The old adage, knowledge is power, is especially true when conducting a job search. A successful job search campaign requires gathering intelligence data, just as a military operation would. Your research activities should focus on four major targets: alternative jobs and careers, organizations, individuals, and communities.
Your initial search should help familiarize you with job and career alternatives. It is essential to investigate occupational alternatives in order to broaden your perspective on the job market.
It is especially important for you to discover how your military job skills and titles best correspond to specific civilian job skills and titles. You might start by looking at your Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) document (DD Form 2586) provided to all eligible departing service members to verify military experience and training.
Then you should begin your research by examining several key directories (found at the library or online) that provide information on alternative jobs and careers:
Next, identify specific organizations that you are interested in learning more about. Compare and evaluate the different companies by compiling information on their goals, structures, functions, problems and projected future opportunities and development.
The following websites are excellent online databases and tools for company research:
The best information will come directly from knowledgeable people in your targeted organizations. Your most productive research activity will be communicating with them by phone, fax, or email, and in face-to-face meetings. You especially want to learn more about the people who make the hiring decisions. Use the Company Contacts to compile a list of contacts’ names, addresses, and phone numbers.
Contact former military friends or fellow veterans who work in your targeted companies and may be good networking contacts. Use social media sites and veteran search websites to identify them:
As you separate or retire from the service, identifying the geographical area where you would like to work will be one of your most important career decisions. There are important considerations in choosing the area that best fits you and your family, such as evaluating the educational and employment opportunities, quality of schools, community feel and cultural activities.
To explore various communities, examine several of these gateway community sites: