Returning from a war zone can mean major life changes that affect your career. Deployment had clear-cut goals. But expectations at work back home may be different. For some service members, the seemingly lower stakes can lead to boredom. Others may find the demands of determining a personal career path stressful.

Common difficulties in transitioning back into the workplace include:

  1. Discomfort with the lack of clear structure and goals.
  2. Boredom from a sense the job is pointless or boring compared to combat.
  3. Problems replacing automatic survival responses that worked in a war zone with more appropriate responses for a work setting.

People often think succeeding at work means doing well on a day-to-day basis. But success at work is also about a job that fulfills you and supports you financially in the long term. The key to long-term success is to live by your personal values and to set goals that match those values.

Facts about Career Satisfaction
Postdeployment User Guide Transition Workbook for Combat Veterans Naval Health Research Center:

    • If you feel your job is simply about drawing a paycheck, your work is likely to be less meaningful.
    • Focusing too much on getting ahead or getting promoted can lead to an overly competitive situation and less satisfaction with work
    • People more often report that their work is satisfying when they are able to find ways to make a difference in the lives of their coworkers and clients.
    • Work will be more satisfying and less stressful when you clearly know what is expected of you and what your responsibilities are.
    • Work will be more satisfying and less stressful if you have good relationships and teamwork with your colleagues.
    • Work will be more satisfying and less stressful if you are able to organize your work and personal schedules to reduce conflicts.
    • Work will be more satisfying if you are able to use your best strengths and skills on a regular basis.

VA Employment Resources

San Diego VA Health Care System
Please contact a member of the OEF/OIF/OND Care Team for assistance in locating services in regards to work adjustment issues:
Primary Care Line: (858) 552-7475
OEF/OIF Care Team Contacts:
Mission Valley & Chula Vista: Kate McCausland, MSW
(619) 400-5271
La Jolla:
Natasha Schwarz, ACSW
(858) 642-3615
Holly Botka-Liu, MSW
(760) 643-2079

VA for Vets

VA for Vets facilitates the reintegration, retention and hiring of Veteran employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We offer career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members. VA for Vets is your gateway to a rewarding career serving our nation’s Veterans.

Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Service

The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) VetSuccess Program is authorized by Congress under Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 31. It is sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 program. The VetSuccess program assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. For Veterans with service-connected disabilities so severe that they cannot immediately consider work, VetSuccess offers services to improve their ability to live as independently as possible.

Department of the Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-Line

http://www.cool.navy.mil/ (Navy Service Members & Veterans)

COOL (Credentialing Opportunities On-Line) helps Navy Service members find information on certifications and licenses related to their jobs. Use COOL to get background information on credentialing and find detailed information on:

 Credentials related to a Navy rating, collateral-duty/out of rate assignment, or designator

 Credential requirements and potential gaps between Navy training and civilian credentialing requirements

 Resources available to fill gaps between military training and civilian credentialing requirements

 How to get a COOL funded voucher to pay for credential exam and maintenance fees 

http://www.cool.navy.mil/usmc/index.htm (USMC Service Members & Veterans)

COOL (Credentialing Opportunities On-Line) helps Marine Corps Service members find information on certifications and licenses related to their jobs. Use COOL to get background information on credentialing and find detailed information on:

 Credentials related to a Marine Corps Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)

 Credential requirements and potential gaps between Marine Corps training and civilian workforce credentialing requirements

 Resources available to fill gaps between military training and civilian credentialing requirements

 How to get a COOL funded voucher to pay for credential exam and maintenance fees

Department of the Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line


COOL (Credentialing Opportunities On-Line) helps Army Service members find information on certifications and licenses related to their jobs. Use COOL to get background information on credentialing and find detailed information on:

 Credentials related to an Army Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)

 Credential requirements and potential gaps between Army training and civilian requirements

 Resources available to fill gaps between military training and civilian credentialing   requirements

Federal Employment Resources

My Next Move for Veterans

My Next Move for Veterans is an easy-to-use online tool created by the Department of Labor that allows veterans to enter information about their experience and skills in the field, and match it with civilian careers that put that experience to use. The site also includes information about salaries, apprenticeships, and other related education and training programs.


Welcome to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Government-wide Veterans Employment Website. This website is a critical component of the Federal Government’s strategy for the recruitment and employment of Veterans. In partnership with the Departments of Defense, Labor, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and other Federal agencies, our vision is that this Website will be the preeminent source for Federal employment information for our Veterans, transitioning service members, their families, Federal HR professionals and hiring managers.

California & Local Employment Resources

State of California, Employment Development Department – Services for Veterans
Richard Corrales, Veteran Representative EDD 760-414-3512
Cirilo Urmeneta, Veteran Representative, EDD 760-414-3518

The Employment Development Department (EDD) assists veterans and their eligible spouses maximize their employment and training opportunities. Veterans are entitled to many resources designed to help in their search for employment. EDD veterans’ representatives specialize in assisting veterans in their efforts to return to work and are located in many local EDD offices. Services provided include a veteran 24-hour priority hold on all job listings, customized job search assistance, job fairs, employer recruitments, and other events and resources. Veterans are encouraged to schedule an appointment with an EDD veterans’ representative for personalized services and assistance to achieve professional goals.

San Diego Workforce Partnership – Career Centers

Located throughout San Diego County, these Centers offer their local communities a comprehensive menu of employment and training services, including help with resume writing, interviewing skills, finding job openings in your area, training programs, and much more.

Private Employment Resources

TAOnline.com – Careers for the Transitioning Military

Since 1996, TAOnline.com (Transition Assistance Online) has been here to help the nearly 200,000 service members who transition from active duty every year as well as the hundreds-of-thousands of veterans, reservists, guardsmen, and spouses looking for civilian jobs. Our career site is dedicated to their placement in careers that fit their extraordinary motivation, loyalty, and skill. TAOnline.com assists our country’s heroes in gaining employment at the world’s finest military-friendly companies. We help match employers to candidates through the use of pertinent and dynamic career information, unique online tools, relationships with key partners, and our longevity and experience in the military career site business. Founded by former military personnel, TAOnline.com has been recognized by industry experts and organizations as a top leader in providing veteran jobs.

Hire Heroes USA

Hire Heroes USA (Hire Heroes) is dedicated to creating job opportunities for US military veterans and their spouses through personalized employment training and corporate engagement. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, Hire Heroes’ services are provided at no cost to the veteran

Quintessential Careers

Quintessential Careers is the ultimate career, job, and college site, offering comprehensive free expert career and job-hunting advice (through articles, tools, tips, samples, and tutorials), as well as serving as a directory of links to all the best job sites. Special sections for teens, college students, and all other job-seekers (by industry, geography, and job-seeker type) make this site a comprehensive resource for all.

Fellowship/Internship/Mentoring Programs

American Corporate Partners

American Corporate Partners (ACP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting veterans in their transition from the armed services to the civilian workforce. With the help of business professionals nationwide, ACP offers veterans tools for long-term career development through mentoring, career counseling, and networking opportunities. With the belief that one-on-one relationships enhance an atmosphere of mutual understanding, respect, and support, ACP aims to strengthen the connection between corporate America and veteran communities.

The Mission Continues

The Mission Continues awards community service fellowships to post-9/11 veterans, empowering them to transform their own lives by serving others and directly impacting their communities. Mission Continues Fellows serve for six months at a local nonprofit organization addressing key educational, environmental or social issues. Each Fellow works to achieve one of three outcomes at the conclusion of the fellowship: full-time employment, pursuit of higher education or a permanent role of service.

Professional Networking

LinkedIn for Veterans

As of August 2, 2012, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 175 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

Wounded Warrior/Disabled Employment Resources

Wounded Warrior Project – Warriors to Work

Our Warriors to Work program helps Wounded Warriors transition back into the civilian workforce by providing career counseling services and job placement assistance. Through individual counseling, resume assistance, and career guidance, warriors’ skills and experience are matched to hiring employers’ needs. This free program allows warriors to post a resume on our dedicated website, while employers receive a free login to post jobs and search for warrior resumes.

Ability Links.Org

AbilityLinks is a nationwide, web-based community where job seekers with disabilities and inclusive employers meet and gain access to valuable networking opportunities.