How to Evaluate Offers, Get More $$$, and Avoid a Post-Army Transition Job


Military transitions are the kind of sane people who consider evaluating their job offers and then choosing the best option. No veteran offers on purpose to get a job that only bridges the gap between military service and civilian life and barely pays the bills. No clown is deliberately looking for a bridging job that they plan to quit in a year or two.

Yet research shows that between 66% and 80% of veterans will quit their first job after military service in less than two years. When asked why they left, veterans often list the classic markers of a relay job – a poor fit for a career, a lack of advancement, a lack of pay, the need for a stepping stone skill. .

Take the time to evaluate the offer.

As the Head Transition Coach for the Veterans Employment Project, I can tell you that military personnel can avoid bridging jobs in an essential part of the job search process – job evaluation. employment. Taking the time to systematically look at the actual job posting and make a logical decision is absolutely necessary. Even if you are facing growing bills and need something right now, looking at why you are saying yes to a particular job can make all the difference in the world to your long term job satisfaction.

Find your 40

Do not be afraid. I’m not going to ask you to pull out your Excel spreadsheet and design a matrix to compare all the essential aspects of your job posting, then calculate the inflation rates for the next five years and subtract the cost. real health care. That’s a lot of math for very little return on your investment. (Use our free salary calculator instead.)

Military veterans in transition need an easier way to get closer to the right answer and avoid transition work. I’ve heard a number of military retirees say that the way to go is to compare certain aspects of your job postings. They often call it “Find your 40”. This method focuses on five factors that tend to have the most influence on job satisfaction after the military.

For the full story, I went to see retired Navy Admiral Sinclair Harris, who often advises veterans on the transition as president of the National Naval Officers Association. After 34 years of military service, he had a very short transition and needed a way to make good decisions quickly. A mentor taught him the “Find Your 40” method and he used it to choose his first job.

The essential criteria

To maximize job satisfaction, Harris says the goal is to find a job with a score of at least 40 points. For each of the five criteria listed below, you will give the job posting a score from zero to 10. You have to be honest. “Give it a zero if the job is terrible,” Harris said. “Give it a 10 only if it’s perfect.”

1. Organization

Do you have a passion for what the organization does? What exactly does the company represent and how does it align with your core values? If you think the company is selling something stupid, or worse, bad, you’ll never be happy there no matter what they pay. Ditto if the work is performed in a known toxic environment. Life is too short to work with, well, morons.

Note 0-10: _________

2. Interest

What is the daily activity for which you will be hired? Does it sound fun, fulfilling, engaging, dignified and interesting? How will they rate you on your performance?

Note 0-10: _________

3. Culture of learning and growth

This is where the size of the company may interest you in terms of opportunities. “Big places can offer a lot of learning opportunities,” said Harris. “They invest time in you to increase retention and productivity, but you could be tagged. Mid-size employers expect you to learn the industry on your feet. Small businesses are like babies; they have to eat every day. They don’t have time to invest in you, and you have to make it rain now. ”Regardless of the size of the business, does it offer the type of growth you are most responsive to?

Note 0-10: _________

4. Location and travel

Before the job offer, most military personnel think about where their family will live and whether they will need to relocate. Once you start working, location refers to the trip and how long it takes to get to work. Military personnel often report that even though their commute took the same time as during military service, it did not seem worth it for their post-military job. Additionally, clarify with the hiring manager how many trips this job typically requires, as well as current plans for working from home and back to the office.

Note 0-10: _________

5. Total compensation

You can’t base your decision on your compensation alone, but neither can you afford to ignore it. Different companies offer very different packages. “It will be apples for hand grenades,” Harris said. “They may be the same shape, but they are not the same.”

Note 0-10: _________

Add up your total score.

This is the most important part of the Find Your 40 method because you are not looking for a high score. The job posting needs to score at least 40 points for you to even consider it. It really helps when job postings roll in like moles.

When I have used this method with military clients in transition, they are surprised how clear the real offer becomes and how it prompts some questions they need to ask the employer.

Getting a job offer is almost as stressful as not getting the job offer. Make the right decision by taking the time to assess the next step in your high-impact job search. Discover more tips and strategies by signing up for our upcoming FREE bridging masterclasses or viewing our video masterclass series.

– Jacey Eckhart is Military.comTransition Master Coach. She is a certified professional career coach and military sociologist who helps military personnel get their first civilian job by offering a career level Master class through our Veterans Employment Project and on its website Reach her at [email protected].

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