3 Keys to Success Beyond the Military: It’s your choice, Now what?

Finding a career using your skill and abilities from the military can seem impossible. How do you translate duties the military told you to do and responsibilities that will get you a job you want?  

Can you relate to having a lack of stability when you can’t find a job that meets your needs? 

In the military you were told where to be, when to be there, and what to do. Now outside the military you are wanting to provide for your family and the transition is tough. 

It was mostly work in the military, now there is so much more you have to consider. Transitioning military veterans I usually work with ask themselves two things, 

“What do I really want to do after the military,” and “what do I really want my life to be like.” They want to like their job and trust they can do it well. 

You’ve served your country, but not it’s time to start a new chapter of your life. You might be moving from active duty to veteran, or to retired life…but where to start? As a career transition expert, here are my thoughts:

  • Success is up to you! Let’s be honest, this can be both exciting and overwhelming. Finally, it is no longer up to the military or someone else to decide what your future looks like. Once you made that decision to join the military, you signed on the dotted line and from then on out someone else dictated your vocation, what you did, and when you did it. You thrived on clear directives, missions, and goals, yet perhaps it at times felt like everyone else made the decisions. Yet now you have all the choices in the world. You are empowered to choose your right path. At last you can choose your wants, needs, and desires. You can choose a career around what you are good at and passion about. For once there isn’t just a list of directives, but an unlimited number of possibilities. With hundreds of choices laid out before you, it may seem unclear which path to choose. We all know that our choices affect everything. It affects your ability to provide for your family and create the life you want after the military. It is natural for you to be slightly overwhelmed with all of the decisions that now rest on your shoulders.

For 20 years I have partnered with people transitioning to brand new careers. I support people in making the best choices for them. Using a unique process, I support my clients to align with a career that not only suits their individual strengths and skills, but also aligns with their passion for fulfillment. I work with clients to capitalize on their strengths and reframe their potential weaknesses so that they can stand out and get hired in their ideal career. Choose to work with me and you will learn how to zero in on the path that is right for you. You will be able to stand out in an interview, present yourself with the qualities that your ideal company is looking for, and get hired on the path that brings you the most fulfillment so that you can have your ideal career.

  •  Where do you start looking for a job? What skills in the military are directly transferable to the civilian career that you’re seeking? These were the exact questions I asked myself after my own transition out of the military. After my 20 years in the military,  I wasn’t clear on what skills I could use from Desert Storm or the Cold War that would benefit me in a civilian job. I reframed the jobs I did in the military to directly translate to responsibilities in the civilian world and then I asked myself, what do I want to do? What do I actually enjoy? It took me working with a coach to find my ideal path. My initial coach, who was a Senior Naval Officer, offered to do a personalized analysis of the skills I gained in the military, as well as an assessment that would go into what I was passionate about. I said, “YES” to his expert coaching and I found a career I thrive in. It is important you answer the above questions and don’t let your passion stay unknown to you and the world.  I would highly encourage you to find the career that brings you purpose and fulfillment. In my practice, I use a number of assessments with my clients to figure these pieces out. Each layer of the process is simple, yet comprehensive and will make your job search much more rewarding.
  • In the military your value is often determined by your rank. Yet in the civilian world your connections are often your greatest asset. Imagine if one introduction can give you access to a job you never thought possible. One referral can connect you with your ideal career. One key relationship can and will change your life. I know this to be true. I flew across the country in one day in order to leverage a connection that grew into a career opportunity. That one decision to say yes to a connection changed my life.  Leveraging your connections can, and will, allow you to gain introductions, leads, referrals, and gain key relationships as you grow your career. 80% of the jobs are found through the Hidden Job Market. It is fair to say only 10%-20% of jobs are found online. If you are going to look for a job online, be intentional and strategically leverage yourself yet don’t spend 80% of your time looking for your next opportunity. When you connect with me, as your coach, I will support you in leveraging online and offline networks so you can and will find your ideal career. 

A great lesson that I learned came from my own transition was that of hindsight. I realized “You never know everything that you need to know for your successful transition until you can look back on it.” Another disastrous flaw is attempting to go through this process alone. One would never expect success going on completing a mission, by not following the orders given to you by your command. With that said, teaming together with an expert will yield to your success in what you need to know for success in your career.

Kevin Tucker is CEO of Career Transition Development and has been trained by The Coaches Training Institute. A professional coach since 2004, Kevin has produced unprecedented breakthrough results with a wide spectrum of clients across the country. He is a 20-year career veteran with the U.S. Air Force and now serves as a veteran advocate. He can be reached at https://careertransitiondevelopment.com/military-veteran/.