By: Elayseah Woodard-Hinton
Outside of the fact that I have recruiting experience in the civilian sector, I am also a Veteran. Even with this experience under my belt, and it took me a month to land a job after I left the Army in 2012.
Don’t be disheartened by what I just said, it wasn’t that I couldn’t find work, because the jobs are definitely out here. To be honest, I was burnt out with the Military life and wanted to take a mental and physical vacation from thinking about my work life.
I was tired of picking up and moving every couple of years, I wasn’t interested in deploying again, and this night owl never got use to waking up at 5 am to prepare for Physical Training.
Although I am grateful for the experience, when my contract was up I was ready to move on; so much so that I didn’t take the time to prepare for my transition back into the civilian sector.
My lack of preparedness had nothing to do with not having a resume or an understanding of how to search and interview for a job. What I lacked was what I like to call “career path self-awareness.”
I didn’t take the time to evaluate what would most make me happy in my professional life after my time in service.
Although I’d found work, it didn’t bring me as much fulfillment as I have now as an entrepreneur. If I’d taken more time to gain a true understanding of what would make me happy in my career path, I would not have wasted three of my post-military years in lack luster jobs.
Instead of spending time crying over should have, could haves, and would haves, I prefer to take these lessons and pay it forward to others.
This is why I am so passionate about my current role of providing Veterans and transitioning servicemembers the very same professional development services that I neglected to give myself.
The best advice I can give to any servicemember who plans to transition into the civilian sector within the next two years is to take the time to really do some self-evaluation of your personal and professional needs for this next phase.
Don’t let fear, burnout, or excitement about this big change in your life hinder you from taking the necessary steps to make a smart transition. Hasty decisions will only lead you down a path where you’re left unhappy and from working in a fulfilling career.