Mar 09

How Do You Know What Comes Next?

Separation from military service can be a time for reflection, self-assessment, opportunity and reinvention. It is a time to consider who you are without your uniform and to determine what moves you going forward.

As you transition to civilian life, you will likely want to consider multiple factors including:

  • Financial needs
  • Geographic preferences
  • Balance with spouse’s and other family members’ needs
  • Your own skill sets, personal and professional interests
  • Industry and job market trends

Transitioning senior military leaders who are financially secure may view retirement as a time to launch a new business or return to school to pursue an additional degree or credential.

Perhaps this is a time for your spouse to pursue a long-held professional aspiration and you might decide to play a supporting role to make that possible.

Flexibility is key in determining next steps because you may not get it exactly right the first time around. It can be difficult to know the correct fit for you when you have not had to think about “what fits” during much of your military career.  Some might decide to fully retire to the golf course, only to find within a few months after leaving military service, they miss the stimulation of exchanging ideas with colleagues in the workplace. Others might initially pursue a job that promises great financial compensation, only to find that the money was far less important than having a real opportunity to provide leadership on the job.

As you move forward, be sure to:

  • Explore multiple avenues
  • Do your research
  • Talk with military colleagues who have taken similar paths to learn from their experiences
  • Don’t let preconceived notions about the private, public or nonprofit sectors keep you from considering a wide range of options

1 comment

  1. Vince Patton

    Well done! I’ll also post this link on the Coast Guard Retiree & Veterans Facebook pages.

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