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  • 5 Tips: From Military Service To A Civilian Career

    Tuesday, November 10, 2015

    From discipline to accountability to punctuality, military veterans possess an array of skills that translate well into the working world. Drexel University Online recognizes just how valuable military experience can be and works hard to provide servicemen and women with opportunities to advance their education and develop successful career paths. 

    Transitions can be tricky, so we’ve gathered some advice from Associate Clinical Professor Karyn Holt, a military veteran herself, to assist in the journey.

    Evaluate your career goals and determine your needs. Some career paths may require specific training or education. Determine what kind of degrees or certifications are expected of those in your chosen field. If you already hold the essential educational qualifications, start directing your attention towards your career aspirations.  What sort of professional environment would appeal best to your style of work? Where do you hope to see your career in the next five years?

    Coordinate your geographic move from active duty to your new education or job location, rather than “Hometown, USA.” Cut back on moving expenses and stress by attempting to pinpoint where you’d like to land following active duty.  Returning to your hometown may seem like the simplest option, but it’s not the most straightforward path if you will be working or attending school elsewhere  Relocating to your next job right after Active Duty allows you to get settled in and develop a routine.

    Plan for financial changes. Consider the possibility that you may face a change in salary along with your transition into a civilian career. Crunch the numbers to estimate how much you need to make to afford the same lifestyle and set up a plan to build an emergency fund. Also keep in mind that health insurance policies and coverage vary from company to company. If you are relocating to a different state, do some research on state tax liabilities and cost of living to get a more accurate picture of you financial needs.

    Learn to highlight your individual performance and goals. While you will likely be a part of a team in some capacity, the focus on individuality will increase in the workforce. You’ll be able to manage your own time and juggle your own workload. It might feel a little strange to toot your own horn, but keeping a log of accomplishments to share with your supervisor can come in handy; many companies conduct regular performance reviews and good work can be rewarded with a promotion or salary bump.

    Transition from external motivation to internal self-motivation techniques.  Find something that motivates you on a daily basis. Does the work your doing fill you with passion? Do you genuinely enjoy helping people through your career?  Find the things you love about your job or your studies and use them to drive you through the day-to-day work. Even if you have a supervisor or a counselor checking in on you, the motivation to accomplish quality work must come from within. There’s no better feeling than seeing a project you’ve spent weeks on flourish – all thanks to you! Go ahead…pat yourself on the back.


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