Transitioning out of the military is difficult at best, but two of the hardest questions to answer in the transition process are:

  1. What will I do?
  2. Where will we live?

There are a lot of considerations to factor in when answering these two questions. One, are you going to stay in the same line of work that you have been doing in the military? For some transitioning members, they choose to stay in that same line of work, because they love what they do and want to continue doing it on the outside. And then there are those that are sick of what they are doing in the military and are looking for a career change once they are out.

As far as where you will live, that decision can be based several factors, such as being closer to family, in a good school district, low(er) cost of living or where the climate is more to their liking – believe it or not, some people like winter!

Or perhaps the availability of jobs in your chosen career field will be a driving factor in your choice. For example, if you want to work for a large company in the aerospace and defense industry, you most likely will head to the northwest or southeast parts of the U.S. and work for companies like Boeing or Lockheed Martin.

To get a better insight into what goes into making those decisions and more, the Navy Credit Union partnered with Hire Heroes USA® to survey transitioning veterans and identify what they value most in a post-military career. Based on the survey in 2019, these 10 industries rose to the top as best matches for the largest number of veterans:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Government/Public administration
  3. Defense contracting
  4. Information technology
  5. Financial services
  6. Education
  7. Law enforcement
  8. Retail
  9. Manufacturing
  10. Transportation-Warehousing

However, beyond choosing an industry and location, they also strongly indicated that the following three items are what they value the most when looking for a job:

  • Compensation – Will I be paid fairly for the work performed? What benefits come with the job?
  • Industry culture – Is the proposed company veteran-friendly? Is their culture similar to the military?
  • Potential for advancement – Does this company have a path to promotions and advancements?

With 44% of veterans leaving their first post-military job within a year, obviously they are not satisfied with their choice and are looking for something different. If you are about to make this important life-altering decision of transitioning out, do your due diligence beforehand and make sure you have answers to the questions in this article and any more that may be concerning you.

Transitioning once is bad enough. You don’t want to have to do it again because you make some wrong choices the first time.

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.