Prep for your transition like it’s a mission

When notified of an upcoming mission we begin studying the problem set. The culture, the language, the partner force (mission, capabilities, hierarchy, etc.), the area, the enemy, and the list goes on. Once on the ground we immediately begin conducting an assessment, building rapport, managing our internal and external expectations, and again the list goes on. Why wouldn’t we use the same approach to transition? We can’t just expect that we know everything about our future careers and get by on instinct alone.

We can use the same approach in our transition. What is the culture of the business world in general and what is the culture of my targeted industry? Study this on the internet and in networking. We speak a different language than the private sector. Learn the new language and also learn to not use military jargon. We can even take this down to a micro level of a specific business. Their culture, language, mission, hierarchy, etc. Then we can understand the problem set that we are jumping head-on into.

We come from an environment where everyone has gone through a rigorous selection and qualification course. Just about everyone is a type-A personality, a self-starter and extremely motivated. News flash, that may not be the case at every corporation or office out there. We can’t expect that they have the same drive for their job like we did for freeing the oppressed. Manage your internal expectations, just as when we deploy and work with our partner forces. If you can use that same mindset, it will save much needless frustration.

Think back to all of those skills and tricks that you used to be successful on deployments. Now think of how you can do the same thing for your transition. How will some of those have to be tweaked for you to be successful? We are successful because of our brains, don’t stop using it.

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