Military Force Shaping and How to Proactively Handle It
COVID-19 has brought a level of uncertainty among individuals and the inability for companies and non-essential businesses across the nation to sustain financially. This pandemic results in approximately 16 million Americans, including veterans, being left to file for unemployment benefits due to furloughs and layoffs. But what happens to our service men and women should the military force shaping strategies continue after the Coronavirus?
As you know, there’s no such thing as job security, and a reduction-in-force (RIF) in the military or civilian world is beyond any employee’s control. With the understanding that cuts in personnel is a possibility in every branch of the U.S. military, Empire Resume will discuss how you can assess and address the situation.
File for Unemployment Compensation
Just like the civilian world, the military has its own unemployment program. The UCX Program provides financial compensation to military members who qualify.
The eligibility criteria is below:
- You were on active duty with a branch of the U.S. military. You may be entitled to benefits based on that service.
- You must have been separated under honorable conditions.
- There is no payroll deduction from your wages for unemployment insurance protection. Benefits are paid for by the various branches of the military.
To apply for unemployment and determine the amount and duration of the benefit, you must apply at your local state unemployment office.
Please keep in mind to apply in the state where you reside, not the state where you separated from the military.
According to the DoD website, you’d need a copy of your DD-214, social security card, and a resume.
Perform a SWOT Analysis
Take some time to look within yourself by performing a SWOT analysis. SWOT is the acronym for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
A SWOT analysis is a strategy most commonly referred to in business, but you can use it to look internally to see what you’re good at, the areas you need to improve upon, and the general barriers that may affect your career search in the future.
Want to do your own SWOT analysis? Use these tips to guide you:
- Strengths: What are the things that you do very well? Knowing your strengths will give you an advantage because you can relay your value to your next employer, whether the organization holds the military friendly company designation or not.
- Weaknesses: We’re all uncomfortable talking about our weaknesses, but honesty is the best policy here. Think about the areas that you’re not so good in.
Maybe organization and planning is not your forte. Or the thought of writing a report sends you hiding in your shell like a turtle.
Whatever your weakness, it is important to face it and bring it to the forefront now, so it doesn’t bring chaos into your life as an employee later.
- Opportunities: Opportunities can only be identified once you’ve determined your strengths and weaknesses. Within the opportunities, you’ll have a chance to magnify your strengths and manage your weaknesses.
Notice, we didn’t say ignore your strengths or try to fix them. Your weaknesses make you human, as we all have limitations. The key is recognizing them and handling them to make you a better person, well-suited for your next career goal.
- Threats: Pointing out your threats can be tricky because threats can vary and come from several different outlets. Threats are usually external factors, much like opportunities.
For example, competition is a threat. Maybe there was an Airman, Soldier, Marine, Sailor or Coastguardsman in your unit that didn’t have the same weaknesses or struggles as you, and they always seemed to thrive.
Maybe the skills you have are not a fit for the industry you’re looking to enter after the military.
The economy can also be a threat. Let’s say you want to work in the oil and gas industry. It’s usually a booming industry, but in times like the Coronavirus epidemic, this industry is hit hard.
Performing a personal SWOT analysis will give you a unique insight and pave the way for you while writing the next chapter of your career.
Ask for a Helping Hand
RIFs are rough and although it will seem like you’re the only person who is experiencing the circumstance, you are not alone.
Several people have walked in your shoes and they can meet you where you are to help you navigate through this tough time.
After the separation, you should begin to tap into your network of friends, family, and your connections on LinkedIn.
Why should you reach out and ask for a helping hand?
Because you never know who someone is affiliated with. Your best friend could be a business acquaintance of a Fortune 500 CEO who served in the military.
You also never know who is on the hunt for their next best employee. It’s quite possible for a hiring manager to hear a good word about you from a former service member.
It’s even more likely for someone to see your recommendation on LinkedIn and decide to contact you for an interview.
Contact Empire Resume for Your Career Planning Needs
If you’ve toyed with the idea of writing a resume and never got around to doing so, take the necessary steps to look for a certified professional resume writer.
You want to find the best resume writer after military service for you, your talents, and your military experience.
All resume writers are not created equal, so it’s important to do your homework and make sure the military resume writer you choose is qualified to translate your military skills into civilian language.
The most successful former service members bounce back after a reduction-in-force with a plan of attack. Obviously, you don’t have to use every strategy I’ve described here, but you should use all three. If not, you’ll miss out on several advantages and new job prospects.
If you or someone you know is at risk of facing military force shaping initiatives, contact Empire Resume for professional resume writing services that delivers results, guaranteed. Now, what is your plan?
Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.