Transitioning from service member to civilian life is not an easy task.
Sure we may all think we are the normal ones, but we forget where we came from, and the super structured lifestyle that came with it.
It doesn’t matter what branch of the military you came from, we all need to remember that the civilian world is not the same no matter what we think.
Being an infantryman for almost 10 years with a couple deployments under my belt, to now full-time civilian and work from home affiliate marketer, I know the challenges and well, I’ve learned to overcome them.
This post should show you how to find a job after getting out of the military, so take it for what it’s worth and I’m sure you will land a job in no time.
Adapt and Overcome
The first thing you need to do is tell yourself that you are not in the military anymore.
There are some things you want to keep but there are also some that you absolutely need to DX or get rid of completely.
The main thing you need to retain is to remain punctual and always be on time, especially for an interview as that I’m sure will be the deal breaker when your next employer has to choose from you or the competition.
Keep the energy you had while you were in as I’m sure you can benefit everyone else around you that seems to be lacking in this department.
Try to do PT at least twice a week or you will lose that energy faster than you think.
Keep the energy, but try to slow things down a bit.
If you can’t slow things down, remember that those around you will not be as fast, and in most cases will lead to frustration on your part.
Not everyone is like you, so remember that.
You are Skilled and Very Much Qualified
Just because you are unemployed and you don’t have any income rolling in, don’t let that decide on how you carry yourself around others.
Be confident when applying for anything, even if you aren’t the most qualified person for the job as I’m sure you probably know more than the “qualified” individual.
You might not be trained in whatever it is that you are applying for, but believe it or not, most employers want someone that they can train rather than trying to mold someone who should already know what they’re doing.
This can also work against you, so remember what I said and try to adapt to learning even if you are as hardheaded as they come.
What Do You Really Want to do?
With the many jobs out there, try to figure out what it is that you want to do.
Don’t settle for flipping burgers because that was what was available.
Gather your options and see what it is that you really want to do.
A lot of the time you’ll see infantrymen take on some type of law enforcement or similar job in that field and that’s really okay.
Just because I was pounding the ground didn’t mean I had to find a job in that field though as I’m sure most grunts want to remain in a job that requires some type of sidearm.
Working With Other People
Not the easiest thing, but it has to be done.
Get used to being normal, let that hair grow, and talk to others like you would want to be talked to and treating them like a private is not the way to go.
Remember that most people won’t get what you’re trying to say most of the time, even if it’s the most simplest thing in the book, so please just try and bear with them.
You will be working with and not against, so be cool as I know how it is to try to get your point across to people that “don’t get it”, but don’t let that stress you out.
Dumb Yourself Down
I’m sure all service members have learned a lot of lifelong skills as well as the knowledge in a very specified field of work, which I’m sure can be beneficial to the civilian world.
Whether you are truly smarter than your peers at the office, you need to at the very least, try to stoop to their level.
I’m not going to tell you that you’re not smarter than them, but you need to remember that you will be “working with” other people and not against them, which will lead to more problems for yourself.
This also leads me into my next tip that I’m sure will help you big time.
Learn to Be Wrong
Almost 90% of the time that you find yourself in some type of who’s right situation, you will probably be the winner.
What you need to think about is if that battle was really worth it.
Rather than trying to be Mr. know it all, I have always had to try to step back and figure out how to work with this person or it will only mean more stress for me on something so simple.
Whether you’re right or wrong, try to make the other person feel of importance to the job and let them win for once.
Thy most likely feel that they have something to prove to you, but remember that you will be working with this person and you don’t want to make things harder for yourself.
You Are Wanted
When looking for a job, you will see that most employers target people like you.
I wouldn’t say you are priority, but do know that you are a step ahead of everyone else just for serving.
One, they know you at least know what responsibility means, and two, you have held that job for at least a year, meaning you are experienced.
Then of course they want to give back to those who served, so that alone gives you a lot more power than you think.
Sometimes you just need to get your foot in the door to find a job that you will actually enjoy doing.
So if you see a job that can fit the “temporary” field, then go for it, just don’t get too comfortable or you will be there forever.
No one can tell you that you need to stay at that job forever though, so get hired, gain some experience, and see if it’s something you see yourself doing for the next year or so.
Everything you do in life is like a stepping stone to something else, just like the military has done for you.
By taking a job offer that is available, you can also find the middle ground between the military and a regular old civilian job that will eventually set you up for success.
There are many sites dedicated to helping veterans like yourself in getting a job, so use these resources as they are there for you to use.
Not many people know about them, but they are there along with other helpful resources that can help you financially, even if you aren’t employed.
Transitioning from military to civilian life can be a challenge but there is definitely a ton of help out there.
Just keep your eyes and ears open and I’m sure the right opportunity will land on your lap as it did for me.
Once you get the hang of things, you’ll have nothing but awesome memories of the military, but you will soon be living the life of a civilian faster than you can run that 2 mile!
Now get out there, blend in, and be ready for the challenge ahead.