We are successful in our missions because we are masters of the basics. Transitioning out of the Army should be no different, it’s our new mission. So, we have to research, prepare, and master the new basics necessary for us to crush it in the private sector. Below is a task list to master before or while finding your purpose/ passion/ fire inside/ goals.
-Talking about yourself
This is not an area we are always comfy with. It’s ok, the fact that we were Special Forces/ Green Berets is not a matter of national security. Be a quiet professional, not a silent professional, share your applicable background. We all have experiences talking in uncomfortable situations with tribal elders, militia leaders, and foreign dignitaries. We made it happen and got the mission accomplished. Think the same way and be willing to talk about yourself and highlight the appropriate skills.
We must network to fill our information gaps, we can identify our facts and assumptions. We don’t know what we don’t know. Networking is the only way to gain this vital information. Build a network and stay engaged with that network.
We need a resume for our future career opportunities. It doesn’t work out well when someone asks for a resume and we are left with an oh sh*t in our mind holding our soldier record brief. We won’t get a job by just submitting resumes to recruiters and hiring managers, but we will need it once we open the right doors for those job opportunities.
Tactical cool guy wear is probably not going to cut it in 99.9999% of situations. Study the scenario and dress appropriately. When in doubt dress one level up, never hurts to look sharp in a suit with expensive footwear. People in the know will notice if you have classy shoes on or something you probably stole from your father.
This is an area where we have little to no practice. I never interviewed for a mission or a position of increased responsibility, the Army has a different system in place. But for schools and jobs as we transition, we will conduct interviews. Prepare for these like they are key leader engagements. Know how you are attempting to portray yourself, your goals and have the proper experiences ready to talk about succinctly.
-A celebration dance
Since you are determined, have prepared and know yourself you will succeed. Have a private celebration dance ready to go, don’t get caught dancing awkwardly by others. Whether that dance is with your family, your dog, a buddy, or yourself, enjoy the moment. Then, thank those that helped you get there and prepare to help others following behind you.
Mastering this list and combining it with your purpose while managing expectations will lead to success.