For ex-soldiers, the battle to find a job is intense.
Six percent were out of work, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics released last month.
Still, five vets profiled by The Post last year looking for work managed to find jobs using skills they learned in the military: perseverance, patience and pounding the pavement. Here are their stories:
Luis Correia, 39
A former Marine Corps corporal who remained in the reserves until 2006, Correia believed his ability to work under pressure would serve him well in the job market.
From 2008 until 2010, he was operations manager at Cargo Force Inc. at JFK Airport, but got laid off and turned to freelance work.
After two years of fruitless interviews, he was disheartened. “They wanted a veteran – but not a veteran’s experience,” says the Newark, NJ, resident.
Ultimately, he felt he needed a law degree to land his dream job: running a nonprofit that aids veterans.
This fall, he’s taking pre-law classes and hopes to gain admission to Seton Hall Law School. In the meantime, he’s still freelancing, helping private companies navigate government contracts.
Erik Swanson, 30
Swanson, a staff sergeant in the Army National Guard since 2003, remains in the reserves and was seeking a civilian job as a project manager, similar to the job he held in the military.
Last September, he secured that position – despite little experience working in finance – with Barclays.
“I was surprised I got it,” says the Summit, NJ, resident.
Mastering the finance field has been a bit of a culture shock – but he has no problem wearing a suit: “It’s just a different uniform.”
Thanisha Mitchell, 32
In the Marine Reserve since 2006, Mitchell rose to corporal.
The Crown Heights resident credits the military with teaching her how to manage inventory and handle finances. She hoped to parlay that experience into a job in health care.
After a year of networking, sending resumes and sitting for interviews, she accepted administrative work in the spring at Workforce1, a job training center in Manhattan.
She found the job through her military contacts. “I can’t count how many job interviews and job fairs I’ve been to, but I got lucky,” she says.
Matthew Pizzo, 30
Armed with four years in the Air Force – he left as a senior airman in 2005 – and a law degree, Pizzo thought he would secure work quickly.
But after 14 months of searching after graduating in 2011, he was stumped. “I thought it would take a month,” recalls the Financial District resident.
Fortunately, he found out about a paid internship for veterans at the New York Stock Exchange that he participated in last summer. It turned into a full-time job in compliance. “It allows me to leverage my legal skills,” he says.
Larry Rivera, 31
An Army specialist from 2005 to 2011, Rivera had experience training Afghan soldiers, which taught him how to coordinate people and events.