Those making the leap to the civilian sector have a few extra resources in their transition toolbox thanks to Google.
The tech giant unveiled a series of new tools aimed at supporting transitioning military members seeking civilian employment. Coined Grow with Google, the initiative focuses on three main areas: employment, entrepreneurship, and education.
Navy veteran Kass Kristoff, Google Communications Manager, experienced her own hardship during her transition and calls these new offerings “game changing”.
“Number one, Google’s mission is on creating tools that are useful and helpful for everybody. Specifically, Grow with Google is creating economic opportunities for Americans and I think helping and supporting veterans is just one of those things,” she said. “For example, this job search function, it’s incredible. My own personal job search was a lot of time, a lot of years of trying to figure out what I want to do, but being able to put in your military occupational specialty (MOS) code into a job search function is at least a starting point for how your skills in the military may translate to the civilian world. It is really game changing.”
Kristoff, who served six years, was a surface warfare officer. It was during that time that she used her journalism education to assist with her ship’s public relations needs.
She and her husband, also a veteran, jointly decided to transition out while stationed in Bahrain. Like many who leave the structure of a military career, she describes the road as tricky.
“It was definitely a struggle to find out what it is that we wanted to do and try to figure out how what we did in the military translated into the civilian world. It took a lot of searching, career quizzes, conversations with multiple people in industries, asking them what they did and why they loved what they did or why they hated what they did,” she explained.
Three years after hanging up her uniform, Kristoff landed an opportunity in Google’s communications department. Now she lends her voice to helping the company assist other veterans on the path to civilian. Among her contributions was testing out a job search function allowing transitioning service members and veterans to use their job code to easily find compatible career opportunities.
Google your MOS
Service members can now enter their military occupational specialty code (MOS, AFSC, NEC) directly into Google Search and see relevant civilian jobs that require similar skills to those used in their military roles.
By searching the phrase “jobs for veterans” on Google and then entering their military job code (MOS, AFSC, NEC), service members will be able to find relevant jobs near them.
The results will include details about each job, such as the job title, location and commute times, time requirements, and in some cases, salary information.
Help your veteran-owned business stand-out online
For those seeking careers outside traditional employment, entrepreneurship has become a popular option among veterans.
Over two million businesses in the U.S. are owned by veterans, according to the Small Business Administration. Google recognizes this and has created a special designation that veteran entrepreneurs can use to help better identify their business to consumers who may want to specifically shop at military-affiliated companies.
Veterans can identify their businesses as veteran-owned or led on Google Search and Maps (visual) with the new attribute, making it easy for customers to proactively support veteran-owned businesses. Click here to see the companies that have already used the new feature.
The tech industry has become an attractive field for job seekers as it is expected to grow faster than the combined average of all other occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, Google has teamed up with the USO to train veterans in the skills they need to pursue those opportunities.
Google.org provided the USO with a $2.5 million grant to incorporate the Google IT Support Professional Certificate into USO programming. This training is also being extended to military spouses who continue to face high numbers of unemployment.
Go to USO Pathfinder to learn more about utilizing the training, or contact your local USO center. The grant is designated for roughly 1000 transitioning military members, veterans or military spouses.
Kristoff adds that because IT is a growing industry with demands everywhere, this training is beneficial even during the preparation stage of the military transition.
“It’s a growing field—but I think a lot of veterans, especially when you’re talking about the enlisted ranks, some of them are on the fence about should I go to school afterwards, like what should I do, and having this IT support professional certificate—especially that it’s a distance learning program—and something potential they can maybe do on deployment before they’re transitioning out.
They can take that certificate and it applies to a variety of jobs and now they have the skills that they need to move into an entry level job in IT,” she said.
Visit Grow with Google to learn more about free training to expand your tech skills.Read comments