Considering a New Career?

In today’s economy, it is common for the average person to have multiple and completely different careers. Veterans are a great example of professionals that must make career changes after their transition into the civilian workforce because their military occupation does not seamlessly transfer to a civilian career.  The amount of information available to job seekers can make it very difficult for someone to make an informed career decision.

I speak with candidates everyday who have no choice, but to make a career change.  This is a difficult and frustrating route to navigate for everyone. Advances in  technology make it very easy for candidates to apply to multiple positions. Consequently, it is very difficult to stand out from hundreds of other applicants.  Hiring managers now have many options when deciding who will be the best fit for their team.

My advice is to find companies that are offering apprenticeship programs.

Most job seekers do not consider apprenticeship and leadership programs.

What is an Apprenticeship Program?

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According to the Department of Labor ( DOL), a registered apprenticeship program must be employer-driven that uses the “learn while you earn” model.  This program must be a combination of on-the-job-training (OJT) with curriculum that will lead to a nationally recognized credential. Also, the program must involve a progressive increase in the apprentice’s wages as they meet the predetermined benchmarks.

Why Pursue an Apprenticeship Program?

There are many reasons why anyone looking for a career change should consider an apprenticeship program.

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Competitive Advantage

For veterans, that first job after the military is very important to set them up for future success.  Getting started with a big company can set them apart from other candidates applying to the same roles.  Recruiters will take you more seriously if you have a big named company behind your name.  As a Talent Acquisition Manager, I know that Apprenticeship programs provide workers with the necessary problem solving, industry knowledge, and technical skills that hundreds of employers are craving for.

Free Training with Pay and Benefits

In this model, you are also gaining great skills while you earn a good paycheck.  Some companies offer full benefits such as: 401K, pension programs, bonus program, paid time off (PTO), healthcare and dental benefits, and short-term disability insurance.  There are also other great compensation incentives, such as veterans being able to receive an additional housing allowance if they want to use their Education Benefits.  When considering a new career, would you rather pay for the big degree and hope that there are companies that won’t need the experience or would you rather get paid while you get the skills and training you need now?

Stable Career and Growth Opportunities

Companies that invest in apprenticeship programs have a huge investment in your success.  They want you to stay with the company for at least 12 months.  According to the DOL, Apprenticeship programs range from one to six years. During this economy, any kind of job security is crucial to plan the future for your family.  Also, these companies want to retain you and provide you with other opportunities because you are now fully trained and fully integrated within the company culture.  Also, companies that have these programs are true advocates of promoting their own employees into new exciting roles.  This is an important value when considering a career change with a well-known company.

These are just a few benefits of apprenticeship programs.

Other Factors to Consider

There are also other factors that you need to consider such as location and commitment.

Sometimes the location is not ideal, but if you consider the future opportunities that you will have because you decided to pursue this program you should not let the location stop you.

Finally, you must commit to the company and the career.  Every day, I speak to recruiters and hiring managers that want to see candidates with a stable work history. So, choose wisely the first time!

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Current Apprenticeship Program Opportunities with NextOp

At  NextOp , we are currently assisting a Global Oil and Gas Company connect with veterans for a Field Technician Apprenticeship program.  This company values and grows their own.  Right now, we are in the best position to help veterans with mechanical or technical skills who are transitioning or have transitioned in the last 24 months go down this path.

If you are interested in learning more please email your resume to Jonathan Barreda at

I am also recruiting for a Leadership Development Program for Cameron, a Schlumberger Company.  The interviews will be conducted at the end of October so we do have a deadline of the 24th of October 2017.  See the flyer on the right column.   We are looking for veterans with degrees who have transitioned or received their degrees within the last 2 years.

If you are interested in learning more please email me your resume at