Strategically Transition from Military to Civilian Life

Are ready for your transition from military life to civilian life? Do you want to be able to hit the ground running with your plan and goals as a civilian? Other people will get out of the military and feel unprepared for the culture shock of civilian life. It demands a totally different mindset than in the military.

When you are in transition it is natural to go through overwhelm or to feel scattered. The military was a regimented environment, where you were expected to follow orders and trust the leaders. Yet in the civilian world it is up to you to create a plan of attack. Suddenly there is no organized leadership and you are alone to execute the plan. 

Do you know the direction you want to go? Many people are wasting time, money, and resources fixing the mistakes they have made going in the wrong direction, instead of having a solid plan from the beginning. I understand. As a former military person, I know the inner desire to run full speed ahead. Yet what if we start running in the wrong direction? 

As you transition into the civilian world the truth is 

you have to build everything yourself now. 

You have to put parameters in place for yourself.  

You have to find that job that is going to be a good match.

You have to put yourself in front of the right people.

One of the keys to a successful transition is looking at the transferable skills you have from military jobs that are directly connected to the civilian jobs you want. For example, if you’re a machine operator you take direction, you follow through, you make something happen, and you work well under pressure. You have skills you can take to the new company. You are already equipped. The key is being ready to put yourself out there as the perfect candidate; how can you show the civilian world that you are already exactly what they need? How can you show up online, on paper, and in an interview ready to convince others of what you already know: they are looking for you. What is going to support you most in the job that you want and the plan you want to execute is the ability to show others just how prepared you are for the job. 

When we work together, I will help you transfer your knowledge and skill set to the civilian workplace. Did you create SOP and documentation, did you train people, did you follow or create your SOP, do you know how to streamline systems? Once we sit down together we will create the perfect plan of action that is right for you. There are a lot of ways to show that you made a difference in the military and have those skills transfer to the civilian world. 

Typically people come to me after having gone through the pain and frustration of taking lower level jobs and not being paid their worth. They did not know how to articulate their transferable skills, and they felt pigeonholed into a job that didn’t appreciate their expertise. Let’s skip the frustration. When you work with me we will create the perfect plan of action together. We will sit down and figure out just how valuable you are in the workplace. I will help you market yourself as the perfect candidate for the job you want. Do this now, before you get out. You will not have to go through a two-month downtime between military and civilian work. Let’s do these steps before you get out so you can hit the ground running.

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

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