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Jobless vets need to think outside military box

Veterans have to get out of the military mindset if they’re going to adapt to the civilian workplace. And that means gearing up for a new outlook even before they leave the armed forces behind.

While it’s important to be proud of military service, it’s also critical for a vets career to know how to play up and play down their years serving your country, advised Randy Plunkett, the director of community and government outreach for Military.com, during our live web chat Wednesday.

“Two common mistakes transitioning military make are to not start early in transitioning and to use military jargon on their resumes,” he told readers.

One reader, Phil, a captain in the Army with a degree in history from West Point, asked Plunkett: “What kind of jobs are available for someone with my background?”

Plunkett’s response:

“Think about your ancillary experience. Not only do you have a degree, you have more than just your army job. You are a human resources manager - talking with soldiers about their careers, you supervise and manage extensive training programs, you actively participate in performance reviews, and you have extensive diversity and inclusion workplace experience.”

It’s all about taking your experience in the military, he explained, and pointing out how what you did can fit into the real work world.

“We need a fundamental change in thinking,” he stressed. “Military members have to think in terms of their big picture, large category experience, not just their classification.”

Here’s the entire Q&A with Plunkett:

 Join us next Wednesday for another live web chat with an expert that will address money or work issues.