Returning Veterans’ Adaptability, a Key Element to Finding a Job

Veteran’s Day, 2010. A day of reflection. As the war winds down in the Middle East, we see an ever- increasing number of veterans returning home to staggering unemployment levels ( about 9.5% across the country ). What are our veterans to do? One of the real issues many of them face is the difficulty of transferring those skills that they acquired while on active duty, to jobs that may be available in the civilian world.

With the prospect of a jobless recovery looming over the horizon, veterans are finding it more and more difficult to find employment so they can support themselves and their families. I know…I’m one of these people. I’m a veteran of the United States Air Force. I was trained as a Security Policeman and as a K-9 dog handler. Fortunately for me, this is a job that can be transferred to the civilian job market. Police departments are always looking for experienced K-9 handlers. Here was my problem, though…while I was on active duty I attended the USAF Security Police Combat Training School, the Air Base Ground Defense School, the US Army Air Assault School, and Jungle Warfare Tactics School.

Essentially, I was trained more for combat than I was to be a policeman, and as a result, I lost 3 inches off of my right leg during a “hostile confrontation”. So when I entered the job market, not only could I not work in the career field that I was trained for, I also entered the job market as a disabled veteran. This is the type of scenario that is facing a great number of our returning veterans. No directly transferable skills, and either a mental or physical disability that has to be overcome. So how can these returning Veterans find success? What has allowed me to become successful in the job market and has allowed me to keep myself continually employed since my discharge has been the ability to adapt to new training skills and re-inventing myself.

These are a crucial ingredients to a veteran’s career prospects. I’ve worked as a court reporter; a Registered Representative with Prudential and as a Sales Manager in the high-tech and demand generation industries. My experiences have taught me that the key to success for all our returning veterans is their ability to think outside of their own box, reassess their strengths and weaknesses, and apply those strengths to help them find employment, become a productive and efficient employee, and ultimately help them succeed in the current economic climate. Best Regards, Joe Laro Senior Sales Consultant, America’s Job Exchange

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