If you’ve spent several years in the military, and you have a set date when you’re due to transition back into civilian life, then it can be a very daunting time, to say the least. While transitioning back to the life of a civilian can be stressful and frustrating, these feelings won’t last, and there are certain things you can do to make the whole process easier. Here are some helpful tips for an easier transition.
Don’t leave it until you’re a month away from separation to start the transition process. The best time to start making plans is a full year before you’re eligible to start a civilian job. Take some time to read up on scholarships for veterans, pensions for soldiers of your class and other financial aids. You don’t want any stumbling blocks to take you by surprise at the wrong time!
When planning your transition, you want to give yourself as many different options as possible, and avoid getting tethered down to anything that could hurt you later. Applying for a range of jobs with a single company, an exclusionary placement firm, or just one transition resource will rarely turn out to be the best decision. Check out all the services that are available, and take advantage of all the ones that will coincide with your long-term plans. Military job fairs, placement services, job boards and so on will all open your eyes to a range of different paths you can take, and exploring different opportunities now will keep your options open in the future.
The civilian job-hunting process will open you up to a different kind of scrutiny from your prospective employers. You need to prepare for this to make your transition as smooth as possible. Make sure you have a professional email address you can use, and an answering machine message to go with it. Social media also plays a big part in modern job screening, so go through your history on these networks and delete any kind of inappropriate skeletons in the closet. On the subject of this, it may also be worth setting yourself up on LinkedIn, which is designed specifically for professional networking and exploring job opportunities.
Don’t default on your military move by going straight back to your hometown. One major advantage of being a jobseeker with experience in the military is that in many instances, the military will pay for your relocation to wherever your new job is based. When the company would have to pay it otherwise, this can mean the difference between getting the job or not. Be sure to sign up for gap insurance, covering both you and your family. If you don’t do this, and your job search runs for more than 90 days after separation, pre-existing conditions affecting you or anyone in your household may not be covered by the employer you end up with.