Did you know that transitioning from the military is no walk in the park? The key to your success lies in being prepared for what‘s ahead. As you prepare to leave the military behind, here are just a few things you may experience in the civilian sector:
- Change in Structure: According to many transitioning military members that I’ve worked with, this is one of the most difficult things to get used to. For many, changing jobs or locations every 2 or 3 years is usually understood. The hierarchical structure in addition to what is expected also remains the same. This does not apply to the civilian sector. Instead, it is usually up to the head of an organization to set structure and this can sometimes be changed without notice.
- Job Title & Duty Cohesion: In the civilian sector, a Human Resources Representative will most likely carry out an HR role. However, as an HR Rep in the military, you most likely played multiple roles. This is because assignments in the military are often based on where you are needed even if the position is not relevant to your occupational specialty. This is a major advantage to any employer as you have honed even more skills and versatility to bring to your new position.
- Cultural Misperceptions: While the military has garnered an enormous amount of advocacy and support in recent years, it is still a segment of the population that can be confusing to non-military. For example, potential employers and colleagues may question how your deployment relates to their organization. In this case, identify your transferable skills and use them as a way to build a bridge and explain the correlation between what you did and what they want.
These are just 3 of the things that may be different when transitioning to the civilian sector. During your military transition, be sure to take advantage of all available resources and work with a career specialist who understands your background. This will help your transition to be successful.