As you navigate the world of college, there are a lot of twists and turns. But, if you are also a former military, then you have a whole host of new concerns. The truth is, as a service member in one of the branches of the military, you have to find a way to showcase your experience. Yet this is not always easy, and for certain careers, you cannot provide verifiable experience due to military restrictions. To help you bypass these issues and find jobs that work for your military history, follow suit with these tips.
Getting Licensed as a Commercial Employee
If you are currently working in the military you are gaining invaluable technical and professional job experience. However, you will need more than that to get licensed in the same commercial sector. The commercial trucking industry, for example, requires truck drivers including those with military driving experience to pass a commercial driver’s license exam. This enables the drivers to get a CDL in order to operate commercial vehicles, such as 18-wheelers. In this type of commercial job, you are required to have some sort of experience before you can be hired in many instances.
Even if you are a truck driver, such as an 88M Motor Transport Operator, you cannot translate your military work experience into the CDL because there is no way for the commercial company to verify the information. What you can do is find a way to bypass the issue. For commercial vehicle operators, consider the Military CDL Skills Test Waiver. With this waiver, you are able to apply two years of applicable behind-the-wheel experience as a military driver to your commercial career. This helps you in two ways.
First, you save time and money on training to take the first part of the CDL exam, which is great news for you as a veteran trying to get hired. Second, you are able to apply your driving experience to your commercial driving record. This is great news because commercial transportation companies hire all new drivers based on their level of experience. Your entry-level pay rate is determined by how many years of driving experience you have. As a result, you automatically increase your truck driver salary with two years of driving experience on your work history.
Veteran-Owned Small Businesses at the SBA
Want to strike out on your own and put your experience to the test as an entrepreneur? Whether you have ample training or specialized skills that you gained in the military, chances are you can apply those to the commercial sector. The US Small Business Administration offers federal contracting, funding, and training for veterans working to become business owners. The military-specific resources come from the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). Programs are available locally and include:
- Boots to Business (B2B)
- Dog Tag Inc.
- The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (MREIDL)
- St. Joseph’s University and the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV)
- Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (IVMF)
Veteran Contracts With Boots to Business
Take a closer look at Boots to Business as this program offers a wealth of resources. Boots to Business is an in-person training experience that puts attendees in line with information and networking to benefit them. Enroll in this program as a veteran to receive fundamental business training starting with an Introduction to Entrepreneurship workshop. The SBA manages the Boots to Business program for vets and their military spouses. By the end of the two-day course, learn how to create a business plan and get valuable resources to start a business.
When you are ready to find resources to help fund your new business, check out veteran contracting at the SBA. Through the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Program (SDVOSBC), vets have special access to set-aside contracts. The contracts are awarded to veteran business owners of SMBs that also hire veterans for more than half of the staff.
You can garner small business set-asides. These are special contracts with federal agencies that are set aside for veterans and/or service-disabled veterans. The SBA offers competitive set-asides, as well as sole-source set-asides. Being enrolled in the SDVOSBC increases the potential that you can get your business moving in the right direction.
Contracts lead to customer commitments that give your new business the credentials and work history you need to secure even bigger contracts. This is the optimal route for building
Sourcing Military Vet Job Resources
Becoming a paid professional with a career in the civilian sector is not as straightforward as it should be for someone with military experience. However, it is still manageable and there are plenty of outlets for you to bypass the roadblocks that stand in your way. This includes resources for vets who need to supplement their military work experience with training in the commercial sector, as well as for veterans who are ready to transition today.