The transition from the Defence Force for veterans often isn’t easy. They often encounter numerous challenges that make it difficult for them to find fulfilling employment.

These challenges can be ‘systematic’, which are beyond an individual’s control. However there are also a number of ‘individual’ challenges, which are controllable.

With 36,254 service members transitioning from the Australian military between 2003-2015, it is crucial to identify these challenges to determine how to best overcome them. WithYouWithMe aims to work with industry to overcome some of the systematic challenges, as well as provide transitioning veterans with the tools and info they need to overcome the individual challenges.

The Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) current transition process has some issues in its approach to successfully prepare service members for civilian life. The education programs only provide brief advice on interview techniques and salesmanship, with no guidance on the qualifications needed to enter an industry profession. A lot is left to the veteran themselves to navigate through, often in a difficult period.

Additionally, the Australian public are widely uninformed of the training and experience of ADF personnel. The qualifications that ADF personnel receive are among the highest standards in the world, but are rarely recognised by the public. Instead, the public perceive military personnel as the media primarily portrays them: suffering from PTSD. This further hinders the transitioning process for service members, who may not reveal their military past out of fear of having it held against them.

Veterans also sometimes face issues in integrating into the civilian and corporate way of working. For example, many veterans don’t shy away from confronting their colleagues if a mistake has occurred, but this is not common practice in the very politically correct civilian workplace. This behaviour could be penalised in the corporate world for not fitting within corporate culture.

With this understanding of the challenges that face transitioning veterans these challenges can be viewed as opportunities. In order for veterans to secure the job they want instead of the job they can get, they must approach the job search with the intent of taking advantage of corporate Australia’s chaos. Adopting a mindset that views these challenges as loop holes will enable veterans to manipulate the corporate environment to their advantage to secure the job they want.

WithYouWithMe is helping to shift the corporate world’s mindset to view ADF personnel as competitive, motivated and highly skilled labour. If you are looking to share your expertise and help transitioning service members secure fulfilling employment, register as a mentor here. If you are a current or ex-service member looking for support as you transition into the civilian workplace, register as a mentee here.

This document is only available to our mentees. If you are already registered as a mentee, many of you would already be using COMPAS and seeing the benefits.

Make sure you keep an eye out for more information about COMPAS over the coming weeks.