Plan Your Military Exit

Posted by Monty St. John

Planning Your Military ExitExiting a military career and heading for a commercial one can be confusing and challenging, but there are steps you can take ahead of time to plan your exit and make sure you are headed in the direction you want to go. Below I’ll detail some simple actions to help you step out of the structured military career and into the many possibilities of the commercial sector.

Start Early

Don’t wait until TAP to start planning. Look as far downstream as possible to find the sweet spot to start. There may be opportunities now that you can capitalize on and your skillset may be broader and deeper than you think. Start networking and building relationships today.

Get Advice

If you don’t know how to evaluate past experience, get advice. Be generous in identifying skills, but critical in what they mean. Identifying skills is only half the picture. Having a realistic perspective on what those skills truly mean is more difficult. Do research to help define what skills are important and which ones are less so. Keep in-mind, small events in the military may be big ones on the commercial side.

Define Your Goal

It is hard to get somewhere when you don’t know where you want to go. Define your end goal and make a plan to get there. Be specific on where you want to be and what you want to do. Really investigate what it takes to get there, but be reasonable. Once you have this defined with specific steps, boil it all down to an elevator pitch—a realistic plan you can relay in about 60-90 seconds.

Test It

Test your plan to make sure it is realistic and then work at it. Are there any areas that simply don’t work?  Are there areas that need tweaking or maybe you need to adjust your implementation?  Objectively evaluate whether it’s possible and break it down into workable chunks. Then you can really start working on the plan.

Put It Into Action

Lay out the schedule on a calendar and pay attention to the dates. Be generous, but wise in setting dates. For each step of your plan, map deliverables to dates and then track and measure success and failure at each step. Remember failure, just means you need to evaluate and adjust your plan.

Each time you achieve a step in your plan, reap the rewards—celebrate and rest. Then, set the next goal! By taking some simple steps and time to evaluate, you can generate a feasible plan and create a more seamless transition from your military background into a commercial sector that suits your skillset, experience, and future goals.

monty st. john cyberdefensesMonty St. John is the Director of Intelligence Services for CyberDefenses in San Antonio.


This entry was posted on Monday, March 12, 2018 9:06 am

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