After Serving: The Next Chapter...
Information for transitioning service members (separating or retiring).
The Exchange is committed to doing its part to serve and support transitioning servicemembers to ensure they receive the benefits earned through their military service. We wish you the very best in all your future endeavors and we hope to have the opportunity to continue serving you during and after your transition to civilian life.
For transitioning servicemembers considering a second career, entering into the civilian workforce can be a stressful undertaking, perhaps even more so for individuals leaving military service after many years on active duty. Following is a brief listing of actions that transitioning servicemembers may want to consider prior to separation or retirement:
- Make key transition decisions early (e.g., continue working, change careers, volunteer, etc.).
- Determine future goals and establish plans to achieve (with early planning it may be possible to capitalize on your current career stability).
- Determine income requirements and establish financial plans to make ends meet during transition to civilian life.
- Assess your job skills and interests (consider taking a vocational interest inventory to determine how your skills and interests relate to the current job market).
- Develop a resume, and continually update, refine and adjust as needed.
- Develop a career plan, including a list of possible employers in your chosen career field (also develop an alternate plan in case your first career plan falls through or takes longer to achieve than anticipated).
- Identify training, education and / or certification requirements for your chosen career field (explore options such as financial assistance, and begin classes early).
- Find out about education benefits you may be eligible for under the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). If you enrolled in the Vietnam-era GI bill, find out how you can convert to MGIB. Contact your local Department of Veterans Affairs representative for details.
- Research career web sites for posting resumes and conducting online job search.
- Research specific job possibilities, job markets and also the economic conditions in the area you want to live.
- Subscribe to a major newspaper in the area you plan to live, review the want ads, apply for positions of interest and follow-up.
- Actively apply for job openings you find out about from all sources (e.g., print, broadcast, online, word of mouth, etc.) and follow-up.
- Join a professional association in your chosen career field and find ways to become involved in the association.
- Actively network (track potential network contacts, contact friends in the civilian workforce who may be able to help you find a job, etc.).
- Attend job fairs as a way of networking and connecting with potential employers.
Remember... servicemembers retiring from military service can continue exercising their exchange benefit by shopping at your local Exchange or the Exchange Online Store! For example, during and after your transition, you can:
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