Three steps to civilian transition

Posted by Charlotte Webster

military to civilian smLife is full of change. If you’ve been serving your country in the armed forces, you know that better than anyone.

First of all, thank you. Thank you for what you’ve done, and for what you’re about to do. Not only have you served your country in your military role, you’re bringing a higher level of skills and life experience to the job marketplace.

Deciding to leave the military is a big step in and of itself. So you’ve determined civilian life is where you want to go. Now what? Here are a few tips to help you sail smoothly into the next part of your journey:

1) Learn how to translate your military skills into civilian-speak. You worked hard to gain the expertise you have. Don’t let your abilities get lost in a cloud of miscommunication. Make sure your experience comes through great article loud and clear on your resume and in interviews.

2) Know how to access your retired/veterans military benefits. You worked hard to earn them, don’t lose them.From Thrift Savings Plans to commissary privileges to medical insurance coverage and recreation opportunities, your service affords you a wide variety of benefits even as you move on to a new chapter of your life. Make sure you have copies of your policy documentation, important phone numbers and contact information in a secure place.

3) Explore your options. Not sure about diving into a career right away? Or maybe you’re ready to pursue a lifelong dream in a different field? Perhaps a certification program will help you gain entrance to an industry you’re curious about, but tuition expenses are, well, less than appealing. As a veteran, your military experience may count toward education at many military-friendly colleges. This gets you closer to the degree you want without the cost.

If this all sounds overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. It sounds overwhelming to most people. But with a little planning, a lot of deep breathing and plenty of discussion boards to surf, a brand new chapter in your story is right around the corner.

Tell us how you’re navigating your transition from the service to civilian life? What are your plans? Or if you’ve already made the transition, what advice do you have for others?


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