5/16/2012 By Lance Cpl. Michael Iams , Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Marines, sailors and Department of Defense personnel learned to transition from military to civilian employment at a “Marketing Yourself” presentation by the Military Officers Association of America at the Marine Memorial Chapel on Camp Pendleton, May 15.

The presentation showed various strategies and tactics to be successful when looking for a possible job outside of the military.

“Most people have the military as their first job right out of high school or college, so they don’t know what a job is like in the civilian world,” said Jim Carman, director of Transition Services, MOAA. “For them this is a major culture shift, and they need to understand the different levels of expectation and protocols.”

During the presentation, Carman talked about four key points, including personal assessment, resume development, self marketing, and interviewing and negotiating.

“I try to bring people into networking where they can share information, ideas and benefit from each others’ personal experiences,” said Carman. “One of the sources I use is a premier professional network website scouted by recruiters that offers a wide range of networks with other companies.”
There are also classes available on base to help service members transition out of the military.

“Some of the classes we offer are Pre-Retirement Seminars, Senior Exclusive Seminars, the (Officer Under Twenty) Program and weekly (Transition Readiness Seminars), ” said Dan Clouse, the transition and employment supervisor for Marine and Family Programs. “Our classes are free of charge, so there is no marketing blip or membership service members have to worry about.”

Service members found the information given at the presentation to be useful and invaluable.

“This is all priceless information that teaches you how to act, portray yourself, talk and use resources like (networking websites) to get information about a job,” said Gunnery Sgt. Will L. Pearsell, legal administration chief with Command Support, Installation Personnel Administration Center. “It’s depressing to see young Marines, even with the drawdown, not take advantage of something like this.”

Camp Pendleton holds about six to seven career fairs every year to introduce Marines to various companies.

“I jump on any opportunity to benefit service members and their families on their career path,” said Clouse. “We try to stimulate people to do things for themselves because when they get out of the military no one will tell them what to do, only what they can do.”