WHY OVERSEAS JOBS ARE A VIABLE OPTION FOR SOME VETERANS
After back-to-back tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, many Gulf War Vets would never think of returning overseas as a contractor. That’s certainly understandable. Yet, you might be surprised to learn that thousands of men and women who have served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and/or Enduring Freedom are actively seeking overseas jobs. If you’re a veteran and are weighing the advantages of returning overseas as a defense contractor, continue reading for the straight scoop.
JOBS OUTLOOK FOR RETURNING GULF WAR II VETS (IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN)
While the U.S. jobs market is showing gradual signs improvement, the unemployment rate for Gulf War II-era veterans remains significantly higher than the national average. No doubt, as veterans begin to find jobs the rates will gradually improve, but it will take time. Working overseas offers veterans the chance to (1) “ride out” the worst of the recession, (2) earn an excellent salary and (3) ease their transition to civilian life. It can be reasonable alternative to looking for work in their home town during a recession!
The employment data for returning Gulf War II-era veterans is sobering. Not only do transitioning veterans have the misfortune of re-entering the civilian workforce in the midst of a protracted recession, their jobs outlook is challenging. Accepting an overseas job with a U.S. company supporting operations in Afghanistan, Kuwait or Iraq offers many veterans an opportunity to avoid the depressed U.S. jobs market while earning a lucrative salary.
EMPLOYMENT DATA FOR RETURNING GULF WAR II VETERANS
The data outlined in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ January 6, 2012 employment report is revealing. In December, 2011, 13.1% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were unemployed, compared to a national civilian unemployment rate of 8.5%. In all, over 248,000 Gulf War II veterans were out of work. Among younger Gulf War II veterans (18-24 years), one in three (32.2%) were unemployed. Also discouraging, the employment rate for female Gulf War II veterans was 16.8%, almost double the national rate. Finally, recently separated Gulf War II veterans earned an average of $10,000 less per year than their civilian counterparts. eBenefits.Va.Gov
THE POTENTIAL ADVANTAGES OVERSEAS JOBS OFFER VETERANS
U.S. employers often find it difficult to translate military experience into civilian job skills. That’s not the case with Defense contractors. They speak the veteran’s language. Veterans already know what to expect; they’ve “been there, done that.” Chances are, they worked around contractors during their tour(s) and already know they can handle the hardships. Defense contractors value veterans’ ability to develop and execute a plan. They know that veterans exercise good judgment under challenging conditions and are committed to their assignment.
Working as an overseas contractor can ease veterans’ transition into the civilian job market, plus give them the chance to pay off bills or build a nest egg. Most overseas contractors earn $80,000 to $150,000 per year. Plus, $91,500 of their annual earnings are exempt from federal taxes if they remain outside of the U.S. a minimum of 330 days per year. Overseas contractors typically receive up to 30 days paid R&R leave per year, plus airfare. eBenefits.Va.Gov
FOR SOME VETERANS, ACCEPTING AN OVERSEAS CONTRACTOR JOB IS APPEALING
Happy to finally be home, many Gulf War II veterans have no desire to return overseas. That’s certainly understandable, and we owe them a collective debt of gratitude for their service. Yet, for 1000’s of transitioning veterans, the prospect of working overseas is appealing on a variety of levels. They won’t find themselves alone. Overseas defense contractors rely heavily on veterans to fill their ranks. For many Gull War II veterans, accepting a job with an overseas contractor represents a viable alternative. eBenefits.Va.Gov
Our Qualifications – Experience Matters
Stephen Jones is the developer and editor-in-chief of Overseasjobsource.com. As a senior human resources/recruitment professional, he has directed the start-up of six major U.S. overseas programs and managed the deployment of over 6,500 U.S. civilian contractors. Overseasjobsource’s exclusive Overseas Jobs Database connects members to over 590 U.S. companies who routinely offer overseas contract jobs. Overseasjobsource provides the tools, techniques and professional advice needed to conduct an effective overseas job search.
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