I recently stumbled across a great new survey with the lessons learned from more than 50 successful military veterans. It is also a fascinating read for service members in the throes of military transition. The Transitioned Veteran: Success Beyond the Service offers personal insight through numerous interesting military transitional journey stories.

Statistics and Perspective

The statistics provided in this work are derived from the numerous interviews with former enlisted members and officers, from across the services. Not surprisingly, 30% of the women and men interviewed now work within the defense industry, either as civil service or contractors. Along with the defense sector, the cyber, education, IT, and financial career fields are discussed within the transition stories. These personal and insightful vignettes provide understanding and potential pathways for a future post-military career.

The book relays a tremendous amount of useful information. Most veterans start planning 12 to 18 months prior to leaving the military. Very few skip the preparation; with the vast majority developing a well-planned attack. Almost all consider military transition to be one of the most important life-changing efforts of their personal life.

Almost universally, it is believed that a veteran’s best chance at success is to have assistance from those that have come before them. Of the military veterans surveyed, 32% either volunteer or make a living helping veterans and military personnel in transition.

Most surveyed agree there has been tremendous growth in veteran employment services over the past 15 years. Today, many organizations have in-house groups dedicated to seeking out and hiring veterans. Interestingly, many surveyed felt the abundance of on-line assistance, military programs, and networking groups are helpful, but can be overwhelming.

Lessons Learned

What were some of the lessons learned from the interviewees for the servicemember on their transitional journey?

  • Focus on your transition as you are your own best CEO!
  • Prepare and plan well. Establishing a ‘nest egg’ for rainy days ahead. Be as debt-free as you can be. Being organized is key.
  • Take advantage of every certification, degree, and support program you can find! Even better if you can do this before you leave!
  • Make the best impression of yourself – use every resource available on the web and social media.
  • Hundreds of military-friendly organizations, programs, associations, societies, and books are ready for your absorption.
  • Have the confidence to go out there and get what you want.
  • Set aside your pride and seek and review feedback at every step.
  • Ask! Learn to be curious and proactively seek out answers to questions. Go the extra mile and take on challenging roles to increase your exposure to new opportunities
  • Understand what you are not willing to compromise on.
  • Translate your skills well. Be prepared to adapt to the job and to your new community.

critical tasks during transition from the military

If you are just beginning your transitional journey or if you have been struggling in the job market, you will find the lessons learned and interviews of former service members who have successfully transitioned both relevant and insightful. The Transitioned Veteran: Success Beyond the Service by transition expert Sandy Lawrence will help propel your successful military transition.  Sandy has been assisting service members for many years and her new book will aid many service members in the future.  The Transitioned Veteran: Success Beyond the Service is available on Amazon.

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Jay Hicks is an author, instructor and consultant. With a special kinship for military personnel, Jay provides guidance on successful civilian career transition and has co-authored “The Transitioning Military Series”. He is the co-founder of Gr8Transitions4U, where advocating the value of hiring military personnel is the key focus. More about Jay and his passion can be found at Gr8Transitions4U.com.