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9-Step Guide To Find Your Dream Job After The Military

how to find job after military service


85% of people HATE their jobs, according to a recent poll.


As a transitioning military member, you’re now in a position to choose your next steps in life.


And your next job is a HUGE factor in your success and your family’s happiness.


The question is:


How do you go from military life to finding your dream job?


That’s exactly what you’ll learn how to do in this guide.


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How To Find Your Dream Job: The Nine Steps.


As a transitioning military member, you’re now in a position to choose your next steps in life.


We’ve talked to thousands of transitioning folks:


And after talking for a bit, most of them admit that they’re a little scared of the transition.


Scared isn’t the right word. It’s more of “unsure” or “anxious.”


You’ve given your family a certain level of comfort (especially with income level). And that comfort is going away.


Here are 4 common things we hear from military members:


  • “I’m not qualified to do a lot of things in the civilian business world. I’ve only had a military career.”
  • “I’m looking to do something similar in the civilian world”
  • “I don’t think I have a very good resume”
  • “I need to make a pretty high-level of income to keep my wife/husband and family happy.”


You’re not alone. Thousands have succeeded before you. There’s a “checklist” you can follow to find your dream job.


That checklist is below.



1. Determine What Your Dream Career Looks Like


best jobs for veterans after military


You might be thinking:


“Isn’t step 1 to write an amazing resume?”


No, you’re jumping ahead of yourself.


If you truly want to create your dream job (and ultimately your dream life), you must take ownership of that.


It’s like any mission you’ve been on.


Before that mission, you MUST get your mind right. With your life on the line, there’s no other option but to be dialed in and confident.


It’s the same thing with finding your dream job.


1. You’re responsible for where you’re at:


What is ownership?


Ownership is accepting that, 99% of the time, you’re responsible for exactly where you’re at in life.


It’s time to stop blaming others, your situation, or your past.


Is your health not where you want it? Well, did you eat healthily?


Are you unprepared to transition to civilian life? Well, did you put in the work?


Think about areas of your life that are going poorly. Did you create those things?


Think about areas of your life that are going well. Did you create those things?


The answer is probably “YES.”


Ownership creates action. Lack of ownership creates victims.


Exercise To Complete:


what is your current situation


Answer these questions. Be honest. If you deserve some credit, give it to yourself. If you deserve a wake-up call, then give it to yourself.

  • How would you describe yourself in two to four sentences
  • What are your top 3 good habits and your top 3 bad habits? What do you do over and over again?
  • What are your top 5 strengths?
  • What are your top 5 weaknesses?
  • What negative things pop up in your head regularly?
  • What do you worry about from the past and what do you worry about for the future?


2. You’re responsible for who you’re becoming:


It comes back to ownership.


You’re responsible for where you’re at, right?


Well, you’re also responsible for who you’re becoming.


It REALLY doesn’t matter who you are:


All that matters in life is where who becoming. Stop asking “who am I?” and start asking “who am I becoming?”


When you know who you want to become, you can become the person you need to get there.


Exercise To Complete:



Answer these questions:


  • How would you describe the new version of you that’s able to crush your goals easily and effortlessly?
  • What strengths does the new you need to effortlessly reach your dreams?
  • What weaknesses is the new you free of that the current you is dealing with?
  • What positive thoughts does the new you replay in your head over and over?
  • Describe in detail what the average day looks like for the new you.


3. You’re responsible for your future job.


You’re 100% responsible for what sort of job you get after the military.


And we mean 100% responsible.


You’re in control. Do not be a victim!


Exercise To Complete:


what is your dream job


  • What does your DREAM job look like? Where is it located? Is it remote? Do you have a boss? Do you manage people? What sort of impact do you want to make in that job?  Make this as detailed as possible. Read it daily during your job search.
  • Decide what you’re going to do. Think about the skills and weaknesses you wrote down above. How can you translate those skills into a fulfilling career? Don’t limit yourself during this exercise. If you have to make up a role, do it.


2. Find 10 Companies You’d LOVE To Work For



At this point, you have your dream job laid out.


You know what sort of work you do.


You know where you want to work.


You know what sort of impact you’ll make.


Now, it’s time to find the top 10 companies you’d love to work for.


Most transitioning military members do it COMPLETELY backward.


They go to job boards on Monster or LinkedIn and type ‘Consulting’ and hope to find something that they’re “qualified for.”


Then they submit their resume online and hope for the best.


They don’t even realize that when they do this a computer will be reading their resume. A computer


You need to do it the other way around.


Let’s say you love the environment and want to work for a green energy company.


Or you love managing and developing people and think you could do a great job building culture at a medium-sized company that values hiring veterans.


Do some research online for the top 10 (or more) companies that you’d LOVE to work for (don’t restrict it by location, there are a lot of remote jobs nowadays) that align with the type of company you’d want to work for.


Write down at least 10 companies that you’d love to work for.


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3. Research Those Companies And See If They Have Job Openings


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According to NPR and LinkedIn, between 70% and 85% of the jobs out there are NOT posted on the Internet…


So, even if they do NOT have openings, that doesn’t mean they won’t hire you.


How to learn if your dream companies have job openings:


  1. Go to their website. Most companies will have a “Careers” tab on their website where they share job openings.


  1. Go to websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and Monster.


That’s great if they have a job opening that is similar to what you want to do.


But, do NOT apply yet.


If they don’t have job openings, then don’t worry.


You can still use the strategies below.


4. Find 5 People Within Each Of Those Companies



Now that you have the companies you’d love to work for, you need to connect with people within those companies.


This is where the magic starts to happen.


Do some research to find them (I know you’ve Facebook stalked before… this is basically the same thing, so get creative).


Search on LinkedIn, the company’s website, Google, etc.


If you can, try to search with people at those companies that are ALSO veterans.


Write down at least 5 names PER company (but don’t contact them yet).


If you can’t find 5 people per company, then find 15 successful people in the industry you want to work in.


5. Contact The 5 People Within Each Company


how to best transition from military


Send them an email or LinkedIn message.


Don’t say something like “Hey, I’m transitioning out of the military and want to work for your company. Can you help me get a job?…” – they don’t care and won’t respond.


But, if you say something along the lines of…


“Hi, my name is [your name].


I’m transitioning out of the military after [# of years] soon and want to create a fulfilling career in the [industry you want to work for].


I see that you’re a successful [their title] in the [industry].


Is it possible to have 5-10 minutes of your time for a quick phone call to see how you became successful?


Thank you so much for your time.”


Do you want to make it EVEN better than that?


Email or LinkedIn message them the message above and ALSO film them a video.


Download VidYard.


It’s a way to create videos and automatically embed them into your emails.


Make a personalized video for each person you send it out to. Just introduce yourself and say basically the same thing that you say in the email.


It’ll take a lot of time but this personalized approach will lead to DOZENS of amazing conversations.


These people are going to be flattered and want to help. It’s only 5-10 minutes, right?! (FYI that 5 or 10 minutes is going to turn into a great 20-30 minute conversation…)


Do it now.



6. Film a Video Of Yourself Offering To Help The Company (For Free…)



How many people, when applying for a job, film themselves and send it to the company? NONE. You’ll stand out.


Do your research on the 10 companies you want to work for and find areas that they could use some help.


What are their “pain points” / what are some of your skills & talents that you KNOW this company could benefit from?


Offer to work for one or two weeks for free, no strings attached.


Make it ALL about them and how they can benefit.


Share with them what their company will look like after you step in and help. Make it visual and highly descriptive.


One or two free weeks of free work for your dream company is totally worth it in the long run…


And if you don’t think it is, then either that’s not your dream company or you aren’t committed.


They will see your ambition, your willingness to take risks, and your enthusiasm.


Send a personalized video to all your dream companies.


the best way to apply for jobs


You can send it to the people that you contacted via LinkedIn or email.


If those people are willing, you can get an email intro to the company’s hiring manager and send it to him/her.


You can add it to your job application.


You can get creative and send it to them via social media.


7. Understand That You’re Solving the Hiring Manager’s Problem


what to do when leaving military


Hiring is horrible…


The average hiring manager gets hundreds of job applications.


And they all look the same.


Here’s an actual screenshot from a hiring manager we know.


After a week they had over 900 applications sent in through Indeed.


There were 928 active candidates, to be exact…


Every application looked the same. It was brutal for them.



So understand that the hiring manager is hoping that every candidate that applies will be the right fit and impress them.


They want someone like you to make it easy for them.


Every time you communicate with a hiring manager, whether during an interview or when sending in an application, have the mindset that you are solving their problem.


8. Crush The Interview


best interview strategy


Did you know that managers often know whether you’re going to move on in the hiring process within the first 90 seconds of your interview?


Here’s what you need to do to absolutely crush your interview:


how to prepare for interview questions


1. Research the company:


We’ve interviewed for positions before. The FIRST question we ask is “What do you know about our company?” or “Why do you specifically want to work for our company?”


2. Have your answers to all the common questions locked in:


Write down (and practice) answering these 31 common interview questions.


You know they’re probably going to ask at least one of those questions.


3. Be prepared with questions:


At the end of the interview, the interviewer will ask, “Do you have any questions for me?”


Bring a notebook with a list of questions and ask them. It shows that you’re prepared.



4. Be VERY confident (but not cocky):


Remember, hiring is TERRIBLE.


The hiring manager has a big problem that you can solve. Make it clear in the interview that you’re the right person to solve their problem. And, that if they choose anyone else, they’d be making a mistake.


9. Follow up. Follow up. And then Follow Up Again.



One of the biggest mistakes that transitioning military members make is that they don’t follow up.


They’ll have an interview for 2 or 3 jobs.


A couple of weeks later, we’ll ask:


“What’d you hear from those jobs?”


And they’ll say: “Oh I didn’t hear back from them yet… They told me they’d reach out to me…”

What?! To land your dream job you’re going to have to be relentless (yet respectful).


You have to follow up with hand-written thank you notes sent in the mail, thank you emails, or even thank you phone calls. You’ll have to follow up at least once a week.


If you’re nervous about seeming impatient and contacting them too often, then send an email about something else.


Maybe they put out a Facebook post about releasing a new product, or they wrote a new article on their site.


Structure your email around that – say something like:


“Hi _______,


I just read that awesome article about __________.


I love all of the innovative work you’re doing and I think this new initiative that you’re planning will really impact your followers/clients/customers because of _________.


One idea I had to increase engagement with your customers through this new initiative would be to _____________ .


I’m still very excited about the potential opportunity to work for ________ . Let me know if you need any other information from me in the meantime. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”



The founder of American Dream U will NOT hire someone that doesn’t follow up with at least a thank-you (email).


Even if the person is highly qualified, he will not hire someone unless they follow up.


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