“…successful transition is still a process that takes considerable strategic organization and you need to navigate the process while not letting your ego and emotions guide your decisions…”
Tip 1: Have a Transition Plan and Set Goals
*Quick Tip: If you have children, consider using after school programs like the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA), in the community you will look to live in. BGCA can provide and aid in mentoring your children with proven outcome driven support programs once you have transitioned!
Tip 2: Understand Government and Nonprofit Resources
and Use Them
The Military OneSource (MOS): MOS is intended to be a “one stop” resource to go when service members or their families need assistance with any kind of issue. It has many resource links and information that can add to your transition plan.
eBenefits: Create, if you have not done so already, an eBenefits account—Period! This is a VA online platform that will allow you to navigate VA related needs, without having to call and be placed on hold, or sit in lines awaiting VA services. Get used to using this resource and you will save yourself enormous headaches.
The Wounded Warrior Project: This organization assists VA disabled veterans and their families with transitional and life needs. They can also assist you with your VA disability claim processing and navigation, resume writing, preparing for job interviews, as well as a plethora of other helpful services.
“There are a plethora of resources both within and outside the government available that can also help you with your transition plan…”
Tip 3: Get Your Education ASAP!
Lastly, another VA benefit is what is known as Vocational Rehabilitation or VOC Rehab. This program is for those that have a VA connected disability which prevents them from working in their field of expertise developed in the military, thus must be retrained in another field. I recommend that you apply (it doesn’t cost anything but time) and see if you qualify and then if you do, look to use this benefit first before utilizing any Post 9/11 education benefits. This way, once the VA provides you with the training and experience you need to become employable in your new field, you still have additional educational benefits that can be used to enhance your skills.
Tip 4: Consider Formulating a Skills-Based Résumé or Curriculum Vitae Versus the Traditional Chronological Type
“…those military occupations that do not directly translate, and even for some that do, it is increasingly difficult to effectively communicate your worth to a perspective organization by simply articulating the jobs you have held within the military…”
The curriculum vitae (CV) is an overview of your life's achievements, more precisely, those successes that are applicable to the academic field. The CV is most times used exclusively when an individual is pursuing an academic or training profession type of job. The CV is a living document, which means that it will forever reflect the progresses in a scholar/trainer/instructors/teacher's career, and thus it should be updated frequently. For those interested in professional training/instructor or education, start this document after your first instructional achievement. This may be for many military members something that is available in their service record books or online education page (for Marines, it would be in the Marine Corps Training Information Management System).
Either way, these two options are my recommendations for effectively articulating those skills that you have cultivated, but may have forgotten that you have. It is these skills, however, that will allow you to be set apart from your civilian counterparts who have not had the distinct pleasure and honor of serving.
Tip 5: Don’t Allow Other People’s Perceptions of You or Your Service Deter You from Your Goals
The world is full of opinions and perceptions of you and your service to your country. Don’t be defined by those perceptions and possible negative stereotypes. Instead, do what has made you successful during your military service—show this through action and implementing your transition plan! Prepare yourself for transition just as you prepared yourself for your promotion(s) and your physical fitness tests—without fear! Be relentless in your pursuit of your goals and apply those very skills that taught you to be prepared for contingencies (as things will happen). People will undoubtedly have an opinion of you one way or another—good, bad, or indifferent. However, express who you are through action while staying humbled in your achievements, just as you did while serving, as you undoubtedly remember there was never ever an “I” in TEAM! Finally, remember, no one resource is without its faults (to include the information I am providing you), as nothing and no one is perfect. Therefore, I recommend that you provide yourself with multiple sources, options, opportunities, and above all—do your research, formulate your transition plan, then—execute!
Want to help spread the word?
What other tips can you offer our nations transitioning veterans and their families to assist them? Please share.
I bid Gods Speed to all, and to my Marine family—Semper Fidelis!
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