Preparing for life after the military is a step you must take now if you want a smooth transition to a long-term career. In the military, you were accustomed to a strict regimen and precise order in everything you do; that all changes in civilian life.
However, some long-term jobs after the military are better suited to you than others. For example, trucking could serve as an excellent career after the military because of its similarities to life in the service. Here’s a look at some of those similarities as well as suggestions of how to make a smooth transition into this civilian career.
Military and Trucking Similarities
- Be away from home: Military life takes you away from your family for months or more at a time, often to a distant country. Truck driving requires you to spend a week or more out on the road, but you’re generally in the same country and know exactly when you’ll be home.
- Have a strong work ethic: You simply can’t get along in the military without a strong work ethic. The same is true after the military if you choose a trucking job where the primary person who holds you accountable is you. When you’re out on the road, it’s just you and the truck; the fleet manager is miles away. Although the fleet manager does hold you accountable, your greatest motivator is yourself.
- Be dependable: The carrier that hires you puts a lot of trust in you to drive safely and deliver your cargo on time. Many companies hold veterans like you in high esteem because they know you’re hardworking, punctual, and dependable.
How to Make a Smooth Transition into Trucking After the Military
- Plan ahead: Start looking for jobs after the military as early as one year from your military discharge date. If trucking looks like the right career path for you, obtain your commercial driver’s license while still on active duty. Even if you’re stationed outside your home state, you can still obtain a CDL, thanks to the Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012.
- TAP into your resources: The government’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) teaches you how to write an effective résumé and interview for jobs effectively.
- Pinpoint companies that hire veterans: Research which carriers are most likely to hire you because of your military experience. One such carrier is Prime, Inc., a trucking company based in Springfield, Mo., that currently employs hundreds of veterans. Prime is a large supporter of the United States Military and honors them by participating in the following: Wreaths Across America, Operation Gratitude, a Veterans Day Event in partnership with the local VFW chapter at Prime headquarters located in Missouri, and recognition for all veterans at Safety Meetings which take place every Friday in Missouri and Pennsylvania.