TAP trains Airmen to enter civilian job market

Heather Greenbaum
Ramstein Family Support Center

Ready to trade uniforms for business suits? Whether separating Airmen don’t know the first thing about putting a resume together, or if they’ve already chosen a lucky tie for an interview, the Transition Assistance Program awaits them.
Information received during the TAP seminar is designed to give confidence to face the real world job market. Two goals of TAP are to prevent long term unemployment among recently separated veterans, and to improve understanding of the civilian labor market by servicemembers and their spouses at separation. Research has shown that attendees of the TAP seminar obtain employment more quickly than non-attendees.
Col. Rob Jensik, assigned to US European Command’s Plans and Programs Directorate, attended the February TAP seminar and said, “I don’t think you could make a bigger mistake in your retirement than ignoring this seminar. We are trained to plan for deployments and we study before testing for rank or taking a flight evaluation; it only makes sense to plan and ‘study’ for retirement.”
He also says the seminar took the mystery and confusion out of the retirement process.
“The publications themselves are worth their weight in gold,” Colonel Jensik said. “You aren’t shoved out the door when the seminar is finished, but you’re given resources and encouragement to call with any questions.” Colonel Jensik feels participating in the TAP Seminar will give him a welcome advantage in the civilian job market.
Highlights of the seminar include tips for translating military skills and experiences into language understood by civilian employers, the identification of personal preferences, resume development, and role-playing and interview scenarios with peer feedback. Also showcased are topics of financial considerations, job search strategies, tips for negotiating salary and benefits, appropriate interview attire, and a vital explanation of military and VA benefits.
“The earlier people get the information on TAP, the more power they have to make informed decisions about their future,” said Tracy Snider, Community Readiness consultant at the Ramstein Family Support Center. One of the comments she often hears is that people wish they had come to the seminar earlier.
The TAP Seminar is totally voluntary and free. Participants with diverse backgrounds, careers, skills and rank are dressed in casual attire and the atmosphere creates a realistic civilian experience.
The only mandatory portion during the transition process is the pre-separation counseling, separate from the TAP seminar. The monthly TAP Seminar can be taken at any time and can be repeated. To reserve a space call the Ramstein Family Support Center at 480-5100, or 06371-475100. Servicemembers, civilians and spouses may attend.