Assignment: Career issues affecting military
Career issues affecting military personnel returning to civilian life is much different than those who have never been in the military. That is why all branches of the military are required to provide preseperation counseling and to offer transition assistance workshops to aid in returning to civilian life (Clemens & Milsom, 2008). Without transition assistance services and little or no work experience, some enlisted service members reenter civilian life with little direction or understanding of the civilian world of work (Clemens & Milsom, 2008). Career challenges faced by service-members returning to civilian life include loss of purpose. Although a lack of purpose can be a challenge for those who are non-service members, this can be more challenging for service members seeking employment who no longer felt they were contributing to an important communal effort. This feeling can be intensified when veterans can’t find jobs they feel are important and drew upon their skills (Ahern et al., 2015). Another challenge service members face during transition to civilian life is the task of taking care of oneself. Service members have described the environment in terms reminiscent of the care of a family would provide to a child such as holding their hand, a safety net, and comfort.
Once many of them transition to civilian life, they don’t understand how much of this works because there was always a system where everything made sense for them (Ahern et al., 2015). This system does not apply to civilian life, one member stated all of sudden he had to take care of himself and make his own decisions.” This dilemma creates a huge challenge for career counselors as it relates to decision making and career development. Transition to civilian life is also challenging for family members of service members. When enlisted, military personnel and their families move 4 times the rate of civilian families. Thus, the frequent moves associated with military service might decrease the likelihood of individual’s knowledge of specific career opportunities through established professional or social networks (Clemens & Milsom, 2008).
Strategies for advocating
Career counselors can normalize the change from veteran to civilian by employing the skills learned and qualities developed while serving. This approach can help military personnel see their military service as part of their overall, continuous life-long career. Another strategy for advocating is collaborating with other counselors. Career counselors can collaborate with other professionals in their institution or agency, particularly in veteran’s affairs. Career counselors can also establish relationships with college counselors to suggest courses or vocational rehab counselors to develop educational plans for veterans with service connected disabilities (Miles, 2014).
Ahern, J., Worthen, M., Masters, J., Lippman, S.A., Ozer, E.J., & Moos, R. (2015). The challenges of
Afghanistan and Iraq veterans transition from military to civilian life and approaches to
reconnection. PLoS ONE, 10(7), 1-13.
Clemens, E.V., Milsom, A.S. (2008). Enlisted service members transition into the civilian world of work:
A cognitive information processing approach. The Career Development Quarterly, 56, 246-256.
Miles, R.A. (2014). Career counseling strategies and challenges for transitioning veterans. Career
Planning and Adult Development Journal, 30(3), 123-135.