Use Your Battlefield Training to Help Transition from Military to Civilian Life
Transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce is both an exciting and challenging new adventure. It can be a challenge for veterans whether moving to a classroom or to a workplace. However, the following will tips should help in their transition process.
The military skills you acquired are very valuable in the workforce. Your military training and discipline will increase your value within an organization, making you a good choice for promotions and additional opportunities. Employers value problem-solvers. Applying the tools, training and analytics skills you’ve received to your work’s problems and offering solutions can help your employers yield better results. That will be noticed and result in positive performance reviews.
Identify your plans and goals. Your military lifestyle was undoubtedly very structured: training, work details, meal times and other things were planned out for you. Transitioning to civilian life means freedom from all the structures you are accustomed to. That newfound freedom may cause setbacks for you if you don’t identify your plans and goals. Create structures for yourself that you can follow on a daily basis. This will help you maintain your focus, be more productive, stay on track and reach your goals.
Your Military Life Story. Be prepared and don’t get offended if new civilian coworkers ask questions that are military or war-related such as “Why are we still fighting in the Middle East?” or “How many people have you killed?” Prepare sets of answers for anticipated questions so that you can exit the conversation easily if you don’t want to discuss those things. Or try to steer conversations towards the education and work experience you gained which are helping you with your new job. In time, even people who may not like or appreciate military service will see that you are a valuable employee and stop asking offensive or intrusive questions.
Take time to discover and explore. Transitioning from military to civilian life can be disorienting. Take some time to discover and explore the world you lived in before you entered the military. What interests did you have that you had to put aside during your service? You may decide to start a simple business or go back to school to acquire more skills to pursue those forgotten interests and dreams.
Seek Help and Guidance from Family and Friends. You have a support system with you from your time in the military service – your spouse, family and friends outside your military life. Transition will be difficult if you are undergoing some post traumatic stress disorder or some combat stress. Get counseling, take part in veteran-to-veteran conversation groups, maintain healthy eating habits, exercise regularly, and practice stress mitigation techniques. There are also valuable resources out there that can help you with the processing of your Veterans Affair claims, treating stress, finding employment, and starting college programs.
Each veteran going through the transition to civilian life can be successful, especially if he or she remembers to use the discipline, military training and experiences acquired over the years. Use them to your advantage to make yourself better and your life a happier, more fulfilling and satisfying.