Navigating the Digital Job Search After Military Retirement - A RecruitMilitary Success Story
“The biggest challenge I faced while looking for a job was finding the right fit," said Charles Owens, U.S. Navy veteran of 23 years and NATO liaison officer with Kern Technology Group (KTG).
"The internet is a wonderful thing, but it's also full of information and misinformation. You can go down a rabbit hole for hours on end and not find anything that would hold your interest or matches up with your skills or your background.”
“At the end of the day you want to come home to enjoy a better quality of life and not necessarily pursue just a dollar amount. I found myself in that position - where I had to balance quality of life with the time commitment but wanted to stay attached to military and Navy work. And that's what led me to RecruitMilitary.”
See how retired Navy veteran Charles Owens used RecruitMilitary's Placement Service to find a job that fit his skills and interests:
What is your military background?
I joined the military in 1984 as a cryptologist. I was selected for officer and was commissioned in 1990. I worked as a surface warfare officer for six years and then woke up one day and said, "You know, I really want to try my hand at something else."
I laterally converted to public affairs and completed the rest of my military career as a public affairs officer. I retired as a lieutenant commander after 23 years in the United States Navy.
What is your new job?
I work for Kern Technology Group as a NATO liaison officer, and that job involves working with partner NATO nations to improve the interoperability between the U.S. and its partners with our submarine forces.
Why did you use RecruitMilitary's Placement Service?
When I decided to transition from working in Department of Defense exclusively, I realized I needed to find something that could meet my standard of living, but at the same time, still fulfill my dreams of being in and around the military.
At the end of the day you want to come home to enjoy a better quality of life and not necessarily pursue just a dollar amount. I found myself in that position - where I had to balance quality of life with the time commitment but wanted to stay attached to military and Navy work. And that's what led me to RecruitMilitary.
They were able to successfully match my background with a position that was available locally. I was able to take advantage of not only my background, but my ability to stay at home. My quality of life was exponentially improved.
What challenges did you face on the job market, and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I faced while looking for a job was finding the right fit. The internet is a wonderful thing, but it's also full of information and misinformation. You can go down a rabbit hole for hours on end and not find anything that would hold your interest or matches up with your skills or your background.
When I reached out to RecruitMilitary, they cut through the fog and said, "We have a handful of jobs that fit what you can do or would like to do."
They facilitated the process and really got me in front of companies, fast. I reached out to RecruitMilitary with my resume on a Friday. By Tuesday, they had three jobs in front of me, which I selected two and then down to one. And I was interviewing within a week.
Do any of your military skills translate to your new job?
My first public affairs job was with the NATO forces in Bosnia, and that really exposed me to what it was like on the European side of NATO.
To have that background and understanding of NATO nations made it a very easy transition. I'm definitely using those skills.
Of course, being in public affairs means you have to be a diplomat and you certainly put that hat on every day. You do things to build relationships and to reinforce the goals that the U.S. is putting forth to these nations. So it is a responsibility, but it’s one that I truly enjoy.
What advice would you give to someone who's transitioning from the service to civilian life?
When you are still in the military, take advantage of everything - all the education, everything that the military is giving you. Take it with you because it will translate to the outside.
Build your resume while you're still in the military. You won't remember what you did two years ago, but if you're writing it down and building it as you go, you will be able to show a very strong representation of who you are. Resumes are about getting you in the door.
Be able to articulate what you did in the military and how you can be an asset to any company that would bring you on.
Establish relationships now with companies like RecruitMilitary. They can help you refine your resume and have a repository of open positions from partner companies.
Seek quality-of-life and use companies like RecruitMilitary to facilitate that for you. If it worked out for me, it can work out for anybody.
Ready to forge a new career path after the military? RecruitMilitary is here for every step of the way. Start by creating your RecruitMilitary job seeker profile.
By Elizabeth Stetler, U.S. Army Veteran