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Old 22 September 2016, 11:02
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General Advice for Transitioning Veterans

I know most of what I am going to say has been said before and you would think it is common sense, but a recent trip to a couple separate events with Veteran attendees compelled me to write this. Unfortunately, most of the guilty parties are former senior enlisted.
1. First and foremost, if you are a Veteran, you are a part of one of the largest "networks" in the world. Take advantage.
2. Get a real haircut. Enough with the barracks cut. Look like you care.
3. Get a real suit and have it tailored. A $99 dollar off the rack suit isn't going to impress anyone.
4. If it isn't a situation where a suit is required, at least look like you give a crap. If your entire wardrobe costs about the same as what most people spend at Outback Steakhouse for dinner, buy a decent outfit.
5. Have a decent pair of shoes. Same reason as above.
6. One item of attire with a logo of the unit you served is more than enough. Ranger hat with a Ranger shirt, 5.11 pants, 5.11 boots and Oakleys isn't going to land you an interview for anything other than an OCONUS gig for a few months.
7. Don't be afraid to let people know you are looking for work. I have hired one full time Program Manager, and two contractors that are in Saudi right now from SOCNET, because they reached out to me. That person might not have anything now, but if you made a good impression, they will remember you when they do have an opportunity.

There are a lot of people on SOCNET in some high up positions. I have the good fortune of presently being a VP in a Military Sim Company that works with the Lockheeds, L3's, etc.. I get embarrassed when I'm at an event and someone walks up to say hi or introduce themselves from my former community and they are dressed like the above. Meanwhile, I'm standing there with a counterpart from one of these other Companies that probably has multiple job opportunities and this person just lost all credibility.
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Old 22 September 2016, 11:08
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Brother, common sense isn't so common anymore.

Well said! It serves as a good reminder that people pay attention to details...or, at least they should.

Good post!
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Old 22 September 2016, 12:34
Steve40th Steve40th is offline
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Thanks for the advice. I have been out for 4 years. I went to Mens Warehouse, and was fitted out. I was dressed like the boss and interviewer on my first job interview. I landed the job, even though I was overqualified, I took it as I have a responsibility to the family.
Always network, and always be looking for other jobs. Keep the resume updated.
Thanks again
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Old 22 September 2016, 14:00
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And relax. That doesn't mean stand around with a slouch, but you don't need to be at parade rest either.

Your tie, if you are wearing one, stops at the top of or at the bottom of your belt when standing, or somewhere in between. It does not stop before the top of your belt and it does not stop below your belt. Learn to tie a half-Windsor. It looks very classy and is very easy to do. Practice until you can make your tie stop at your belt area when standing. You should be able to tie a half-Windsor while walking to or from your car.

Do not say Hooah when meeting someone.

And if you are on desperate times, and truly cannot afford to have a suit altered at the very least get the pants altered so that they do not look like you are wearing two sacks of potatoes on your ankles when you stand.

Replace your shoe laces often.

Buy two belts that fit, a brown one to wear with brown shoes and a black one to wear with black shoes. The end of the belt should stick just past the first belt loop on your left side. If it sticks around to your hip get another belt.
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Last edited by KidA; 22 September 2016 at 14:05.
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Old 22 September 2016, 14:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidA View Post
Your tie, if you are wearing one, stops at the top of or at the bottom of your belt when standing, or somewhere in between. It does not stop before the top of your belt and it does not stop below your belt. Learn to tie a half-Windsor. It looks very classy and is very easy to do. Practice until you can make your tie stop at your belt area when standing. You should be able to tie a half-Windsor while walking to or from your car.
This. This is a better description than what I was "learned"; that your tie should be barely long enough (not that you would)to tuck into your pants to stop it from flapping in the wind.

It pains me to see all these guys wearing ties with all that real estate between their tie ends and their belts....
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Old 22 September 2016, 14:15
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Excellent post.

In addition to ensuring the suit is tailored to fit well, don't forget about tailoring your shirt as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3dRanger View Post
I know most of what I am going to say has been said before and you would think it is common sense, but a recent trip to a couple separate events with Veteran attendees compelled me to write this. Unfortunately, most of the guilty parties are former senior enlisted.
1. First and foremost, if you are a Veteran, you are a part of one of the largest "networks" in the world. Take advantage.
2. Get a real haircut. Enough with the barracks cut. Look like you care.
3. Get a real suit and have it tailored. A $99 dollar off the rack suit isn't going to impress anyone.
4. If it isn't a situation where a suit is required, at least look like you give a crap. If your entire wardrobe costs about the same as what most people spend at Outback Steakhouse for dinner, buy a decent outfit.
5. Have a decent pair of shoes. Same reason as above.
6. One item of attire with a logo of the unit you served is more than enough. Ranger hat with a Ranger shirt, 5.11 pants, 5.11 boots and Oakleys isn't going to land you an interview for anything other than an OCONUS gig for a few months.
7. Don't be afraid to let people know you are looking for work. I have hired one full time Program Manager, and two contractors that are in Saudi right now from SOCNET, because they reached out to me. That person might not have anything now, but if you made a good impression, they will remember you when they do have an opportunity.

There are a lot of people on SOCNET in some high up positions. I have the good fortune of presently being a VP in a Military Sim Company that works with the Lockheeds, L3's, etc.. I get embarrassed when I'm at an event and someone walks up to say hi or introduce themselves from my former community and they are dressed like the above. Meanwhile, I'm standing there with a counterpart from one of these other Companies that probably has multiple job opportunities and this person just lost all credibility.
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Old 22 September 2016, 14:18
Gsniper Gsniper is online now
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Or be able to self-evaluate like I did and accept the fact that I'm never going to have a job that requires the wear of a tie. I havn't done anything in 11 years that didn't involve a trigger or a steering wheel.

However, on the occasions that I do dress, good advise KidA.

As for the transition prep the only advise I will give is have a plan prior to ETS/Retirement. The day your terminal leave starts is not the time to start planning.
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Old 22 September 2016, 14:36
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Here's another tip:

Learn how to relate to all people, especially those that are different than us.

Learn how to ask someone how their weekend went. Find out what motivates them. Learn to set aside the business and shoot the shit, genuinely, and compassionately, with folks that are wired very differently.

This takes time, but it is an invaluable skill that for some reason comes more easily to the never-in-uniform.
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Old 22 September 2016, 15:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gsniper View Post
Or be able to self-evaluate like I did and accept the fact that I'm never going to have a job that requires the wear of a tie. I havn't done anything in 11 years that didn't involve a trigger or a steering wheel.
I agree with this, but unfortunately, I find there are many out there that think shooter jobs are a dime a dozen. "I'll get out and go contract". They have no back up plan and are left struggling.
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Old 22 September 2016, 15:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet View Post
Here's another tip:

Learn how to relate to all people, especially those that are different than us.

Learn how to ask someone how their weekend went. Find out what motivates them. Learn to set aside the business and shoot the shit, genuinely, and compassionately, with folks that are wired very differently.

This takes time, but it is an invaluable skill that for some reason comes more easily to the never-in-uniform.
Bing. O. I read this book years ago and it has served me well. Everyone wants to be a cool SF guy and the best way to do that is working by, with, and though. The basis for that is rapport building.

I dress "hobo chic" and give a shit about fashion, but when I do put on a suit I try to have it tailored (I'm built square) and my shoes and belt match. My tie also touches just above my belt, but I always have to Google which buttons to button and which ones to keep unbottened. If I can do that simple stuff anyone can.
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  #11  
Old 22 September 2016, 16:34
Gsniper Gsniper is online now
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Quote:
I find there are many out there that think shooter jobs are a dime a dozen
Very much true. That's part of the self evaluation I was talking about. The days where a one enlistment 11B can go make 200K a year are over.

Having decent clothing and knowing how to act like you have some sense are never bad ideas, whether you're job hunting or not.
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  #12  
Old 22 September 2016, 19:00
Stretch Stretch is offline
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My favorite knot for a tie is the "four in hand". I wear it with a tab collar shirt.

The others: the half Winsor and the full Winsor.

This link gives details about shirt collar type and knot. Knots and shirt collars should match like shoes and belts.

http://atailoredsuit.com/match-tie-k...lar-style.html

As far as shoes, they are not dress shoes unless they are leather soled. Wear those shoes when you get fitted, unless you want KidA to beat you for having potatoe ankles!

There are a few other threads here that discuss the same that 3dRanger was grateful to remind...
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Old 27 September 2016, 09:44
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All excellent points.

I would add one thing, and it may not be that popular: Give the VA talk a rest until you know your audience; even then, healthcare is never a polite topic outside of your own family.

Employers don't need to know (and possibly don't inwardly care) about your VA disability rating - and you may make yourself sound like a hangar queen who needs more time off. And you never want to reveal any other forms of financial income/benefit anyway.
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  #14  
Old 27 September 2016, 09:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarc88 View Post

Give the VA talk a rest until you know your audience; even then, healthcare is never a polite topic outside of your own family.
Or your goddamned challenge coin collection.
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  #15  
Old 27 September 2016, 10:00
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My advice (and learned the hard way):
*Nobody cares that you were in the military, or what you did. Talking about it may even make your new coworkers and/or interviewers distinctly uncomfortable. Don't bring it up if they don't ask.

*I second the advice to learn to relax and relate to people.

*Put in a good bit of time before your interview researching the company and its 'corporate culture.' Tailor your 'interview persona' accordingly. If 5 people are qualified for the job, they'll hire the one who is the best fit for their corporate culture. In very few cases will that be the person who stands at parade rest with a high-and-tight.

*I have one of those lucrative jobs that pays well but almost never requires me to wear a suit. If you want one of those, use that voc rehab (and your library card) to brush up on infosec. Unless you are a manager or consultant, you'll likely be ridiculed for wearing a suit outside of an interview.

*If you wear a suit for your interview, my preferred tie knot is the Pratt knot.

*Quick edit: it should go without saying, but some people just need to be told: it's almost never OK in the civilian word to use your 'infantry vocabulary.' Some 24 year old senior manager with an MBA is not going to be impressed if you tell him/her to chill the fuck out, fuck off, get the fuck out of your office, or any variation on the above.
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