Think back to the time when you joined the military. That younger version of yourself, blindly walking into something you did not fully understand, but had ideas, expectations, and goals. Whether you were enlisted or an officer, in hindsight, there are many things you did not know or understand. The same can be said about your transition from being a military leader to a prospective leader in this crazy civilian ecosphere of careers.
It’s now mid-2021 and the world is more connected now than it has ever been! This is both good and bad- The challenge is managing or policing the connections that are made. The superpower to connect can easily be used for malicious intent, as well as positive growth for an individual or an organization. When the printing press was created, both good and evil took to the technology and exposed its overall effectiveness to control and propagandize ideologies and perspectives. And with this being said, it’s important for YOU, as a professional, to capitalize on our ability to learn and communicate. You must take full advantage of our new-aged superpower to communicate with others who have forged career paths we seek to follow. Why? The same reason why YOU should’ve sought out guidance and support when you STARTED your military career. I’m 1000% sure there were many things you could’ve done with more impact, efficiency, and effectiveness. I’d wage money on it!
When I transitioned out of the Army in 2007, MySpace was the hottest social media platform on the internet! And it wasn’t used as a professional tool to move your career. It was a place to customize graphics, post photos, and connect with friends and family. In the early 2000’s, there was no professional social media spaces like LinkedIn, nor were there any virtual webinars or even the likes of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and SnapChat to express yourself! Amazing to think about, eh?
So, what’s your excuse? You know that if you could go back and talk to your younger self, you’d seek better guidance, right? Don’t go at it alone. When you decide that you’re separating from the military, there are all sorts of organizations out there that are willing to connect you with great resources. The challenge is YOU. Many times, folks get in their own way when making this life-changing career move. It’s either “I got this,” or the feeling that you are in control and "there are no stones left unturned for me," which is always false.
And one last thing, DON’T PAY for military career transition assistance. There are some great resources out there that’ll cost you money, BUT there are many more great resources that are completely free. You have organizations such as ACT NOW Education, who have highly skilled volunteers who are more than willing to help. Their founder Jai Salters is no stranger to personally reaching out to folks and assist with their growth because he is an individual who’s been heavily involved with business, educational, and community development. Also, want to mention opportunities with “Veterati,” which is a platform that links military mentors to mentees.
Today, you need to get online and get connected! If you need a head start, find me on LinkedIn, Clubhouse, or Instagram. Send me a DM and I’ll help you find the right connections to help you reach your goals. Avoid the pitfalls when stepping into the unknown because, as a Veteran you are not ever alone. You have the community and that is a community that’ll never unsubscribe from you and you’re already a member.
Blog post written by: KP (Host of The Morning Formation Podcast)