CAREER RESOURCES FOR VETERANS LONGING FOR A NEW MISSION AFTER MILITARY SERVICE
By Alex Harrington, Executive Director
When I left the Marine Corps in the mid-90s and transitioned back to civilian life to finish my degree, there were many moments during that time of my life I felt adrift and alone; a sense that I didn’t belong or feel akin to any group. I couldn’t point out any good reason for this feeling of detachment, until I began to discern a common theme among other veterans I’ve encountered in life. All in all, I’ve come to learn that we miss the comradeship and shared sense of mission we experienced in the military.
But this comradeship and shared sense of mission doesn’t have to end on the date of your discharge after military service. You can still find a new mission by making a difference and helping others through national, public, or other federal services. What is more, you can even find a fulfilling mission in volunteering or teaching.
And not only will you find comradeship and a renewed sense of mission, but you’ll also benefit from your continued service in many ways: skill enhancements, leadership development, and a chance to serve with diverse groups and service-minded individuals – like I have found with the FCC team of volunteers.
While there are many organizations and opportunities for you to look at, the following may lead you into a new, fulfilled mission in your life.
Federal Career Opportunities
Our country and her citizens are facing many historic challenges today: a struggling economy, a climate crisis with rising carbon dioxide and temperatures, unbridled drug addictions throughout our communities and cities, rising cases of domestic terrorism, and much, much, more. To tackle these problems, we need dedicated and talented individuals to be the strength of this country by serving in public, national, military, and other federal service vocations, especially now when these service areas are facing their own unique institutional challenges.
You can learn the many different ways you can continue to serve our country by checking out our Federal Career Tracks: career opportunities organized by public, national, military, or other federal service fields. Also, I highlighted additional information related to our Federal Career Tracks in my blog, “Discover Your Calling in Public, National, or Military Service”.
Today, our country faces significant shortages in various teaching positions, predominantly in special education teachers in preschool, middle and secondary school. As military veterans, you can leave a lasting legacy on America’s young minds by exemplifying strong leadership, service, and sacrifice — character traits that many youth need today.
You can learn more about how to find your mission in the classroom at Teach For America, a nonprofit that recruits outstanding and diverse leaders to become TFA “corps members.” And be sure to check out more information about teaching opportunities at the National Education Association and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.
There are many people facing hardships today. Outdoor parks that need to be cleaned. Homes that require much needed repairs. Communities that need help with neighborhood watches. If you need to find a mission now, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities to look into.
* Volunteer.gov — a volunteer recruitment and management portal for people who are passionate about supporting causes managed by federal agencies. The site connects individuals to various volunteer opportunities such as land restoration, stewardship, and campground maintenance. The organization is partnered with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey. So, for those who love the outdoors and prefer to serve with like-minded individuals, then check out https://www.volunteer.gov.
* Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) — a national program of volunteers that professional responders can rely on during a disaster situation. The site educates you how to prepare yourself, your family, and your community to address hazards that may impact your local community, as well as respond to emergency situations.
* National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster — an association of organizations that mitigates and alleviates the impact of disasters, provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster. Learn how to become a volunteer.
* National Neighborhood Watch — one of the oldest and most well-known crime prevention programs in history. Local law enforcement throughout the country enlists citizen involvement and address the increasing number of burglaries taking place, especially in rural and suburban areas. Learn more how to help at https://www.nnw.org/node/10.
* Citizen Corps — volunteers who help local communities after a disaster or emergency.
* Medical Reserve Corps — a national network of more than 200,000 volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities.
* Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) — offers community members an opportunity to share their talents, skills and abilities to support police services.
* Team Rubicon — a veteran-led humanitarian organization that serves global communities before, during, and after disasters and crises.
* The Mission Continues — deploys veteran volunteers to work alongside nonprofit partners and community leaders to improve educational resources, tackle food insecurity, foster neighborhood identity, and more.
* Sheep Dog Impact Assistance — provides charitable services benefitting the overall well-being of our nation’s Veterans and First Responders through Outdoor Adventures (camaraderie), Warrior PATHH training (mental wellness) and Continued Service/Disaster Response (volunteerism) programs.
So, if you are looking for comradeship and a shared sense of mission with other service-minded individuals, check out the links in federal career, teaching, and volunteer opportunities.
And if you would like to help us increase awareness and participation of public, national, military, or other federal service professions for individuals who have a calling to serve, then volunteer for us! Learn more how to volunteer.
Also, to help us connect agency insiders and provide educational webinars, career advice, and online resources to equip and help job seekers, please consider donating at: https://www.federalcareerconnection.org/donate.
About the Author:
Alex Harrington, a federal hiring manager, is currently serving as the Executive Director for Federal Career Connection, Inc. He is also Certified Career Services Provider and Global Career Development Facilitator. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a Persian Gulf War veteran.