Action Plan: 6 Job-Search Tips for Veterans
Get your financial house in order before beginning a civilian job search. These job-search tips and techniques can help.
- Use the Transition Assistance Office. Make the most of the programs and resources offered by your local Transition Assistance Office to help you find a new job. You can start by looking at the Department of Defense's Transition Assistance Program website.
- Maintain military relationships. Consider maintaining an affiliation with the military through the Reserves or National Guard. This may help you qualify for benefits like health insurance and tuition assistance while you look for a job.
- Leverage job-search resources. Make the most of other resources to help with the search. Check out:
- Think about pay and benefits carefully. Before you take a civilian job, calculate how much money you'd need to earn to end up with similar discretionary income, considering lost benefits and different tax rules after you leave the military. Learn more about replacing your benefits for a smooth transition and use our Compare Your Civilian Pay to Your Total Military Compensation Action Plan.
- Build your emergency fund. Your job search could take some time after leaving the military. Plan ahead, and build your emergency fund before you transition. It's a good idea to set aside at least three to six months' worth of expenses. Put it in a safe and accessible account, like a checking, savings or money-market account that you can tap for unexpected expenses or to pay the bills if you're out of work for a while. Once you have your fund established, keep it funded. See our Start an Emergency Fund Action Plan for tips on how to save for contingencies.
- Protect yourself against job search scams. Your job search can expose you to identity theft and financial fraud. Check out suspicious offers and learn how to recognize and avoid scams. Learn more from the Federal Trade Commission using their Job Hunting and Business Opportunity scams sections, your state's Consumer Protection Agency or Office of the Attorney General, or your local Better Business Bureau. BBB's Military Line program focuses specifically on helping members of the military and their families. The SaveAndInvest.org Fraud Center also provides tools to help you spot and avoid investment fraud pitches.
Be sure to review the other action plans in the Military Transition Toolkit:
- Action Plan: Benefits Checkup
- Action Plan: Compare Your Civilian Pay to Your Total Military Compensation
- Action Plan: Housing After the Military