MSEJ March 2015 - Page 22

ASK the Expert

Have Questions? email us:

askus@msccn.org

By Amy Rossi

As a veteran job search trainer over the last seventeen years, I have had the opportunity to help our finest move into civilian careers and the privilege to work with countless veterans. While each person and situation is unique, I am going to answer the top veteran job search challenges that I get.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST REGRET YOU HEAR FROM TRANSITIONED VETERANS?

TIME! Unemployed veterans who recently transitioned tell me, “I wish I would have started EARLIER!” Most didn’t realize the interview process would take so long or that the desired position would require additional education or certifications. The applicant selection process can take 2 to 6 months, certifications 3 to 6 months and, if you have additional requirements to meet, you might tack on another 3 to 6 months. Then, you might find yourself waiting for the next group training start date, which could mean another 2 to 4 months. I recently had a candidate say, “I can’t believe that it has taken over 8 months to start a job that I was already hired for!”

WHEN SHOULD I START PREPARING FOR A CIVILIAN CAREER?

RIGHT NOW! Did you know that it takes about two years of planning to execute a smooth transition to a civilian career? TWO Years???? Yes, TWO YEARS! It is NEVER TOO early to START to plan your next career. BUT if you didn’t start yet…the 17 year mark should be the TRIGGER to start doing a checklist of where you are professionally if you intend to retire after 20 years of military service. Trust me, 3 years will go quickly! Starting three years out gives you about two years of planning for the one year of transition you will encounter.