Everything You Need to Know About Working in the Private Sector
Now, many veterans had jobs as a teenager before they joined up, and many also work second jobs while they are serving to pay the bills. This article is targeted towards those who don’t have much experience with working in the private sector and are approaching their discharge date (or have already hit it) and are trying to figure it out as they go. Hopefully, this article will give you everything you need to know to get launched into the private sector like a rocket. The things you need to know are as follows: you need to be qualified, speaking up is a good thing, and you will be rewarded based on merit.
You Need to Be Qualified For the Job You’re Applying For
As someone who has done hiring before, it’s pretty frustrating when someone who doesn’t have the qualifications we’re seeking applies for the position. For many veterans, especially those with combat positions, it is difficult to find jobs that you are qualified for based solely on your military experience. The solution? An education, or a second job while you’re still serving. Pick a direction, skillset, or career field that you would like to work in following service, and start getting qualified for a position in that field. Maybe you pick up a part-time entry level position while serving, or perhaps you go to college and get a related bachelor’s degree. What you do to get qualified should depend on the field you want to go into. A college degree may be the way to go, but it might also be a waste of time (if you want to be a diesel mechanic, then go get certified from a tech college or trade school). If you’ve already been discharged, aren’t qualified for any positions in the field you’re looking for, consider finding a job as an armed security guard (actually pay pretty well) and using your GI bill benefits on a degree or certification. If you are able to find an entry-level job in your field while you go to school for it, even better.
Everyone’s had a supervisor that wanted them to sit down, shut up and do their job. Most supervisors and managers, however, welcome innovation and ideas from their employees. It shows that the employees are thinking about what they’re doing, care about it, and want to make it better. It’s been said that the best way to get promoted is to make yourself obsolete. If you’re able to come in, simplify processes and increase efficiency, and get more done, you better believe you’ll be on the fast track to a promotion. This is often counter-intuitive to former military because in the military you are taught not to question and not to argue. Obviously you need to respect your supervisor or manager’s authority, but you can still make suggestions and improvements, and you will normally be rewarded for them.
You Will be Rewarded Based on Merit
Let’s be honest for a moment: promotions and raises in the military are often based more on time served and tenure than qualifications for a position. The private sector is different. There are exceptions to every rule, but usually the people who work the hardest, make the biggest difference, and impress their superiors the most are the ones who get the promotion. Don’t get jaded if you get gypped once or twice, just buckle down and keep doing everything you can to excel at your job, and if you’re good at what you do, you will be rewarded for it. If you aren’t getting the rewards you think you deserve, you can always find a job at a different company, which is also different from the military.
There are a lot of differences between being in the military and working in the private sector, but those are the ones you really need to know to get going. If you find yourself struggling to succeed in the private sector, check veterans forums or help groups to get more guidance on specific things like interviewing, building a resume, and contributing to a positive work environment.