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10 Things No One Tells You About Leaving the Military

Each year an estimated 230,000- 245,000 service members are leaving the military. These men and women then face the difficult task of entering the civilian working force.

We are here to help make that transition smooth and less stressful. Everyone prepares you for the leaving process.

What about after you leave? We've created a list of the ten things no one tells you about transitioning into your new life.

1. Start Prepping Early

Start prepping for your exit early to ease the transition. This could include getting your degree.

You can also begin laying the groundwork for your own business. You can get a side gig doing something that interests you.

By preparing for the military to civilian transition, getting overwhelmed is less likely. You will take a large transition and turn it into a series of smaller steps.

2. A Culture Shift is Coming

You have lived and worked in an honor-based culture. The needs of the whole are greater than those of the individual.

This is not the case in civilian life. You will find people are more concerned about themselves than the whole.


Your training has taught you to react decisively and to act fast. You have a "command voice" that is second nature to use.

While life-saving on the battlefield, you'll ruffle feathers in an office discussion. This is tough, as you may react without realizing or trying.

Practice developing communication skills for civilian life. Don't let a small conflict escalate into a full-blown battle.


Civilian office jobs do not include cursing. While soldiers grow accustomed to cursing on a regular basis, you'll need to learn to filter.

Consider where you are planning to work, and adjust your language. You may get away with cursing in an auto shop, but not at an accounting firm.

3. What Do You Want?

Knowing yourself, and what you want, is key to your success. This advice comes from the military strategy expert Sun Tzu.

Before you start your job search make a few lists. What are you good at? What do you like to do? How do you add value? What is your advantage over the competition?

Knowing what you want and don't want will help you narrow your search. You won't waste time on something that isn't going to work for you.

4. Networking is Important Now

People want to hire veterans. You need to get out there and let them know you want a job.

Start by using your social media connections. Try putting on a suit and attend a career fair.

The goal is to get in front of as many people as possible. You want to get outside of your community and find people to branch out to.

Use this as an opportunity to learn. Even if you don't get the job, you are building skills.

5. Learn to Sell Your Skills

One of the civilian skills you'll need to learn is selling yourself. Don't depend on your actions or achievements to sell you.

Don't think of it as bragging. You need to let potential employers know what your specific skills are.

An employer is going to look at those skills and know how they benefit their job opening. It is your job to show them how you add value to the position.

6. Patience is a Virtue

Transitioning to civilian life is a long process. Do not get discouraged if things do not go right or fast.

Your first job may not be your destiny, and that's ok. Look at it as a learning process and not a roadblock.

It can also take time to find your first job. It is normal to apply to many different positions before landing one.

7. There is Going to be Paperwork

Your days of paperwork are not done when you leave the military. Prepare to fill out job applications, resumes, tax forms, and medical forms.

Make more than one copy of everything. Once you are out, you will still need the DD214 form.

If you apply for a VA loan they will ask for a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Your future employer may ask for this form too.

If you decide to work for the government they definitely ask for it. If you have these forms ready you won't get delayed in your plans because of paperwork.

8. Save Money

As we covered, it can take time to find the right position. You are going to need money to pay bills during this time.

Plan for rent and utilities for a few months while you get everything in order. You will also need to prepare for changes in budgeting. Things like taxable income and medical insurance are going to need consideration.

9. Your Family is Adjusting Too

You may be the one leaving the navy, but your family is adjusting too. They are happy to have you home but have grown used to your military schedule.

Try to remember that adjusting to civilian life includes adjusting to family life. Use tip number 6, and try to use patience while your family adjusts to the new routine.

10. You Might Take a Step Back After Leaving The Military

This has two meanings, first take a step back and decompress. You are making a major change in your life and it is important to mentally deal with that.

Once you've done this, you are ready to start your job search. This is where your second step back comes in.

Your civilian peers have gotten jobs and developed skills while you were in the military. Your skills are competitive, but you may need to start lower than you expected.

Applying to jobs is competitive, use this as a challenge to work harder and smarter. It is possible to be a top leader at a company, be willing to put in the work to get there.

Leaving the Military

Getting out of the military presents a whole new set of challenges as you adjust to civilian life. By preparing early and knowing yourself you will have the advantage when you are out.

Know yourself and what you are good at. This will focus your job search and save you time and energy.

Save money so you have time to patiently search for the right position. Don't try to rush into something that isn't right.

Don't hesitate to ask for assistance. Start building your network by contacting us.

Transferable Skills: 9 Military Skills to Put on a Resume

The above picture is of two people, one a soldier holding a clipboard and the non-soldier pointing to the paper on the clipboard.

Transitioning from military duty to civilian life is no walk in the park. But, you don't have to make it more complicated than it already is, especially when it comes to job hunting.

You may not think your military skills are transferable, and if that's the case, think again. You're more qualified for civilian jobs than you think, you just have to know which military skills to put on a resume.

It's not like you can talk about everything you did in the military in detail. However, there are certain ways to present your skills without giving up confidential information and in a way that employers can appreciate.

Here are 9 on the top military skills to put on your resume.

1. Problem-Solving

There's always a problem that needs solving when you're on a mission and when you're on base. Regardless of if you were part of the infantry or the technical support working behind the scenes, chances are, you had big problems to solve every day.

Talk about this on your resume. Mention that you're a solutions-oriented professional with the ability to recognize problems and fix them. Don't be shy about saying you're a self-starter when it comes to problem-solving, either.

2. Collaboration

While it's good to take on a problem on your own, employers also like to know that you're able to collaborate. Teamwork is crucial in any business, and as you know, it can be a matter of life or death in the military.

Clearly, you know a thing or two about collaboration so make sure you talk about it! This is something more and more employers are looking for these days.

3. Leadership

Another skill that's good to have is leadership. The military definitely makes a leader out of you. Even if you weren't a high-ranking member, you still learned a thing or two about how to lead others and hold yourself.

It's something any team could use more of. Leadership is what encourages collaboration and makes problems easier to take on. Employers want to know that their departments are in good hands from the top down. Having leaders at every level of the business ensures them of that.

Don't be afraid to talk about your leadership skills in an interview, either. Do it in terms of your leadership approach and what this skill means to you. This will help you avoid going into the grey area of confidential information.

4. Innovation and Efficiency

Sometimes, using problem-solving and leadership skills results in innovation. Maybe you noticed there was a more efficient way to do part of your job in the military. Maybe it was your ideas that improved the work and/or working conditions of your team.

If so, you have to put these skills on your resume. The more innovative you are, the more attractive you are to an employer. This skill is promising because it means you'll hit the ground running ready to improve all aspects of the business wherever you end up.

5. Flexibility

There's no more effective way to learn how to adapt than to join the military. Things change all the time, and as your experience in the military grows, your ability to be flexible does, too.

Put this on your resume as well. Flexibility tells employers you're able to roll with the punches and have a can-do attitude. It's more valuable than you think.

6. Organization and Planning

The next skill to put on your resume is organization and planning. Some people assume these are traits everyone has, but that's not exactly true. It's good to tell employers you possess these skills.

When you do so, you're saying you have an eye for detail and that mistakes aren't a habit of yours. Although no one is perfect, it's good for a potential employer to know they can count on you to stay on track and do your job well.

7. Consulting

Here's something to think about: all the times that different teams and individuals collaborated in the military, did you speak up? Were your ideas the ones that agreed upon and implemented?

If so, you have a knack for consulting. Put this on your resume, too.

This shows you have the ability to look at a situation from all angles. Instead of acting on a whim or doing what you've always done, you know how to choose the best course of action. This is beneficial for the future company you'll work for and for all its clients.

8. Technical Skills

Don't forget to write down any technical skills you learned in the military. Maybe your job had something to do with engineering or computer programming. Maybe you know how to crunch numbers or stretch resources.

This is valuable, too! But, an employer won't know about your ability to do such things unless you write them down. Don't go into too many specifics, but don't undersell yourself, either.

9. Job-Related Specifics

The final skills worth putting on your resume are any job-related skills you're at liberty to talk about. These are different from technical skills because they also include any hands-on abilities or soft skills.

Maybe you worked with others, which taught you how to negotiate and/or mediate. Did you have a role that was your sole responsibility, which shows you're able to work autonomously and do a good job?

These are a few examples of what your role in the military gave you to take into civilian life. Think long and hard about everything you learned and how you can present it to a job hunter.

Find Your New Job with These Military Skills to Put on a Resume

Ready to find your new civilian job with the help of these military skills to put on a resume? Great - now all you have to do is actually write one!

We can help. Whether it's been years since you've created a resume or you've never done this before, you've come to the right place. Click here to discover all the ways we can support your job hunting process as a new civilian.

Your Guide to How to Transition from Military to Civilian Work

The above is a picture of two people shaking hands with an American flag in the back ground

Your Guide to How to Transition from Military to Civilian Work

Self-knowledge is one of the most important qualities you need when transitioning from military to civilian work.

Do you have an understanding of who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are? This will help you as you search for the right job.

In this article, we are going to go over some tips that will help the transition go smoothly.

Do you want to understand how to transition from military to civilian life better? Keep reading to find out.

Transition From Military to Civilian Job

We are going to cover a few things to think about when looking for a civilian job. Take a look!


What are your strengths? Take time, sit down and think about what your skill set is. Think about what you did well in your military experience and before the military. These are the skills you performed well at.

Typical strengths one might see from working in the military are as follows: meeting deadlines, following directions, operating under pressure, staying highly disciplined, working well with others, and keeping a strong work ethic.

These are things you might not think anything of, but they are what make you unique. Do not take them lightly.

Think About Your Interests

No matter what your duties were in the military, sit down and write down a list of things you like to do. Highlight the ones you particularly enjoy and are good at.

Include work-related and military items as well as weekend activities and hobbies.

List 5 activities and interests that motivate and energize you.

This will give you direction when deciding what career path to pursue or if you want to further your education by gaining a trade.

Research Civilian Careers

Once you have a better understanding of what your interests and strengths are, take some time to match careers that align with them. One of the worst things you can do is to choose a job or career that is not fulfilling or satisfying to you.

Make sure it lines up with what you enjoy and are good at.

The more time you spend here trying to find something that matches what you are good at and what you like, the more successful you will be in the long run.

Don't rush into something.

Talk to employers and employees. Find out what jobs people enjoy and what companies are good to work for.

Do your research and don't rush into anything. You want to make sure you find a job that will be a good fit.

Do You Want to Go Back to School or College?

After your research, you may decide that the career that interests you the most requires more training or education. Do you have the ability to delay entering the workforce?

Can you go back for extra schooling or do you need to work right away?

Think about this before making a decision. You may find a college or degree program that suits your interests and needs. Find something that will enable you with a skill so when you graduate, you can enter the workforce.

Specific colleges set up internships and work placements for you. Think about choosing one of those programs because they set you up for success.

For veterans, there is a bill that helps with education. Honorably discharged vets can get some help. Look into this before signing up for school or deciding you cannot afford it.

Create a Resume of Your Accomplishments and Skills

Employers are going to want to see a complete history of your accomplishments and skills.

They want to see what you earned and what you are skilled at. Be detailed and explain what you did that resulted in a positive outcome whether that was safely transporting people or being a great leader.

Accomplishments are unique, and they show how you helped contribute to the company or organization's overall success. Focus on these when you are building your profile.

These aren't job duties or responsibilities but how you went above and beyond in your line of work.

This will make your profile pop out!

Research Employers

Knowing about a company and understanding their values and mission is essential when job hunting. You also want to understand their corporate culture, benefits, and hiring decisions. Make sure you do your research before applying.

Did you know that some companies are more vet-friendly than others? Research and find out if the company you are interested in working for is one of them.


The great thing with civilian and military jobs are there is plenty of crossovers.

When you are looking to build your CV or resume, focus on the crossover skills you gained in your previous military job.

Your new boss or potential boss will be keen to see how the talents and skills you had will apply well to the new position you are seeking.

A fighter pilot could serve as a commercial airline pilot or anyone with experience as a communications specialist might be interested in working for a radio station or newspaper. An officer could be a leadership coach. The ideas are endless.

Match up the skill set you have from your military experience and don't settle.

Think outside the box.

Create a resume that highlights these things.

Final Thoughts

Some of what you have learned in the military will transfer to your new job and some will not. Be aware of this. There is a different communication style, and you need to understand that. Adjust your style accordingly to the job.

In this article, we went through some of the critical factors to consider when you transition from military to civilian jobs.

You want to make sure that you do your research before applying for a job. Make sure you know that the company or work culture is a good fit for you. Assess what your interests and skills are. Highlight them on your resume.

If returning to school is something that interests you, go for it! There may be financial aid for you. Research all your options and then make a decision.

If you want more help about next steps, read this article we wrote about jobs for veterans! 

Veteran Employment: A Complete Guide to Ease Your Transition into Civilian Life

As military servicemen, you have been trained to master a series of skills that were used during your military career, and that can serve you to find suitable jobs as you go back to your civilian life. However, the transition can be harsh for some veterans as the benefits that come as part of military life disappear, and you have to look for a stable job with a steady income to cover for your needs. Additionally, the veteran employment market can be a difficult path to go through if you don’t have the right information to start a proper job hunt.

The employment options for veterans can be perceived as limited if don’t know where to look. Many servicemen enter the force right after high school and don’t have further studies. However, this is not an obstacle to find a good job that pays well and helps you have all the benefits you used to have in the force.

Veterans know how to handle stress and can work under pressure, see the value of discipline and teamwork, can design a strategy to meet an objective, and can follow a leader and know how to lead as well. Remember that frustration is the enemy of motivation; therefore, it is essential to have a sense of achievement after every job interview. Stay focused, keep reading and follow these suggestions carefully before you embark into the veteran employment quest.

1.     Analyze and Identify Your Skills

It is very important to look for an option that matches your skills. If you can’t type, it is useless to look for secretary positions, right? Alternatively, you can search for professional help to identify your skills. Take a vocational test and determine which job options work best for your individual skills.

2.     Build a Network with Your Peers

Finding a job can be very hard if you go solo. It is crucial to have a support network to stay informed and discuss your strategy so you can learn if you’re doing something wrong and thus, plan a new strategy. Compare your resume with that your peers and research for places that are recruiting even though they haven’t posted any ads yet. If possible, hire a recruiter to help you find the options with the least competition possible.

3.     Update Your Skills

The competition is fierce out there! Stay up to date with the new technology and techniques used in your field so you can increase your chances to be selected. You could enroll in adult schools or further your studies at the university. You could also join in the NPower program, a federal government program sponsored by foundations and grants. NPower offers veterans a chance to improve their skills or learn new ones in a completely free program. Remember to update your resume as you develop your skills.

4.     Use Social Media on Your Favor

Social media is everywhere and that includes job recruiters. Follow companies that might offer jobs that suit your profile. You could also benefit from LinkedIn —try to keep your profile updated and look for job opportunities. Check your email regularly; you might lose a job opportunity if you wait too long to answer. You could also create a profile in job marketplaces and filter your job search to fit your skills and needs.

5.     Inform Yourself about Government Programs

There are federal programs that offer help to veterans looking for a job. The Veterans’Preference Hiring Program, for example, helps those heroes that have served the military forces and want to start their lives as civilians again. The Veterans’ Preference Program gives veterans the first option to get federal job positions. Even though the program offers job positions for all veterans, it provides special attention to those service members that have suffered accidents with permanent consequences and are considered disabled.

Having a veteran as part of your workforce should bring pride to any company. They are highly-trained physically and mentally, plus they have strong values that could greatly benefit the growth of any business.

- Employers: each time you review the resume of a veteran, think of all the skills you will be adding to your workforce.

- Veterans: never settle for less than you deserve. Make a wise job search and find a job position that makes you feel comfortable.

Our veterans have set an example of discipline and love for the country, showing our gratitude is the least we can do for them.

What Are The Highest Paying Vet Jobs Near Me?

When we are starting a new life after serving in the military, most of us want to find something to do near our loved ones. Sometimes we would consider relocating if we find a job that we love, but most of the time we would start our new civilian life by searching “vet jobs near me” in Google or other search engines to find the one that best matches our skills set and our interests, but also lets us stay in or near our area.

That’s why we thought it would be useful to compile a list of jobs for veterans with a high-paying salary that can be found almost anywhere in the US.

1.Operations Manager

An operations manager is in charge of making the processes of a Company as efficient as they can be and coordinate activities and communication between the different departments, so all procedures in the production and/or sale of goods and/or services run seamlessly.

An operations manager’s salary can vary between $64K more than 150K, but the average is a little under 100K per year.

The operations manager is a broad category, and some of the positions advertised for this type of job are a store manager, facility manager, plant superintendent, facilities manager, business manager and others.

2.Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner is a licensed clinician who can administer certain types of treatments without the need to consult a doctor. They focus on managing health conditions and preventing diseases and specialize by types of patients or patient population such as gerontological, pediatric, women’s health, oncological, and others.

Many of those who have served have had experience and training in first aids and other on-field medical practices, this means that they already have experience in providing healthcare under extraordinary circumstances. If this fits your profile, you should probably consider getting a certification as a nurse practitioner.

This job is the third highest paid job in the healthcare sector. Typically, nurse practitioners make between $86K and 120K but, on average, a nurse practitioner makes around 100K.

3.Cyber Security Experts

This type of professionals find ways to protect different companies or organizations computer networks to make sure information doesn’t fall in the wrong hands. With businesses and everyday life becoming more dependent on digital technology and internet connections, these professionals are in an ever-growing demand.

And the price people put on protecting their information is not low.

Cyber Security Experts make anything between 130K and over 200K, and if you aim for the CISO positions, this number can increase to nearly 400K.

4.Human Resources Manager

A Human resources manager or director, depending on the size of the company, can lead various departments that are in charge of hiring, training, and dealing with all other matters such as administrative functions related to a company’s employees.

Human resources managers make, depending on the industry where they work, between 90K and 120K and the positions vary from Employee Relations Manager to VP of human resources, depending on the scope of the job and the size of the company.

These are only four of the highest paying positions available out there that can be found if you perform a search for vet jobs near me. There are many other options that you can find using online search tools and vet jobs databases.

Review the skills you obtained during your time in the military and before or after that, evaluate if you need to gain further qualifications to apply for the job you want, and get your hands to it. The Department of Labor has many resources such as the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) and the Federal Contractor Compliance Program that could come in handy when re-acclimating to the civilian life.