Action13

Group helping veterans transition into civilian life, find place in workforce

Monday, November 11, 2013

When someone retires form the military, making the transition to civilian life can be challenging. So one local group is assisting those who served by helping them jump start the next stage of their career.

The organization is offering one-on-one professional employment coaching to help retired military personnel land their next job, and the service is free.

"I retired as a senior master sergeant," John Garcia said.

Garcia spent 26 years of his life serving in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army. So when he became a civilian and needed a job, his biggest question was:

"How do you translate what you've done in the military as far as leadership roles, your experience etc.," he said.

And convert that into a civilian career? That's why Garcia turned to Family Services of Greater Houston for assistance.

"Some of our veterans in the area only know about the VA. They don't know there's a lot of other resources out here," said Jason Williams with Family Services.

Williams says many vets making this transition will build their resumes using military verbiage. Something that could be difficult for civilians to comprehend.

"First thing we have to do is step in and cross that back over to the civilian world. That way they'll understand what skills they have learned in the military," Williams said.

On top of finessing resumes, they prepare veterans with mock interview sessions.

"Practice the interview questions. There are certain questions that area asked in almost every interview. And if you can prepare well for those questions, you'll be set for most of the interview," said Michael Clement with Family Services of Greater Houston.

As for John Garcia, he landed a job with FMC Technologies, but still uses his military experience everyday.

"What has helped me from the military is understanding how to work with people at high levels and ensuring that it is mission oriented," Garcia said.

Again, this service is free for any veteran looking for employment. Plus, there's no limit on hours. The folks at Family Services say they'll help you until you land that job.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13

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