Transitioning into civilian life and a civilian career can require some major changes for military members.
Some are connecting to new jobs and career opportunities in the civilian world through LinkedIn, an online social media used primarily by professionals and business people.
“Wow!” was Julie McAdoo’s reaction when she first learned about LinkedIn at a South Tampa Chamber of Commerce presentation.
“LinkedIn is a very smart way to figure out who it is you need to talk to and what you can offer them versus walking into a room cold to a sea of faces you don’t know,” McAdoo said.
She now uses LinkedIn for her new business, Refresh Your Nest Cleaning Services, and helps teach the workshops to those in the military community.
Retired Air Force Col. Dennis Greene also saw that chamber presentation. After 32 years in the military,he had a job lined up, but eight days before his retirement in July 2011, the offer fell through.
“One of the vice presidents called me and one of his comment to me was, ‘You know Dennis, I’m sorry things happened the way they happened, but one bit of advice I’ll give you was that we could not find you on LinkedIn,’” Greene said.
Greene now uses LinkedIn for his real estate business that specializes in veterans’ mortgage programs.
Greene and McAdoo joined forces with the LinkedIn presenter, Nancy Laine.
Laine and McAdoo presented a free workshop in November at MacDill Air Force Base to two dozen people. It offered help setting up a strong profile as well as tips for effective networking.
“We’re teaching veterans and transitioning military how to find careers worthy of their talents. Not just any job, but something that they dream of doing that they would be really excited about doing,” Laine said.
She said an important part of the workshop is sharing contacts and teaching people how to network at every opportunity.
Laine set up a non-profit organization, Project Transition USA, to offer the workshops to military, veterans and military family members regularly on MacDill Air Force Base and off the base.
The next LinkedIn workshop at MacDill is scheduled May 17. Base personnel should contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 813-828-0145 to register.
The next LinkedIn workshop being held off base is May 23 at the IOA offices, 4915 W. Cypress Street, Tampa. Veterans and military family members may register with Nancy Laine at 727-415-3878.