Doing Right through your transition
For the many who have served, whether for a few months or several years, you have served with the highest honor. You have upheld values, faced incredible and stressful situations, and have been resilient throughout.
Not every journey is the same, and we have all walked different paths. On the outside, we will again separate and step on unpaved paths and walks. We will again try to do it right.
Regardless of branch of service, or officer or enlisted, as we started our journey and were molded into service members one thing held constant: we all tried to do it right. As we progressed through formal and on the job training, and progressed through a military skillset that included collateral or additional duties, we still held true and tried to do it right. When faced with a task we didn’t understand, we somehow found the will and the way, even when it didn’t make sense. When we were directed from above with what seemed like an impossibility, we somehow again found a way to work through it and keep the mission moving forward.
Your transition from military back to civilian life is no different, in fact, in many ways it is exactly identical. Think back to the most challenging, most difficult assignment or deployment you encountered. Regardless of how difficult the situation was, you somehow found a way to “get through it.” You likely never did it—any of it—alone.
Your transition time will be a challenge. The lead-up time will be rough. You will be faced with trying to make that mission happen, while working through military out processing, appointments, family matters, and much more. You must find a way to do it right.
Doing it right doesn’t mean you have to do it all, and certainly doesn’t mean you have to it all by yourself. The time to find that resume expert is now, the time to find that colleague who understands how to navigate the complex world of civilian application systems is now, and the time to get it right starts right now.
It’s simple to get it wrong, and many do. Many of us have struggled, stumbled, and failed during our transitions. For me, I applied for 97 jobs, had seven interviews, and spent several months trying to just get it right. Along my journey, I kept strong, I kept myself in tact physically, spiritually, and emotionally and still kept trying to get it right. I finally did get it right, and was offered (and accepted) my first civilian job.
If I were to list my transition challenges, I quite simply wouldn’t know where to begin. I can begin with what right looked like at the end. As mentioned above, never, ever, think you are alone at this. Resources are available now, and many are free—all you have to do is ask. Work of Honor is doing amazing things and offers several resources for you. There are web sites, transition offices, and numerous agencies that will help you get it right. Your right must also include a plan. You cannot maneuver through your transition without a strategy, action plan, and deliverable (you certainly have heard these terms before).
Develop a strategy to keep you focused, set a detailed action plan, and continue to follow through on your actions. You will soon see how to get it right during your transition.
By: Geoffrey Phillips
Mr. Phillips is an IT specialist and professional policy writer / content editor; a non-starving writer always in search of opportunities; a USAF veteran; and a devote Church Elder and family man. His passion is in the pen and the people; he absolutely loves to assist transitioning veterans, and finds himself at peace when he is doing some sort of writing.