Life in the military can take many different forms, but almost all paths through the service leave members with skills and abilities that can help them launch a future career. Making the transition to civilian life isn’t always immediate or easy, which makes stronger job seeking capability a prime asset for veterans. There are several ways you can improve your career prospects while still serving on active military duty.

Seek Skilled Positions

There are hundreds of different roles in the military service that require varying degrees of technical and physical expertise in dozens of different fields. Some of these have relatively high entry and performance requirements, but most service members can find opportunities they qualify for. Focusing on combat engineering, for example, allows you to take advantage of a military education at the academy while accumulating hands-on experience and training.

You may want to talk to someone from the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Army Degree program to see what all of the degree options are while you are on active military duty. They will also help you learn what your various financial options and figure out how long the courses will take you.

Seize New Responsibilities

Personal motivation is a defining factor when determining a course through the military, regardless of years served. Service members who show initiative and look for opportunities to take on more responsibilities are more likely to gain recognition for their efforts and learn skills in the process. Adopting a fundamental respect for organization and authority are often beneficial characteristics, but veterans should also remember that they still need to stand up for themselves to succeed in civilian occupations.

Take College Courses

Not all members on active military duty have the time or ability to access an academic education, but there are plenty of options designed specifically for them. Taking even a few classes from online colleges for military members can improve career prospects and give veterans a head-start on a formal education. They also provide a solid opportunity to explore various fields and occupations that they may want to pursue after they leave the service.

Access Veteran Services

For many people in the military, accessing veteran services can significantly ease the transition back into civilian life. These services can help with job seeking, including resume and interview skills, as well as physical and mental health needs related to prior service. VA offices can also help you with any additional education needs that you have and get you into skills related coursework. Learning how to navigate this system and take full advantage of veteran benefits can make a big difference down the road.

Military service can be a valuable asset in many occupations. Employers often appreciate the sense of duty and respect for authority instilled through years of service. Leadership skills can also be beneficial for those who want to become managers, leaders or executives. If you are seeking out additional education opportunities, time spent in the military can also help you to get where you’re going. Be sure to take advantage of the many resources available to active duty military personnel.