Veteran’s Perspective 38 www.latinastyle.com LATINAStyle Vol. 25, No. 1, 2019
When I got out of the military I
fell flat on my face trying to
figure out what in the heck I
wanted to do next. Everyone who leaves
the military struggles in some form or
fashion. Sometimes that struggle is a shock
from starting in a new workplace/culture. Other
times it’s dealing with moving across the country
or even adjusting to a new, and perhaps lower,
paycheck. More struggle in linking their military
service to corporate terms and then filling in the
gaps that may be left from that translation.
In addition to those struggles, almost
every Veteran has difficulty finding satisfying and
meaningful employment after leaving the military.
Transitioning from the military cannot be done
passively; your transition must be a deliberate and
aggressive action with help from others. Because
every Veteran is different, there isn’t a “silver
bullet” guide on how to transition that can apply to
each member of the military.
First, you need to network.
Connect with everyone: peers, friends,
people you know from other units, your pastor or
priest, your commander who got out six months
ago, your old platoon sergeant, and even your drill
instructor from boot camp. Connect with
everyone you can because you never know who
will be the link between you and your first job out
of the service.
Second, write a resume.
Make the meat of the resume about how
well you did your job, not just the duties and
descriptions you pulled out of the field manual or
a regurgitation of the Noncommissioned Officer’s
Creed. Qualify and quantify all of your results –
recruiters love to read about professional
achievements, rankings, training, and early
promotions. Where do you get all of this great
information? Your evaluations and award citations
are a great place to start.
Finally, know what matters to you.
Where are you willing to move? What is your
salary range? What benefits are important to you?
Do you want to be near or far away from family?
If you are married, ensure your spouse is in
agreement with you before you set foot in an
interview. What kind of culture do you want?
Companies are moving mountains right now
when it comes to establishing culture. Things like
mentorship programs and after-hours events are
becoming increasingly popular.
However, if you don’t like the company’s
culture none of that will matter and you’ll join the
ranks of nearly half of Veterans who leave their
first job post-military within a year. How good is a
mentor at a company you don’t want to work for?
How good are after-hours events when you count
down the seconds to leave the office? Understand
if a company is a fit for you and don’t accept
an offer, no matter how tempting, just because it
pays the most money. Complete the total body
transition and move into a new culture with a
purpose that aligns with your beliefs. For me, I’m
right on track at BNSF Railway. Learn more about
our opportunities at bnsf.com/military.
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How to Successfully
Find a Meaningful
Career After the Military
By Max Lujan, Military Recruiter, BNSF Railway
Max Lujan currently resides in
Fort Worth, TX and oversees
military recruiting for BNSF
Railway. Lujan commissioned as
a field artillery officer following
his graduation from West Point
with a degree in electrical
engineering in 2011. He served
across the world for five years in
the U.S. Army before leaving the
Army in 2016.