Helping Veterans Transition to New Careers

In the vast expanse of the civilian tech workforce, Veterans stand at a unique crossroads. Each year, around 250,000 Servicemembers hang up their uniforms, stepping into a world vastly different from the one they’ve known. These individuals aren’t just looking for jobs; they’re taking the first step into new careers and trying to define the value their military service brings to their new employers.

The transition from military to civilian workplace is more than just a career change. It’s a shift, a rebranding, and a challenge of translation. Veterans, equipped with world-class training and a team-oriented mindset, face the challenge of making their skills intelligible and relevant in the private sector. This translation of military skills to civilian terms is a nuanced art. The language of the military, rich with acronyms and specific jargon, doesn’t always find an easy counterpart in corporate speak.

Rich Luby and Katherine Byrnes of Code Platoon understand this challenge all too well. They’ve seen how Veterans, despite their extensive capabilities, sometimes struggle to articulate their experiences in a way that resonates with civilian employers. “Our students initially tend to underplay their transferable skills,” Rich shares. “This underestimation is not just a hurdle in communication but in recognizing their value in a new career.”

Code Platoon’s approach to this challenge is both meticulous and empathetic. Rich and Katherine guide Veterans through rewriting their military roles into civilian-friendly narratives. They encourage Veterans to break down their experiences into fundamental elements, almost as if explaining them to a child, and then reconstructing them using the XYZ format – a method where X stands for the achievement, Y quantifies it, and Z explains the outcome.

But it’s not just about translating experiences onto paper. The cultural shift from a highly structured military environment to a more fluid civilian workplace is profound. Veterans are used to a world where hierarchy and order are paramount, and stepping into a less regimented space can be disorienting. This is where Code Platoon’s personalized mentorship becomes invaluable, helping Veterans understand and adapt to these new cultural norms.

Moreover, Rich and Katherine emphasize the importance of networking in the civilian job search. They encourage Veterans to leverage their shared military background to forge connections in the civilian world, particularly in the tech industry, where Code Platoon focuses its efforts. This networking extends beyond traditional methods; it’s about building a community that understands and appreciates the depth of military experience.

The duo also addresses the unique challenges faced by military spouses, whose career paths often bear the brunt of frequent relocations and varied job histories. Code Platoon tailors its services to highlight the adaptability and resilience of these spouses, transforming perceived gaps into strengths.

What truly sets Code Platoon apart is that the staff understands the challenges Veterans and military spouses face because the entire program is created exclusively for them. The military instills a culture of continuous learning and adaptability—invaluable traits in the ever-evolving tech industry. Rich and Katherine work to align Veterans with career paths that not only utilize their existing skills but also offer opportunities for growth and learning.

In engaging with employers, Code Platoon advocates for a deeper understanding and appreciation of military experience. They connect with companies and organizations that recognize Veterans’ unique strengths: discipline, leadership, and a robust work ethic. This advocacy is crucial in overcoming misconceptions and fostering environments where Veterans and military spouses can thrive.

As Code Platoon graduates navigate their journey into tech careers, the Career Services team is by their side, guiding them through uncharted waters. It’s a journey of transformation, where skills are reimagined, experiences reshaped, and the software engineering skills they built during their time at Code Platoon are retold in a new language. In this endeavor, Rich Luby and Katherine Byrnes aren’t just career coaches; they’re translators, mentors, and navigators, helping our graduates chart a course to a fulfilling civilian life.

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