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Transition Talk

by Mike Arsenault, Vice President of Candidate Services

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credit check of a military job seeker

Bradley-Morris answers questions from transitioning military job seekers.

Q: I injured my shoulder while serving. I transition out in six months and several people have suggested I apply for Disability Compensation now even though it’s not too bad. I looked on the Veterans Affairs’ site online and it seems to suggest the same thing. Is there any reason that this would affect my job prospects?

A:  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does advocate for service members to file for Disability Compensation immediately upon transition: “If you have a current physical or mental condition, and it is related to your military service, then apply for Disability Compensation. Even if the condition seems minor now, don’t wait to apply. When you’re 25, that “bum” left knee may just be a minor inconvenience; when you’re 55, the early onset arthritis you developed in that knee because of your service may mean you can barely walk. You should apply regardless of your income and regardless of your ability to find work. In short: if the military broke it, the VA owns it.”

It won’t affect your job prospects or the way you are compensated, but it does protect you should your injury become so bad you can no longer work. There are some stipulations - you would have to be at least 10 percent disabled.

I’m not an expert on VA benefits, but there are several things you need to take care of as you transition out. Make sure you put together a list of questions and check them off as you get answers. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page when it comes to your benefits. It’s important that both of you understand the process and what you and your family are entitled to when you become a civilian.

Q: Can you offer up some tips on how to lead into a conversation that I’m a veteran looking for a job without sounding desperate?

A: Sure. Think about it this way - today’s environment is highly mobile and the possibilities are endless. That being said everyone is looking for something to inspire them and keep them connected. In other words, everyone is looking for new challenges so don’t be afraid to talk about what interests you and definitely don’t be uncomfortable about asking for an introduction if someone offers up a friend or colleague doing something interesting. Never leave a potential opportunity on the table.

Mike Arsenault is Vice President of Candidate Services at military placement firm Bradley-Morris, Inc. He can be reached at (800) 330-4950 ext. 2105 or by email at marsenault (at) bradley-morris.com.

 

Return to July/August 2014 Issue