According to a Military Times Survey from 2015, 65% of Veterans leave their first civilian job within two years and 44% leave within one year. Well, I am now part of that statistic.
I believe there are many reasons why so many Veterans leave their first civilian job. My reason is included in one of the reasons below.
Some Veterans are taking the first job offer because of financial pressures. Unfortunately, some Veterans have not prepared financially for their transition.This causes them to take the first job offer. Regardless of fit and this usually causes them to continue their job search until they find a better opportunity.
Veterans are finding that a civilian job does not match the intensity of the military.
Being in the military is very competitive and being first is always rewarded. A lot of Veterans miss this competition and will continue their job search until they find such a position.
Veterans are taking positions that they believe they are overqualified for and continue to search for something better. This one goes to the disconnect between the military and the civilian job sector. A lot of Veterans have to take positions in which they are overqualified. I believe this is the catch 22. Civilian hiring managers know that Veterans have the knowledge, skills and abilities (ksa), but the hiring managers want the Veterans to prove themselves at a lower position first.
Whereas the Veteran sees being offered the lower position as the civilian hiring manage not recognizing their ksa. Or at worst outright disrespecting them and their military background. Some of this also comes from some recruiters and hiring managers not having a clue about the value that a Veteran can bring to their organization. So it should be no surprise that the Veteran will continue with the job search until the find a job they believe fits their ksa.
Some Veterans have not prepared to make the transition from the military mindset to the civilian mindset. In the military taking charge and being aggressive is rewarded and usually the key to advancement. In the civilian world this is not always the case. Some companies reward this and some do not. I believe some Veterans may be having a challenge reading the culture of their new organization and adjusting. Some Veterans may believe that being aggressive helped them succeed in the military and it will help me to succeed here. Oftentimes that is not the case.
Veterans have high expectations of their leaders and some civilian leaders are not meeting their expectations. This is causing Veterans to be disappointed since their new civilian leaders are not meeting expectations. This is probably not fair to the civilian leaders as many of them probably do not receive the leadership training that we receive in the military. But whether fair or not, this is another reason why Veterans are continuing the job search.
Some Veterans believe they are not being compensated in a fair and equitable manner at their first position and because of this they continue their job search. With all of the resources on the Internet it is amazing to me that some companies still attempt to compensate Veterans or anyone else for that matter in a way that is not fair and equitable.
I am sure there is even instances of companies telling Veterans they will be compensated at a certain amount. But when the actual offer letter is given to the Veteran a much lower compensation is given. This situation is then made worse when company continues to tell the Veteran they will increase the compensation at a future date. But when that date comes no compensation increase is provided.