Schreier Milwaukee, WI

I cannot tell from your question, but I wonder if your resume or responses you give (even to an online application) reflect the real leadership and management experience of your military accomplishments. It's very important to "translate" your service accomplishments. It's not easy but it can be one. I've published a few articles on this site -- and more at -- about the challenges you're facing.

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