Finding a job after the military: common myths {Guest post}

Hello all! I have been a bad blog-mother yet again, but hopefully Emma from Smile as it Happens can help redeem me! Emma is working on becoming a Life and Career coach and had the wonderful idea to share some common misconceptions one might encounter trying to find a job after the military. Since The General Specific caters to a wide array of readers, I thought her advice would be very helpful to some of you. I am very excited to have Emma here with me as this is my very first guest blogger in the 3 years of The General Specific’s existence! So without further ado, I give you Emma!

Tips for Your Job Search After the Military

After leaving the military, you will encounter barriers to employment. Everyone does, and overcoming these obstacles is a matter of finding the right way for you to transition to civilian life. In the current economic environment, finding a good job is not easy, but it isn’t impossible either. To help ease the process, let us consider four prevalent job-hunting myths and counter them with practical truths.

Myth #1: Referrals are time-consuming and an annoyance to the referrer.

Truth: Most people who know you and have witnessed your work ethic will be eager to provide you with a referral. It’s human nature: You build bonds with the people you work alongside and more often than not, they want to see you succeed. Consider the people you’ve worked with, and imagine what you’d feel when they asked for a referral. Formal referrals are neither difficult nor time-consuming. Companies such as AT&T and Walmart have even started to partner with resources like JIBE, a mobile recruiting company, which allows you to quickly connect with references right from your smartphone or tablet while on-the-go.

Myth #2: There are no civilian jobs similar to my military assignment.

Truth: Many who’ve served loved what they did in the military and are saddened at the perception that those skills don’t translate to civilian life. Don’t rush to judgment, however, since it’s often a misconception. While many military jobs don’t have an exact civilian analog, there are usually jobs available that can take advantage of your skills and provide similar satisfaction. The Skills Translator tool will help you find suitable jobs based on your skills, position, branch, pay grade and other factors.

Myth #3: Who you know is your most important resource.

Truth: Let’s not understate the value of networking; it’s important, and having connections to people is a principle of the strategy. Nevertheless, what’s far more important is who knows you, and that isn’t simply a matter of semantics. In this Internet age, a person has many ways to reveal him or herself to the world in a positive way. In addition to social media platforms, there are traditional platforms. Rather than worry about who you know, treat yourself as a resource, and attract people to you.

Myth #4: The military doesn’t provide a job counselor.

Truth: Many people think that the civilian job-related help provided by the military is limited to automated tools but this isn’t entirely true. If you’re a post-9/11 veteran, then you have access to an actual person who can answer your questions and help you as you search. The name of this service is Gold Card, and it gives you access to a One-Stop Career Center. There you’ll find career guidance, interview preparation, job-readiness tests, an individual development plan and even referrals.

The most important step you can take is following your dreams. Don’t settle. If you do what you love, then you’ll find real happiness. Use all of the tools at your disposal, lean on that persistence that made you so successful in your military life and it will pay dividends.


Emma is a mid 20-something year old with a passion for life, love, fitness, and helping others. She loves to be active and get involved in as many sport and community activities as possible. Emma is currently studying to become a Career & Life Coach, and loves to network with people from around the world! Check out Emma’s blog at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s