Too Many Programs are Overwhelming Soldiers

When veterans leave the military, can they get good jobs? Some say that there is too much information out there and too many places to look for jobs.

There have been several beneficial enhancements to veterans’ programs, improving unemployment rankings for ex-military personnel. Veteran unemployment is currently at some of the lowest levels ever. In fact, unemployment is lower for veterans than non-veterans. Companies are hiring former armed service members for their soft skills, such as leadership, teamwork, and dependability.

While joblessness for veterans is down, however, people who are transitioning to civilian life may not recognize how many opportunities are available to them. They end up taking jobs that do not match their qualifications, experience, and skills. They may be overqualified for the careers that they end up with, leaving them feeling unfulfilled.

One of the problems may be that there are too many places to look for jobs and too much information available. Veterans may be overwhelmed by the choices. Should they go to vocational school and learn a trade? Should they earn a degree? Should they enroll in a job placement program?

Veterans gain plenty of skills while they are serving in the armed forces. When they get out, they often look to civilian jobs that match their proficiencies. This may lead to speedy employment. But the skills do not always directly match those that are necessary for civilian jobs. Even though veterans may qualify for a specific job, additional training is often necessary if veterans want to set up successful careers.

Companies may not want to pay for this type of training. But they need to view veterans as investments. People who are transitioning out of the military need time to adjust to the civilian work life and gain the skills that are necessary for careers in that type of environment. 

Even though there is too much information for veterans, there is not much support for companies hiring former service members. Many hiring managers do not know how to correlate a veteran’s skills with the job requirements.

For veterans, there are often too many places to look for jobs and too much information to sift through. A customized pathway for people who are transitioning out of the military would help. Veterans need to learn how their skill sets apply to specific careers. Business organizations need to understand how they can benefit from hiring veterans.

Many veterans’ programs offer resources to help ex-military individuals establish solid careers after leaving the military. Again, however, there may be too much information available to help veterans make a clear decision. Veterans programs could provide a more tailored route to ease the transition back to civilian life for soldiers and reduce the overwhelm of having too many places to look for jobs. 

It is not always easy to decipher how a veteran’s skills will overlap with those required for a civilian job. Moreover, a veteran may not want the same job that they held while they were in the service. Even if veterans are interested in a new field, they are more apt to be hired in an area that resonates with their military experience. In other words, although there are too many places to look for jobs, the accessibility to that information may be disjointed.

The authors of a recent study on hurdles and opportunities for veteran employment suggest that veterans programs can be improved by:

Enhancing and connecting government data gathering efforts and records
Increasing funding for researching employment data for veteran subpopulations that may not use veterans’ programs to find careers
Streamlining veterans’ programs so that they do not offer to much information at once but drip it out in an organized way
Offering more tailored continuing education opportunities that create a path for job placement and make veterans feel like there are not too many places to look for jobs
Providing support for the challenges that military spouses face

Instead of launching new initiatives, veterans’ programs should come together, forming a stronger network of services that allows veterans in transition to move more seamlessly from service to civilian careers. That way, veterans would not be overwhelmed by too much information or too many places to look for jobs.

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