By Wanda “Sistah
Soldier” Petty, President & CEO
Understanding how to translate your military skills before you depart the service isn’t always transparent. You know that your experience must be worth something because almost everyone said: “It was so valuable that employers would hire you without question.” Right? Admittedly, spending three, 10, or 20 years serving your country must be worth a six-figure salary as soon as you walk out the post gate!
Not necessarily. I dread being the bearer of unpleasant news, but not all employers exactly understand what service members do outside of going to battle. That’s pretty much the main thing that comes to mind when someone says “I’m a veteran.” It’s up to you to intentionally explain your work description while on duty.
Let’s say you’re applying for a security job? Use the example of a task everyone must manage, like guard duty? You might say, “I didn’t have guard duty everyday; it was only once a month.” The fact remains—you gained the knowledge and importance of providing security over the lives of peers, or equipment. So, you need to add a value to the equation. It would sound like this… “Provided storage and security for 25 personnel and technology equipment used to run emergency phone lines valued over 325K.” Maybe, your Military Occupational Skill (MOS) was administrative, and you managed training operations? In what type of employment would this be applicable? What about a career counselor, school counselor, project manager, etc.?
It would be described similar to this in nature, “Managed and implemented professional development training for over 1,500 troops within a single company. Tracked individual promotions, and made recommendations for career advancement during counseling sessions and interviews that assisted soldiers with making career choices.”
These are only a few ways to remember the value of your training. Everything you practiced brings value. So, don’t discount your worth, or your experience. Employers know veterans can bring enormous benefits and work ethic to their establishment, but they depend on the veteran to highlight their traits and practices. Only you know the daily operations you supported. Another value-added to your experience would be obtaining a certification. As I mentioned earlier, your experience is highly recognized, but may not be acknowledged unless you’ve received an outside certificate that says you know how to manage projects. Having a DD 214 doesn’t equate to the same value. Yes, it describes what professional skills you trained for, the amount of years, but does not certify each area. Determining your skillset then becomes laborious. Now, you must think outside of the box, because providing proof of experience can cost you over $100K the moment you submit your degree and discharge documentation. A degree only says, “you’re educated,” not “trained” in a specific field. Which will toss you right in the middle of everyone else without the same level of experience you’ve gained.
How do you set yourself apart?
Easy. The Women Veterans Career Network is now enrolling students for its Project Management Fundamental (CAMP) Course. That means, even if you’re not familiar with the terminology or direct functions required to become a Project Manager, you can start with the basics and earn upward of $35K – $90K just because of your experience and having a certificate (salary varies). We want to take the time to show you everything you already know and how simple it is to “own your experience!” If you’re tired of being offered wages that do not fit your experience, become a certified JR. Project Manager Specialist. Learn more by visiting www.womenveteranscareernetwork.com today and begin owning your worth, and bring value to your business or employer as a veteran today!
Sistah Soldier is an inspirational activist who helps veterans, women, and minorities step into the call of God for their lives using their creative skills. She’s the CEO, host, and executive producer of SHE VET iNSPIRES Television Show, and the executive recruiter for SHE WORKS Digital™.