MSEJ August 2017 - Page 6

Understand the competition.

Admittedly, the competition is part of the local culture and area, but it’s helpful to understand not just where you are, but who you’re competing with. Do you live in a saturated market where there are more people than jobs? Is there a variety of people in the area, or is it mostly military and locals? Is it a transient population? How educated is the population, and does the local culture include jobs that fit their goals?

Understand how you fit into it all.

With a general understanding of the forces that impact your job search, it’s much easier to understand how you fit into the job market. Do you need additional certifications, or do you need to up your game in some other way to be competitive? Can you stay on your chosen career path, or do you need

to adapt it to the available positions in the region? Are you applying to military friendly companies that will welcome you?

Knowledge is power, and the more you know about those other factors, the better you can strategize in your job search.

It’s easy to blame failure or pin success on one factor (“No one hires military spouses around here.” “My military experience makes me a shoo-in.”), but the job search and the job market are far more complicated than that. Resist the urge to simplify an intricate situation, and learn all you can to find the best solutions to your current employment predicaments.

Photo by Karim Ilya. CC Attribution 2.0 Generic License

for ROTC Cadets