Helping Guard members and their families find the right job

Story by David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

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Jim Stinnett is the Kentucky National Guard’s education, employment and incentives specialist. (Photo by David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

FRANKFORT, Ky. – One of the great things about being in the Kentucky National Guard is that you can serve your nation in a military role and still be part of the local community.  It also means that you can have a civilian career as well as military, which is the best of both worlds, right?

But what if you haven’t made up your mind as to what kind of civilian career you want?  Worse yet, what if you don’t even have a job?

Not to fear!  That’s what Jim Stinnett is here for!

CHECK OUT THE EDUCATION AND JOB LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARTICLE!

Stinnett is the education, incentive and employment specialist for the Kentucky National Guard.  It’s his mission to – you guessed it – educate you and give you the incentive to become an employed and productive member of the community … and ultimately a better Soldier or Airman.

And guess what?  He does this for Guard spouses, too!

“It’s my job to provide education and employment assistance to the service member and their spouse,” said Stinnett.  “We do this by giving them access to employment training programs and online assets to help better themselves and their families.  The bottom line is we provide assistance to help build opportunities for success.

Stinnett loves his job, mostly because he loves working with the troops.  “The Guard is family and I’ve been a part of this family since 1983, first as an M-day Soldier and then a full-timer and now as a civilian contractor.  One thing I’ve learned about life is that you do everything you can to help your family.  So many of our military family need help finding that perfect job and I want to be part of that service support team that helps our brothers and sisters in uniform.”

The most common question Stinnett gets from the troops is “Where do I start?”

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Many military skills, like the ones displayed here by the Soldiers of the 149th Vertical Construction Co. during a construction course at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, easily convert to jobs in the private sector.  For those jobs that aren’t easily translated into civilian language, a solution can  be found.   (Kentucky National Guard photo by Sgt. Scott Raymond)

“I can work with the soldier or family member to create a career action plan and an employment status review worksheet,” Stinnett said.  “This will help determine a career path and what they need to do to obtain that ‘dream job’.”

“You have to make a goal or create a career action plan. You can’t be an underwater basket weaver if you don’t have the right knowledge. So you have to set smart goals.”

Stinnett explains that when you’re goal setting you should keep the following items in mind:

Make connections  “Good relationships are important. Accepting help and support from others strengthens resiliency.”

Move towards realistic goals  “What’s one thing I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?”

Accept change as a part of living   “Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can control.”

The biggest mistake Stinnett sees applicants make is using too much military jargon in their resume.

“Probably the number one reason employers don’t hire veterans is that they can’t interpret the military lingo,” said Stinnett.  “There are ways to translate military occupational skills into language that is more civilian friendly, and we can help you with that.”

And finally, Stinnet says the most important thing a Guard member can do to find the right job is to create a career portfolio.

“This should have your DD214, performance appraisals, job descriptions, old resumes and any previous job applications,” said Stinnett. “Don’t be shy.  Take note of your accomplishments and achievements in the past as they are key to becoming the best qualified person for the job you’re applying for.”

So there you have it.  If you’re unemployed or underemployed, don’t give up.  Where there is a will there is a way.  And then there’s people like Jim Stinnett.

For more information on how to find your dream job email Stinnett at james.b.stinnett.ctr@mail.mil or call him at 502-607-1941.

HELPFUL LINKS TO HELP YOU IMPROVE YOUR EDUCATION AND GET A BETTER JOB!

GoArmyEd is the virtual gateway for all eligible Active Duty, National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers to request Tuition Assistance (TA) online, anytime, anywhere for classroom and distance learning www.goarmyed.com

Hero2Hired (H2H) was created to help Reserve Component service members to connect to and find jobs with military-friendly companies.   https://h2h.jobs

O*NET OnLine can help you translate your military occupational skills and experience into job descriptions for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more!  www.onetonline.org
Hire A Hero is an online job board and employment resources center with more than 337,000 registered members and candidate profiles and in excess of 2 Million unique visitors.  www.hireahero.org
VA for Vets facilitates the reintegration, retention and hiring of Veteran employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  http://vaforvets.va.gov/

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