Career Change Options for Individuals That are Ex-Military

For those that leave the military and start looking for work, it is hard to know what sort of areas you should focus on. The good news is that the military develops many incredibly useful and in-demand skills which could help to secure a rewarding and lucrative career and allow you to stand out from the competition even without previous industry experience.Career change options for Ex-military

Key Skills

First, it is helpful to identify what the key skills that you have developed through the military are which will be useful when it comes to work. There are many, but the main skills that employers will be enticed by include:

  • Leadership skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Integrity
  • Ability to learn quickly
  • Time-management skills
  • Discipline
  • Problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to perform and stay calm in high-pressure situations and environments


There are many areas that these skills could transfer well to and someone that has served in the military has a number of good career options to consider. Management is one area where many ex-military individuals can thrive, but in order to find success in business management, you will need to have excellent business knowledge so it would be best to take a course first.


Another area where many ex-military individuals thrive and get a lot of enjoyment out of their work is HR. Jobs in HR require all of the above-listed skills and involve working closely with people – something that anyone that has served will have experience in. HR is a critical department for any business and helps to ensure that the company runs smoothly and that the employees are kept happy, so there are certainly many parallels that can be drawn.


On top of this, HR specialists like Oakleaf even have a talent community for ex-military individuals called XFHR. This is a growing community for those that have previously served and now work in HR with the idea of getting together twice a year to share a few beers, tell a few stories and discuss ways that you can “raise the bar in HR”. It is fantastic being able to meet up with those that have similar experiences to your own and having this support network is useful when adjusting to a new job, especially when coming from the Armed Forces.

It can be challenging to leave the military and adjust to a regular career. While it is difficult, you should feel confident knowing that you have many strengths and characteristics that every employer will always value and be on the lookout for. Management and HR can be particularly good fields where many ex-military individuals quickly find work and settle, particularly the latter which can provide an enjoyable and rewarding career.