Finding a job can be a daunting task for anyone, but for military members moving into the civilian world, it’s especially difficult.


They have the skills, but some struggle to translate them for potential employers to understand. That’s where Hiring Our Heroes comes in. The national nonprofit is hosting a two-day Alaska Transition Summit.


It features panels, networking and a job fair — all designed to show military members how they can find a fulfilling career after serving their country.


Hundreds of service members turned out for the first day. Among them is Staff Sgt. Jaymie Herbert. She’s leaving the U.S. Air Force in one year and wants to start planning the rest of her life now.


“I just had a son in January,” Herbert said. “So I just want to make sure that my family is set and good to go.”


Wednesday morning’s panel discussion is helping calm her fears.


“It’s scary as all scary to get out,” she said. “And I’m finding out quickly that it’s not necessarily as scary as people make it sound.”


The summit is not just for military members — More than 100 employers from across the country are here. CB&I recruiter Albert Vanzant says vets have key traits he looks for, like “dependability, accountability, mission focused.”


He says after the military, training comes easy for new employees, but some service members struggle because they don’t know where to turn.


“Never be afraid to ask what the next step is. Always ask,” Vanzant said. “You might not know the answer and the person sitting beside you might not know the answer, but they may know someone that does know the answer.”


That advice resonates with Herbert.


“One thing that I held onto was to not freak out because I’ve been freaking out for about three months now and it’s not even close,” she says.


The Alaska Transition Summit continues Thursday with more panels and a job fair. It’s open to veterans, current service members and their spouses.


For a schedule of events and registration information, go to www.hiringourheroes.org.


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