March 29, 2023
By Virginia (Ginger) Blazicko, Genesis Concepts and Consultants in partnership with Crowned Grace International
The word ‘retirement’ while serving in military service can be met with mixed feelings. It can be exciting and viewed as an earned achievement. But it can also represent the unknown due to role and schedule changes, even some bewilderment with the different agencies and programs connected with transition while trying to decipher hiring options or just the future path. Stepping back to assess where you are, where you want to be, how to be ready, and what steps are needed to get there helps, but today’s transition programs offer so much more to prepare and launch smoothly.
2020 brought many changes to the hiring process due to the global pandemic. While it changed some of the usual methods of hosting an employment job fair, it did open some new platforms to pursue employment. The age of virtual job fairs really become the preferred choice of employment and communication during the pandemic. Virtual platforms do provide access for many of us with limited time, travel options, and physical constraints. The virtual hiring process proved to be a new source of access that still requires some refinement, comfort, connection, and a willingness to embrace change. New opportunities have opened with new partnerships, internships, and supporting agencies that have encouraged reaching out to the transitioning and veteran population as a strong employment market.
Now it is 2023, many venues for seeking employment are returning or resuming many of the previous forms, including the in-person employment job fairs. Virtual employment fairs are continuing to maintain their own traction, especially with individuals whose location or other needs cannot support attending in person. Employers also now recognized the need to provide different platforms and offer a hybrid option. Transitioning Service Members and Veterans would benefit greatly from appreciating these platforms. Meeting and discussing employment options in person does provide an opportunity to appreciate the human factor that online may not be able to always convey. This also translates to the need for all Service Members to be prepared to have both resume copies, paper copies, and online resumes available and able to send upon demand from their personal device to the interested employment team.
Education begins with information and access. Participation feeds knowledge and may increase confidence in the new and unknown. Attending these hiring fairs can be motivational and informative. Making a move from military service begins with understanding, a willingness to be open to try new and current platforms the civilian hiring sector is following, and being ready to shift your mindset to a new gear level. Online may also include the actual interview portion of the hiring practice. Don’t wait – get out there and practice these new platforms. You may see they work well and to your advantage.