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Veterans’ civilian employment experiences: Lessons learnt from focus groups

Keeling, Mary Elizabeth; Ozuna, Sara M.; Kintzle, Sara; Castro, Carl A.

Authors

Mary Keeling Mary.Keeling@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Research Fellow in visible difference and military conflict research

Sara M. Ozuna

Sara Kintzle

Carl A. Castro



Abstract

Emerging evidence highlights employment as a key factor influencing the success of transition from military to civilian life. Historically, employment programs have focused on improving skills such as resume writing and interview skills. However, it is likely that employment challenges are more than these practical barriers. Four focus groups with employed and unemployed Gulf War Era II veterans were conducted aimed at moving past a practical perspective by gaining experiential understandings of veterans’ employment. Thematic analysis indicated that the veterans’ employment experiences were best understood temporally in two master themes: pretransition and the divergent experiences of veterans who did and did not plan ahead and living the transition and the veterans’ experiences of employment barriers and facilitators. Further to the two master themes, an underlying thread of the need for self-determination was evident. Interpretation of the results led to the development of recommendations for policy, service provision, and future research.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2019
Journal Journal of Career Development
Print ISSN 0894-8453
Electronic ISSN 1556-0856
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 6
Pages 692-705
APA6 Citation Keeling, M. E., Ozuna, S. M., Kintzle, S., & Castro, C. A. (2019). Veterans’ civilian employment experiences: Lessons learnt from focus groups. Journal of Career Development, 46(6), 692-705. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894845318776785
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0894845318776785
Keywords veterans, employment, military transition, unemployment, visible difference
Publisher URL http://doi.org/10.1177/0894845318776785
Additional Information Additional Information : © 2018. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications

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