Despite 33 years of service to our nation, – including multiple combat and peacekeeping tours – my transition into the private sector was one of the most difficult periods in my life. As an honorable soldier, though, I conducted an after-action review to capture my lessons learned. A summary of my notes is presented in this transition guide so that you might benefit and enjoy an easier transition into your new career.
I began my transition woefully unprepared for the challenges that awaited me. I was wildly shooting resumes downrange in hopes of hitting an unseen target – a blind, Kentucky windage-style approach.
I received no feedback in return. It wasn’t until I put structure to my problem and began using military problem-solving tools that my performance and results improved. Sun Tzu, a military strategist and philosopher, became my guide:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
– Sun Tzu
I realized to achieve success in my transition “war” I needed to properly prepare for combat. So, I studied the “enemy” (the recruiter), their methods of war (the application process) and myself (by defining my own career interests). Soon, I stood victorious.
“I will never leave a fallen comrade!” – Warrior Ethos
The Warrior Ethos, the principles that define my values, was the driving force behind the development
of this guide. I won my transition battle, and I knew I had to turn around to help the next transitioning military veteran. I hope these tips will help you endure the rigors of your transition and lead you to an overwhelmingly successful career in the private sector.
Koch Outreach Strategies Manager