VETERAN TRANSITION SUCCESS
On Veterans Day we honor all who have served and those serving today! SOFtact Solutions is proud to BRAG that 50% of our STS workforce are Veterans. That milestone does not happen by accident- we clearly recognize the work ethic, integrity, and innovative spirit that Veterans bring to the workplace, and we are honored to highlight two of our Veterans on this special day as they share their stories of transition from Military life. Thank you to Mike and Marcus for their service and for sharing their insight below!
For those of you preparing to leave or retire from the military, here are a few items to consider:
– Everyone who has left the military has advice for you. Listen to as many folks as you can. Some of it is good, some is interesting, and some may not apply to your situation. Take any nuggets you can and use the rest to consider your situation.
– Most people don’t know what they want to do. If you are one of those don’t feel lost. Look at specific fields to narrow it down and then look at available jobs. Use the Skillbridge program to gain skill sets or find an intern program. There are many options. See which ones line up to what you want.
– Consider your priorities when looking for jobs. Specific location, salary requirements, what environment you want to work in, and how much you want to work are all things that need to be prioritized based on your needs or desires.
- If location is one of the top priorities for your family, then make sure you look at what type of jobs are available in that area, cost of living, and other geographical considerations.
- Many people do not know how much they need to earn as a salary after retirement. Do some analysis. How much do you spend now? How much do you need to make after taxes to sustain your standard of living? Know what range you need for your family.
- Consider the place you will be working. It is sometimes difficult to judge a culture while looking for a job but if that is important to you, then ask questions. Most Veterans are coming from and prefer team-based operations so consider the culture and setup of the organization when choosing.
- If you expect to get a high salary, then you should expect to work for that. Many people retire or exit the military because of the time required away from their families. Consider what the job is asking of you and if you are good with whatever that is.
Everyone will experience retirement and/or transition whether you decide to stay in the military for twenty-plus years or transition after a few years. For those that retire, you need to accept the fact that change will occur, and you will need to be adaptive and agile. This also applies to those that transition from military service before retirement. I would offer the following advice:
- Establish when you will retire/transition. If you are 24 months out, you can develop a plan, acquire training/certification/medical care, make adjustments, and execute that plan.
- Decide where you want to retire/transition to – location, location, location. Research the area to ensure that it meets your needs – school, job opportunities, cost of living, and salary range to support lifestyle/needs.
- Determine if you want to continue in the line of work you currently do (MOS) or if you want to transition to a different career. If you decide to change your career, make sure you research thoroughly IOT obtain required training, certifications, and/or education. The SFL TAP program offers several courses to prepare for your transition – Resume Writing, Interview Techniques, MOS Cross walk, Dressing for Success, Salary Negotiations, and the opportunity to participate in the Career Skills Program (Internship, Apprenticeship, training, and certifications).
- Ensure you seek medical care/assessments for any issue you sustained during your military service prior to discharge.
- Seek out mentors and recent retirees for their sage advice regarding retirement/transition.
- Take advantage of the Career Skills Program.
- Take time off to power down and spend time with family prior to your transition day.
- Last, if you take the time to plan with enough time while leveraging all resources and privileges you are offered, retirement/transition will be a success.