Don’t Wait to Prepare for Your Next Career Transition

Don’t Wait to Prepare for Your Next Career Transition
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Your professional journey will involve multiple transitions – whether it’s leaving uniform, changing jobs in the private sector, or relocating as part of your family’s PCS move.  


Many of these changes can’t be avoided. But thankfully, many come with enough time to prepare – if you are willing to put in the work.


Inadequate prep could put you at a disadvantage. That’s just one of the transition “truths” discussed in a free guide from, a website offering all manner of research and guidance into the military transition process, some of which will apply to any professional transition.


While 84% of veterans recommend starting the transition process early, servicemembers offered a series of reasons to delay their preparation:

  • “I’m too busy.”
  • “I don’t know what to do.”
  • “I’m focused on the mission.”
  • “My position doesn’t allow it.”
  • “I don’t want to disappoint others.”


Because of this lack of preparation, 76% of veterans surveyed found their transition to be stressful and described the process “as if they were entering the unknown.”


[RELATED: MOAA’s Transition and Career Resources]


Making a Plan

One way to reduce stress and uncertainty is to become more informed about the “new” civilian environment you are preparing to enter. The good news is that you have done this type of work countless times.


In military terminology, this is called an “intelligence preparation of the battlefield.” We conducted it every time that we were called upon to deploy downrange or out to sea. Put those skills, honed over the years, to good use by doing it one more time as you embark upon your next transition. 


Need some help? Consult’s guidebooks, data analytics, and visualization tools such as their interactive data dashboards.


Want more?  Join MOAA and Brian Niswander, founder of Military-Transition-org, for a July 31 webinar event where you can learn from the experiences of veterans and spouses who've gone before you on the transition journey. Register today!


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About the Author

Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)
Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)

Anderson joined the staff of MOAA's Career Transition Services Department in August 2011. He served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force in a wide range of command and staff assignments. Connect with him on LinkedIn.