Making changes in life are often scary. They often require you to take a leap of faith whether that’s setting up a business on your own, moving to a whole new state or even starting a family. Making changes when you’re transitioning out of military life and into civilian life can bring with it a whole new set of challenges, even if that move was a longed for one.
In this article we’re looking at five ways you can help to make the move out of the military a smoother one and tackle some of the concerns you may have about rejoining civvy street.
If you’ve held down a high rank or been in a position where you’re frequently under pressure, then admitting that you need a little support during that transitioning period can be hard to accept. But whether you need to talk about your future career, need some physical or mental health care or want to know a bit more about what resources are available to you as a veteran, it’s time to swallow that pride.
Don’t miss out on gaining the tools that you need to make the process a far more straightforward one. You should have access to a liaison officer whose job it is to advise you about making it in civilian life. You might also want to consider accessing charities that specialise in making military transition a far easier process and answering any questions or concerns that you might have about your new life.
Play to Your Strengths
As someone who has served in the military, it’s likely you’ve picked up a range of skills. These don’t necessarily just mean the very practical skills in telecommunications, engineering and so on but soft skills too. The ability to think through and rationalise problems. To find solutions, build a team and bring out the best in other people.
These are not skills to be played down, so when you’re thinking about your future career be sure to consider how you might also bring these out in a future role. You’ll find one of the best ways to explore your employment opportunities is to talk to a recruiter who has experience in veteran placements. Choose an agent who understands the very specific advantages of recruiting a veteran but also some of the challenges you may have to overcome too.
If there are providers who often training on job interview skills or working for non-military companies, be sure to go along to maximise your chances of landing employment in an area you love.
Consider Your Own Business
From consulting for the military to setting up your own engineering company, your skills are highly sort after. If the idea of working for a company that doesn’t recognise your talents or reward them adequately doesn’t appeal then why not go it alone?
You may find there are grants or support out there for veterans who have decided to go into business for themselves so make sure to explore this option thoroughly as you make that change in your life.
Use Your Contacts
If you already have friends of former colleagues who left the service before you did, then start getting in contact. They’re in the unique position to give you the real low down on life back on civvy street and give you some advice on the best way to move your life forward.
If they’re working in an industry that seems like a natural fit for you then use your leverage as a veteran to make inroads and see where your networking can take you. Don’t be worried about asking ex military friends, they’re very often keen to help out a fellow veteran and talk about some of those share experiences, highs and lows.
Make the Change in Your Head
While you dress the part, making the change from military customs to non-military ways can sometimes take a little while. You’ll find yourself still calling people sir or ma’am for a while and using jargon that only a select few will really only know the meaning of.
It’s time to try and break the habits that, in some ways are quite comforting, won’t sit right with the corporate world and will paint you as someone who finds it hard to adjust.
If you are finding it hard to make the transition and do need a little extra support than you should find plenty of support online. It’s common for veterans, particularly those who saw a lot of active duty, to find themselves at times feeling anxious and isolated from others. It’s easy to assume that you’re on your own and that no one can understand how you’re feeling, even those who you love and care for.
When you do find yourself feeling that way, it’s important to take action as soon as you can to ensure that those feelings don’t escalate and that low level anxiety doesn’t become something that prevents you from living your new life.
Talk to your friends and family, particularly those who might also have served and don’t be scared to go and talk to your doctor about it. They will understand and may either refer you for therapy with a team who specialises in veteran care or prescribe you some medication or perhaps a combination of both.
When you’re considering coming out of military service the very best thing you can do for yourself is to spend some time gathering all the facts together about where you can gain assistance and what kind of challenges you might face finding a job.
Whether you’re looking for a specific role in an industry or hoping to set up on your own. Find organisations and specialist recruitment agencies that can support you and offer you the resources you need to make this big step between military and civilian life as easy as possible. Create your best life yet and use those skills to give you a great future.