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Vera Steiner Blore is an executive career consultant who works with senior military leaders in transition. She is the author of Success in Your New Mission: A Guide for Senior Military Leaders in Transition.
Military leaders and the troops they lead take pride in their ability to handle every situation, no matter how challenging. They get the job done and believe failure is not an option. As a result, many servicemembers assume the same will hold true when it comes time to transition into the civilian workforce; they simply will determine their objectives and get it done.
While this strategy will work for some, others find the military-to-civilian transition to be a more unsettling process. To make the best of things, recognize you don't have to fly solo. Connect with mentors who can coach you through the process. Reach out to other professionals to tap their experience, insights, and knowledge.
Before you can bridge some of the tough topics of a successful transition, keep in mind these common stumbling blocks:
Military officers and veterans shouldn't allow these factors to force a quick retreat. The more productive approach is to let your network coach you in the right direction. For example, you might want to:
One of the best strategies is connecting with a career advisor, consultant, or coach. While no one can do all the hard work on your behalf, a good career advisor can help you:
You won't have to look far to find a high-quality career transition professional. MOAA's Military Executive Transition (MET) workshop includes five hours of follow-on, one-on-one career guidance from an experienced career-management consultant who will work with you to address your specific career-transition needs.
Kevin Redman, a recent MET attendee, says, “The career-management advice I received ... was invaluable. The expert guidance I received helped me to weigh competing offers and negotiate a higher starting salary.”
Don't go it alone on your military-to-civilian transition journey. The right career advisor will have your six and stand ready to guide you, every step of the way.
Share and learn career-transition best practices with 26,000+ military professionals and participants.